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Which apostrophe should the article use?[edit]

At the moment this article uses an apparently random mixture of curly apostrophes and straight apostrophes. Which should it be? Doesn't the rest of Wikipedia normally use straight apostrophes? (If anyone is tempted to make the article uniform, remember that in a few places the use of the two different forms is intentional, in order to illustrate the difference. Global replace is therefore not advisable.) (talk) 03:43, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

I think you are entirely correct and the article ought to be made consistent with Wikipedia's Manual of Style's section WP:APOSTROPHE (and the template {{selfref}} to that section should be shown as a hatnote on this article.) -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 02:40, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
The article has been recently changed to replace even more straight apostrophes and quotation marks with typographical ones, counter to MOS:PUNCT. Is there a way to automatise the task? I don't know how to do a global replace in either Chrome or Firefox. Replacing the characters manually is really tedious. (Those few instances where the typographical variants are intended should be easy to clean up after the replacement.) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:53, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree, we should follow MOS when discussing the use of the symbol rather than its form. But changing examples like ''others’'' (others’) to ''others{{`}}'' (others') is going to get messy. Pelagic (talk) 06:12, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Greek apostrophes[edit]

This should be obvious to anyone looking at it carefully, but just to make a note here: no Ancient Greek (let alone many) wrote δ’ ἄλλος for δὲ ἄλλος. If some time-travelling Classicist had tried to, they would have understood it (after the 3rd century BC) as a mistaken doubling of the alpha's smooth breathing mark. What they wrote was δἄλλος (well, ΔἌΛΛΟΣ), which the Classicists have since cleaned up using modern spacing and apostrophes. Feel free to restore the earlier format but, if you do, be more careful about who is doing the writing.

Lagniappe that probably has no place in the article but is still fun trivia: in Greek, apostrophos (now apostrofos) is the apostrophe; apostrophe itself (now apostrofi) is "repugnance"—a literal need to turn yourself away. — LlywelynII 20:48, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Greengrocers apostrophe in plurals? Really?[edit]

The start of this article states "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)." The use apostrophes (apostrophe's) to form plurals by some is undoubtedly common, but I'm not sure that's its purpose in English (personally I would disagree that the purpose of the apostrophe in English is to form plurals). Unfortunately I have no idea what the source (Quirk, Geenbaum, Leech & Svartvik (1985) A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, p. 1636, Longman, London & New York) actually says on this subject. The fact that this approach is often/generally frowned upon is not even mentioned in the section on greengrocers' apostrophes (CDs vs CD's). Doing so can lead to really messy and hard to read texts, like "the CD's' covers" ("the CDs' covers", i.e. the multiple covers of multiple CDs, is much more legible).

There should at least be mention that this practice is often unnecessary (and can also unnecessarily hinder readability - which is what it's meant to promote - through the introduction of multiple apostrophes and a lack of distinction between a plural and possessive), and commonly perceived as incorrect use of the apostrophe (without necessarily going so far as saying it is incorrect). (talk) 15:53, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

A stronger statement in the introduction was recently deleted with no explanation. I restored it. (talk) 19:31, 28 July 2015 (UTC)


It's clear that the apostrophe is used in English on one side of the other of an s that is not part of the root of a word. It's very difficult to determine that from this article; it spends most of its time as someone's original research of style guides. So much writing nowadays is done by people who aren't consulting style guides and don't care about them; why is this not simply a description of what happens? If you want instructions go to wikihow. Run to the hills! (talk) 09:18, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Could you explain what you mean, preferably with some examples showing where the article is not NPOV--Boson (talk) 18:25, 27 July 2015 (UTC)?
"It's clear that the apostrophe is used in English on one side of the other of an s that is not part of the root of a word." That does not even make any sense. (talk) 19:25, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The article may have problems with too much length and detail (as mentioned in section below), but it doesn't seem unbalanced. I'm having a little trouble decoding RttH's objections, but they don't seem to me to qualify as POV issues. I will remove the POV template, but if anyone wants to re-open the discussion then feel free to reinstate it. Pelagic (talk) 11:31, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Article seems daunting[edit]

The article seems long and daunting. It should be possible to cover all the important stuff in a few paragraphs. I think there should be such a section right at the start. Then the rest of the article can go into however much minuscule detail it likes, but readers just wanting the important information will not have to wade through it. (talk) 19:37, 28 July 2015 (UTC)