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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Apostrophe in docbook document

Keith Fahlgren wrote, at 1/25/2010 4:58 PM:
> On Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 4:53 PM, Ron Catterall <ron@catterall.net> wrote:
>> We have (at least) three logical symbols:
>> 1. a singular possessive - this is Ron' book
>> 2. a plral posessive - these the are mens' books
>> 3. a missing word ain't (or old English an't)

I assume you mean "a missing letter or letters" for 3, not a missing word.

Also, historically speaking these all come from a common root, or at
least that's been claimed.  (I.e., "Ron; his book" -> "Ron's book".)  I
would guess that the origin of the practice is probably at least
somewhat a myth, but typographically it might was well be true and these
have always been represented by the same symbol.  Thus, I'm at all not
sure of the benefit of trying to split things out in this way, which as
far as I know is completely unprecedented.  At the very least, splitting
singular and plural possessives out seems a hair that ought remain unsplit.

> Missing some:
> * Slang: What ya mean, 'unting rabbits?

This is a case of the revised item 3, above.

> * Quotes in quotes: I can't believe you'd quote her saying, "this is
> totally 'bogus'".

These are single quotes, not apostrophes.  They're a different thing
altogether -- and typographically so, as well as in meaning.

> * Numbers: '99

This is a case of the revised item 3, above, if we further revise it to
say "missing letters or numbers".  Logically, I believe it's the same thing.

Of course, I also believe all of Ron's list are the same thing -- and
that, in fact, you have one logical symbol that's used for two closely
related uses -- so the fact that I think missing numbers and missing
letters are equivalent may be something people want to argue with.

- Brooks

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