[LMB] OT: smart apostrophes in Word

Rachel Ganz rachel at compromise.fsnet.co.uk
Fri Sep 28 09:37:24 BST 2007

 From: "JenL" <jenl1625 at gmail.com>
 To: "Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold." <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
 Subject: Re: [LMB] OT: smart apostrophes in Word
 On 9/27/07, Raye Johnsen <raye_j at yahoo.com> wrote:
 > --- Rachel Ganz <rachel at compromise.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
 > >
 > > Sorry, what are apostrophes in the US?
 > An apostrophe is, specifically, this little thing
 > here:', when used in words such as don't, can't,
 > sha'n't, etc.  (Yes, I know, it's pedantic, I don't
 > care.  The dropped ells deserve an apostrophe too!)
 It also designates the possessive: teacher's pet, man's best friend,  . . .

Sorry guys, I obviously didn't stick my tonge far enough into my cheek. Thanks for all the apostrophe information. As a technical editor/writer, I did know their grammatical function. I was intrigued that someone mentioned a US/UK divide about what they were. (Quick scan of handy printed matter gives me a closing quote - whether straight or curly is dependent on typeface.)

So what is the difference between the US/UK apostrophe? Are there more over here (apparently, since we have the greengrocers' apostrophe as well as all the other ones)? Or do they go in different positions over there?

Do tell? I have never spotted any apostrophe variation between English and USAian (and Canadian) printed matter, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.

Brevity, clarity and cups of tea

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