[Spellyans] Rules for the apostrophe

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Tue May 18 21:40:28 BST 2010

On 18 May 2010, at 19:00, Craig Weatherhill wrote:

> Is there a need for diacritics in these words?  Stress differs, but not pronunciation.  I'm thinking that when KS is somewhat under fire for the number of diacritics, shouldn't we looking to limit or even trim them?  I don't understand what is meant by 'mistaken smart quotes' - for me 'gan, 'gas, 'ga, without diacritics, are perfectly clear as they are, and follow from agan, agas, aga perfectly well and logically.  Are we over-tinkering?

As I said, this is nothing new. In order not to break the rules of quantity, KS1 suggested to write these as gàn, gàs, gà when shortened as stand-alone words. But shortening agan, agas, aga is relatively rare anyway. 

A dumb quote, Craig, is a vertical apostrophe | or a vertical quotation mark ||. Smart quotes are shaped like 6's (at the beginnings of things) and 9's (at the end). So to quote a word in single or double quotes, we have:

6Kernowek9 and 66Kernowek99 (‘Kernowek’ and “Kernowek”). 

Apostrophes are always supposed to be 9-shaped, and never 6-shaped. But if you have a word that begins with an apostrophe, chances are that your word processor (whether MS Word or OpenOffice or Pages or AppleWorks or whatever) is going to change it to a 6-shaped quotation mark. So you will get:

6gan (‘gan) rather than 9gan (’gan).

The rules which I posted earlier today prevent this 100% of the time. 

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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