[Spellyans] Rules for the apostrophe

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sun Jun 6 12:09:51 BST 2010

On 6 Jun 2010, at 12:29, Eddie Climo wrote:

>> Oh,  it is a genuine problem. And one encounters it very regularly in Scottish Gaelic, and quite regularly in Irish poetry. Having typeset books in both, I (as a professional) know what it is like to get in a manuscript from an ordinary writer of either. It's a mess we don't need to saddle the Cornish Revival with (and which is easy to achieve, with a simple rule "Avoid a space before or after an apostrophe").
> But only a tiny problem, surely. To eliminate all occurrences of < space + 6 > in an MS, simply do a global search-&-replace with < space + 9 >. There, that was easy, wasn't it?!

No, because I can immediately think of four other contexts in which the same problem occurs. It's not avoidable in Scottish Gaelic because of the rules of the orthography. We have avoided it in all of our KS publications, with a simple rule

> On 6 Efn 2010, at 10:22, Michael Everson wrote:
>> In KS when particles like this are dropped (as they often are in LC) we just drop them. "Me a vydn ow tos" = "Me a vydn tos". We don't ask LC users to write "Me a vydn ’tos" or "Me a vydn ' tos". 
> I don't know where you learned your Cornish grammar from, but your sources evidently offered forms unknown in the grammatical writings I have by Jenner, Nance, Gendall, Smith, Pool, Brown and Williams.

Oh for feck's sake, Eddie. 

> Please parse "me a vydn ow tos" for me. I'm familiar with 'me a vydn tos', of course, but I've never seen the construction with 'ow' included. Could it be a future continuous of some sort?

That is discourteous. You may surely imagine that I was thinking about the "ow" and the "apostrophe" and the mutation and not focussed on the rest. You might even imagine that I hadn't had a nice cup of tea yet.

You have descended into point-scoring over a typo and a duplication of that error via cutting and pasting, and that is neither worthy of you, nor of the other readers of this list.

In KS when particles like this are dropped (as they often are in LC) we just drop them. "Me a vëdh ow tos" = "Me a vëdh tos". We don't ask LC users to write "Me a vëdh ’tos" or "Me a vëdh ' tos". 

The grave in "gàn" does NOT, as you suggested in your previous message, stand in for an apostrophe. We just don't write an apostrophe in these words, and we mark their length according to the same way we mark the length of any monosyllable.

There is nothing "new" here.

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

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