Re: FW: New version of TR29:

From: John Cowan (
Date: Tue Aug 20 2002 - 17:00:33 EDT

Michael Everson scripsit:

> [T]he OED notes that the prefix has been variously written: "Macdonald,
> MacDonald, McDonald, M<sup>c</sup>Donald, M'Donald". I can't say I've
> seen the last one in any text more recent than the 18th century, but
> it is certainly indicative of the use of apostrophe as a mark of
> elision.

If you look closely, it should be a U+02BD, MODIFIER LETTER REVERSED
COMMA, and represents a degenerate version of the superscript "c".
It was definitely in live use as recently as 1904, as in this excerpt
from the Hades chapter of _Ulysses_:

# -- And tell us, Hynes said, do you know that fellow in the, fellow was over
# there in the...
# He looked around.
# -- Macintosh. Yes, I saw him, Mr Bloom said. Where is he now?
# -- M'Intosh, Hynes said, scribbling. I don't know who he is. Is that his name?
It isn't, of course: Hynes has mistaken the word "macintosh" for a name.
(The Macintosh computer, being named after an apple, should rightly be the
McIntosh computer, but it ended up being named after a raincoat instead.
Ich bin ein Jellydonut.)

The marine biologist William Carmichael M'Intosh (1838-1931) named lots
of species, and so we have Diaeretiella rapae M'Intosh, Lineus corrugatus
M'Intosh, Labidoplax buski M'Intosh, etc.

In addition, there is a Scottish SF writer named J.T. M'Intosh who was
writing as late as the mid-1950s (the form "McIntosh" was used on his
U.S. editions, though).

John Cowan
Please leave your values        |       Check your assumptions.  In fact,
   at the front desk.           |          check your assumptions at the door.
     --sign in Paris hotel      |            --Miles Vorkosigan

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