Apostrophe

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Punctuation

The apostrophe ( ’ , often rendered as  ' ) is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritic mark, in languages that use the Latin alphabet or certain other alphabets. In English, it serves two main purposes: the omission of one or more letters (as in the contraction of does not to doesn't), and the marking of possessive cases (as in the cat's whiskers). According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the word comes ultimately from Greek ἡ ἀπόστροφος [προσῳδία] (hē apóstrophos [prosōidía], “[the accent of] ‘turning away’, or elision”), through Latin and French.[1]

The apostrophe is different from the closing single quotation mark (usually rendered identically but serving a different purpose), and from the similar-looking prime ( ′ ), which is used to indicate measurement in feet or arcminutes, as well as for various mathematical purposes) and ʻokinaʻ ) (which represents a glottal stop in Polynesian languages).

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