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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:redirect hatnote|redirect}} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Use dmy dates |date=__DATE__ |$B= }} {{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}} The apostrophe ( or ' ) is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritical mark, in languages that use the Latin alphabet or certain other alphabets. In English, it serves three purposes:<ref>Quirk, Geenbaum, Leech & Svartvik (1985) A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, p. 1636, Longman, London & New York, ISBN 0-582-51734-6.</ref>

  • The marking of the omission of one or more letters (as in the contraction of do not to don't).
  • The marking of possessive case (as in the eagle's feathers, or in one month's time).
  • The marking by some as plural of written items that are not words established in English orthography (as in P's and Q's). (This is considered incorrect by others; see Use in forming certain plurals. The use of the apostrophe to form plurals of proper words, as in apple's, banana's, etc., is universally considered incorrect.)

Apostrophe comes ultimately from Greek ἡ ἀπόστροφος [προσῳδία]{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} (hē apóstrophos [prosōidía]{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, "[the accent of] 'turning away', or elision"), through Latin and French.<ref>Oxford English Dictionary</ref><ref>"The English form apostrophe is due to its adoption via French and its current pronunciation as four syllables is due to a confusion with the rhetorical device apostrophé" (W. S. Allen, Vox Graeca. The pronunciation of classical Greek, 3rd edition, 1988. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. 100, note 13).</ref>

The apostrophe looks the same as a closing single quotation mark, although they have different meanings. The apostrophe also looks similar to, but is not the same as, the prime symbol ( ′ ), which is used to indicate measurement in feet or arcminutes, as well as for various mathematical purposes, and the ʻokina (  ), which represents a glottal stop in Polynesian languages. Such incorrect substitutes as ´ (acute) and ` (grave) are common in unprofessional texts, where an ambiguous treatment of the apostrophe in digital typesetting (as explained below) is a major factor of this confusion.


Apostrophe sections
Intro  English language usage  Non-English use  Typographic form  Unicode  Computing  See also  Notes  References  Bibliography  External links  

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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:redirect hatnote|redirect}} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Use dmy dates |date=__DATE__ |$B= }} {{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}} The apostrophe ( or ' ) is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritical mark, in languages that use the Latin alphabet or certain other alphabets. In English, it serves three purposes:<ref>Quirk, Geenbaum, Leech & Svartvik (1985) A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, p. 1636, Longman, London & New York, ISBN 0-582-51734-6.</ref>

  • The marking of the omission of one or more letters (as in the contraction of do not to don't).
  • The marking of possessive case (as in the eagle's feathers, or in one month's time).
  • The marking by some as plural of written items that are not words established in English orthography (as in P's and Q's). (This is considered incorrect by others; see Use in forming certain plurals. The use of the apostrophe to form plurals of proper words, as in apple's, banana's, etc., is universally considered incorrect.)

Apostrophe comes ultimately from Greek ἡ ἀπόστροφος [προσῳδία]{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} (hē apóstrophos [prosōidía]{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, "[the accent of] 'turning away', or elision"), through Latin and French.<ref>Oxford English Dictionary</ref><ref>"The English form apostrophe is due to its adoption via French and its current pronunciation as four syllables is due to a confusion with the rhetorical device apostrophé" (W. S. Allen, Vox Graeca. The pronunciation of classical Greek, 3rd edition, 1988. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. 100, note 13).</ref>

The apostrophe looks the same as a closing single quotation mark, although they have different meanings. The apostrophe also looks similar to, but is not the same as, the prime symbol ( ′ ), which is used to indicate measurement in feet or arcminutes, as well as for various mathematical purposes, and the ʻokina (  ), which represents a glottal stop in Polynesian languages. Such incorrect substitutes as ´ (acute) and ` (grave) are common in unprofessional texts, where an ambiguous treatment of the apostrophe in digital typesetting (as explained below) is a major factor of this confusion.


Apostrophe sections
Intro  English language usage  Non-English use  Typographic form  Unicode  Computing  See also  Notes  References  Bibliography  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: English language usage
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