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An apostrophe is a punctuation mark that primarily serves to indicate either grammatical possession or the contraction of two words. It can also sometimes be used to pluralize irregular nouns, such as single letters, abbreviations, and single-digit numbers.
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see punctuationpunctuation
[Lat.,=point], the use of special signs in writing to clarify how words are used; the term also refers to the signs themselves. In every language, besides the sounds of the words that are strung together there are other features, such as tone, accent, and pauses,
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; abbreviationabbreviation,
in writing, arbitrary shortening of a word, usually by cutting off letters from the end, as in U.S. and Gen. (General). Contraction serves the same purpose but is understood strictly to be the shortening of a word by cutting out letters in the middle, the omission
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figure of speech in which an absent person, a personified inanimate being, or an abstraction is addressed as though present. The term is derived from a Greek word meaning "a turning away," and this sense is maintained when a narrative or dramatic thread is broken in order to digress by speaking directly to someone not there, e.g., "Envy, be silent and attend!"—Alexander Pope, "On a Certain Lady at Court."



comma written above the line, used in writing for various functions: (1) In French, Italian, English, and other languages the apostrophe is used to indicate the omission of a vowel (the French I’homme instead of le homme, the English “don’t” instead of “do not,” and so on).

(2) In the orthography of the Nenets language it is used to indicate glottal stops.

(3) The apostrophe is used in transcription to convey glottal stops (in Semitic and other languages), to indicate soft consonants, and so on.

(4) In Russian writing it is used in places where foreign languages use apostrophes in proper names (Jeanne d’Arc, O’Casey); in the 1920’s and 1930’s the apostrophe was also used in place of the “hard sign” Ъ (pod’ezd instead of podЪezd).



a word or group of words naming the person or object to which speech is addressed. Apostrophe may be used within or outside a sentence. It is not bound grammatically to the other parts of a sentence. Apostrophe is widely used in literary language to convey dialogue. For example:

(Famusov:) “Sergei Sergeich, can this be you!”

A. S. Griboedov, Woe From Wit

It is also used in the speech of the narrator to address an individual. For example:

“And you, exile,” I thought, “weep on your vast, free steppes.”

M. Iu. Lermontov, Bela

Or it may be used to address an inanimate object:

“Loosen up, shoulder! Swing, arm!

You, wind, blow in the face from afternoon on!”

A. V. Kol’tsov, “The Mower”


References in periodicals archive ?
The addresses to silent auditors that punctuate Romantic "conversation poems" closely resemble the everyday speech situations described by Gerrig, so closely that their apostrophic character can easily be missed.
The "No" beginning the sestet decisively cuts off a relationship between the star and speaker--or, rather, it admits that no relationship exists, that none was ever possible despite the assumption of this possibility in the apostrophic address.
Many apostrophic passages, no second-person narrative.
Turning towards the hills in a frustrated apostrophic address, the speaker looks to what remains of the natural landscape, seeking reassurance in the face of such an altered place.
The question of prognosis or mockery is not only a matter of "reading" the signs in the landscape as it first appears, but also a matter of the landscape's "response" to Victor's apostrophic questions.
The scope of Jeffers's alienating cosmology is present in vitro in the following apostrophic lines from his 1924 poem "The Roan Stallion":
You" narrative's propensity for being told in the present tense and for evoking and creating the story out of discourse material is also noted by Margolin, and this propensity ties in well with what Kacandes in the present collection discusses as second-person fiction's apostrophic quality.
44) This is not the apostrophic "O" of lyric ("O rose thou art sick"; "O Wild West Wind"; "O chesnut tree"), but it nonetheless enacts that same "turning away from actual listeners to address absent or imagined interlocutors," in Jonathan Culler's observation: similarly "devoid of semantic reference," it is "the very figure of voice.
But the power of this apostrophic poetics of history is also a measure of its fragility.
Quintilian, for example, comments cryptically that the apostrophic gesture "mire movet" ("is wonderfully stirring") (3:396, 397); he hints obscurely that to apostrophize a person (or thing) is more compelling than to state a fact about that person (or thing) (2:42, 43).
Apostrophic address does not tolerate dialogue; it works only in the poetic faith that one's message reaches the desired ears, leaving open an implicitly questioning silence rather than willfully producing one's own answer.
Having completed the narration of her life drama, Matilda addresses an apostrophic farewell to the scene outside her window: