Re: FW: New version of TR29:

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Tue Aug 20 2002 - 16:08:42 EDT

At 20:07 +0100 2002-08-20, Marion Gunn wrote:

>In re the 'ornamental' use of the apostrophe to anglicize Irish surnames, I
>believe that practice to be unique to English (viz., inserting an
>apostrophe where nothing is omitted, and it does not function as a
>punctuation mark).

It's not ornamental in origin. It serves to link, as a hyphen does,
while graphically recalling the acute accent. I suspect it's in
origin just an acute gone wayward, and then reanalyzed as a
punctuation mark.

>Am I wrong, or is what I call the English practice actually unique to

Analogous, if not similar, uses of the apostrophe are found in Dutch,
if memory serves, in place and personal names.

Michael Everson *** Everson Typography ***

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