The apostrophe ( ’ although often rendered as ' ) is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritic mark, in languages that use the Latin alphabet or certain other alphabets.
In English, it serves three purposes:
* 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.)
* According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), ‘apostrophe’ comes ultimately from Greek ἡ ἀπόστροφος [προσῳδία] (hē apóstrophos [prosōidía], “[the accent of] ‘turning away’, or elision”), through Latin and French.
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 ( ʻ ), which represents a glottal stop in Polynesian languages. Such incorrect substitutes as ´ (acute) and ` (grave) are not uncommon in unprofessional texts, where an ambiguous treatment of the apostrophe in digital typesetting (as explained below) is a major factor of this confusion.
- 3,686 Views
Category: Language Symbols.
More symbols in Punctuation:
Punctuation marks are symbols that indicate the structure and organization of written language, as well as intonation and pauses to be observed when reading aloud. In written English, punctuation is… read more »