Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

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Neytiri

Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by Neytiri » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:37 am

Ie. ´ instead of '? :?

If for no other reasons, an acute is slightly harder to type on a keyboard than the plain apostrophe.

It's quite a pervasive practice, oddly.

HoustonDavid
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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by HoustonDavid » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:17 pm

Welcome to the CMG Forums, Neytiri.

You must be using a French or Spanish keyboard, where acute, grave, or tilde characters are
available and used. We here in English speaking countries don't have such choices on our
standard keyboards and probably wouldn't know what to do with them if we did. When typing
words in Spanish or French (or German) for purposes of spelling them correctly, my computer
software (Microsoft Vista) offers me "Character Map" to select letters with these accents. We
English typists can't use the acute character by itself and consequently reach our right little
pinkie one key to the right and type an apostrophe. I know this doesn't answer your question
or even help you out. It's just a whimsical response from an English speaking writer/typist. :)
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

DavidRoss
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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by DavidRoss » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:28 pm

Different fonts represent apostrophes in different ways, some vertical ( ' ), some sloped (´ ), and some curvy ().
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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HoustonDavid
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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by HoustonDavid » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:59 pm

The fonts you speak of David (Ross) are on English language based systems, and apostrophes
cannot be used as acute accents on these systems. On Spanish or French keyboards, the typist
has the choice of using the acute accent or the apostrophe. The answer to Neytiri's question,
from an Englsh speaker/typist is "I don't know why" French or Spanish typists choose one (the
acute accent) over the other (the apostrophe).

As an aside, when I was learning to type "cyrilic" on a standard English language-based typewriter,
we used extra characters to turn English letters into the five extra alphabet characters in the cyrilic
alphabet. It's complicated to explain, but we used all 26 letters of the English alphabet to represent
26 of the letters in cyrillic, then added a semi-colon in front of five regular Englsh letters to represent
the additional cyrilic characters. I suppose we did the same for any language containing non-English
characters when typing them on an English language typewriter. Probably did. :wink:

Ah, for the golden days of the purely mechanical, purely English language typewriters. How I miss 'em. :lol:
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

jbuck919
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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:09 pm

Americans have quite the reverse problem (partly because of the keyboards as David in Houston says), frequently and incorrectly adding an apostrophe as though it were an acceptable substitute for an acute accent, e.g., resume'. Personally, I hate going to a character map every time I need something (though I usually do it). And yes, I know about Alt-character number, but it doesn't work typing directly onto CMG.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

DavidRoss
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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by DavidRoss » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:18 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:The fonts you speak of David (Ross) are on English language based systems, and apostrophes
cannot be used as acute accents on these systems. On Spanish or French keyboards, the typist
has the choice of using the acute accent or the apostrophe. The answer to Neytiri's question,
from an Englsh speaker/typist is "I don't know why" French or Spanish typists choose one (the
acute accent) over the other (the apostrophe).

As an aside, when I was learning to type "cyrilic" on a standard English language-based typewriter,
we used extra characters to turn English letters into the five extra alphabet characters in the cyrilic
alphabet. It's complicated to explain, but we used all 26 letters of the English alphabet to represent
26 of the letters in cyrillic, then added a semi-colon in front of five regular Englsh letters to represent
the additional cyrilic characters. I suppose we did the same for any language containing non-English
characters when typing them on an English language typewriter. Probably did. :wink:

Ah, for the golden days of the purely mechanical, purely English language typewriters. How I miss 'em. :lol:
It's starting to look as if you're stalking me, looking for or even manufacturing something to try to pick some petty fight over and disrupt a thread. Look at Neytiri's post:
Neytiri wrote:Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Ie. ´ instead of '? :?

If for no other reasons, an acute is slightly harder to type on a keyboard than the plain apostrophe.

It's quite a pervasive practice, oddly.
If you read this post, then my response, and try to understand, it should not be too hard to figure out.

Now it's possible, of course, that I misread Neytiri, and that he really is asking why people writing in languages other than English use acute accents. That is not, however, how I read his question.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

Image

HoustonDavid
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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by HoustonDavid » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:24 pm

Since the acute accent isn't on the standard English keyboard, how could you read it any
other way? And I'm not trying to pick a fight with you. Read my initial response regarding
"whimsy". You could just as easily have been trying to pick a fight with me talking about
fonts. Let's just leave it alone for a change. :roll:
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

DavidRoss
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Location: Northern California

Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by DavidRoss » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:21 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:Since the acute accent isn't on the standard English keyboard, how could you read it any
other way? And I'm not trying to pick a fight with you. Read my initial response regarding
"whimsy". You could just as easily have been trying to pick a fight with me talking about
fonts. Let's just leave it alone for a change. :roll:
You are trying to pick a fight. I'm not having it. I'm not talking to you about fonts, but to the original poster, Neytiri, in reponse to his question.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

Image

John F
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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by John F » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:19 am

Not quite on topic, but English speakers who want to type acute accents at the computer, at least under Windows, can set up so the apostrophe key does it. (Similarly for the other familiar diacritical marks.) Set up the keyboard's "language" as United States-International. Then when you strike a ', nothing will appear until you strike a letter: e for é, c for ç, and so on. Also, " followed by o is ö, ^ followed by a is â, etc.

Here's how to set this up:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306560

If you do, you'll find that using these keys for their normal purpose, as an apostrophe or quotation mark, is a bit different. If the letter following the ' or " is a vowel or certain consonants, you need to strike the spacebar to get out of dead key mode. Otherwise you'll get Ö rather than "O.
John Francis

Neytiri

Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by Neytiri » Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:54 am

DavidRoss wrote:Different fonts represent apostrophes in different ways, some vertical ( ' ), some sloped (´ ), and some curvy ().
Not really, no. :)

You used the same font here — Trebuchet MS for Windows people, Lucida Grande for Mac, I believe — and those are all different signs. The first one is an apostrophe, and the last one can be considered a typographical variant of it, but the middle one is simply an accute.

CMG doesn't allow us to use different fonts, by using

Code: Select all

[font=Tahoma][/font]
tags.

DavidRoss
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Location: Northern California

Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by DavidRoss » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:59 am

Neytiri wrote:
DavidRoss wrote:
Neytiri wrote:Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Ie. ´ instead of '? :? If for no other reasons, an acute is slightly harder to type on a keyboard than the plain apostrophe.

It's quite a pervasive practice, oddly.
Different fonts represent apostrophes in different ways, some vertical ( ' ), some sloped (´ ), and some curvy ().
Not really, no. :)

You used the same font here — Trebuchet MS for Windows people, Lucida Grande for Mac, I believe — and those are all different signs. The first one is an apostrophe, and the last one can be considered a typographical variant of it, but the middle one is simply an accute.

CMG doesn't allow us to use different fonts, by using

Code: Select all

[font=Tahoma][/font]
tags.
So your question applies only to the CMG forum? Could you please restate the question or expand on it? I interpreted it as asking why, when you read material published by others on-line, apostrophes sometimes appear as a vertical mark ( ' ) and sometimes as an acute one (´ ). Different fonts seemed the simplest and thus most likely explanation for the phenomenon I thought you were describing. The marks I reproduced in parentheses are intended only to illustrate what I meant by "vertical," "sloped," and "curvy," not as actual examples of different fonts. As you note, CMG doesn't seem to allow that...and it sure wasn't easy to figure out how to reproduce the illustrations I wanted to show! :wink:

However, your response quoted above makes it seem as if you were asking about practice here at CMG only, rather than the "pervasive practice" described in the original post. I've not noticed acute apostrophes used instead of verticals on this forum, though on some other sites even my own posts may present with mixed acute and vertical apostrophes if I write an entry using the site's standard font but copy and paste a quote from another site that uses a different font--or if I write something in Word and then copy and paste it into the site.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

Image

jbuck919
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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:59 am

John F wrote:Not quite on topic, but English speakers who want to type acute accents at the computer, at least under Windows, can set up so the apostrophe key does it. (Similarly for the other familiar diacritical marks.) Set up the keyboard's "language" as United States-International. Then when you strike a ', nothing will appear until you strike a letter: e for é, c for ç, and so on. Also, " followed by o is ö, ^ followed by a is â, etc.

Here's how to set this up:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306560

If you do, you'll find that using these keys for their normal purpose, as an apostrophe or quotation mark, is a bit different. If the letter following the ' or " is a vowel or certain consonants, you need to strike the spacebar to get out of dead key mode. Otherwise you'll get Ö rather than "O.
¡²³¤€€¼½¾‘’¥¥×äåé®þüúúíóóöö««»

Too cool, John. How on Earth did you find that? (Now he's going to tell me it's common knowledge.) :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by John F » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:12 pm

It's something I needed to know, for some projects I was working on. So I browsed around in books like "Windows Secrets" (used to buy and read big thick books on operating systems back then, if you can believe it) and found out. Versions before WinXP made it easier to set this up, but once you know where to look, it's a piece of cake.
John Francis

Neytiri

Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by Neytiri » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:18 am

David, I explained myself terribly and I'm not sure I can do it properly.

It's just that I see it everywhere, US message boards, UK message boards... Websites... Whenever one should use the plain apostrophe ('), I see people using the acute. I guess they think it looks like what Microsoft Word calls curly quote-type of apostrophe, which is in reality this — ’.

It's weird. :?

HoustonDavid
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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by HoustonDavid » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:45 am

Neytiri:

I am guessing - again - but I learned to type on a standard English language typewriter when
I was 16 years old and have been using typewriters and keyboards ever since, and I can still
type at around 90 WPM. When I was learning (and ever since) the apostrophe was to the right
of the "L" key and to the left of the "Enter" key on modern English language computer keyboards.
On manual (and electric) typewriters, there was the good old carriage return to get to the next
line or a new paragraph, of course. We used to love to bang those when we were in a hurry!! :)

That being said, all typists who learned to type "properly" in school or elsewhere, automatically
reach for the apostrophe key where described, which is also a quotation mark " in the capitalizing
mode. For typists who learned using the infamous "hunt-and-peck" two-finger method of typing,
especially on French or Spanish keyboards, they may have mistaken the acute accent key for
the apostrophe key and "learned" to use it for that purpose without realizing their mistake. Again,
just another whimsical observation from an ancient typist who learned to use the keyboard
"properly". :wink:
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

piston
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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by piston » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:01 am

Look at this old French keyboard:
Image

I learned on a keyboard similar to this Olivetti, with the apostrophe located on the upper case of "8".
Image
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

HoustonDavid
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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by HoustonDavid » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:53 pm

Sometimes "whimsy" is just that and not a reflection of reality. Thanks for a glimpse of
reality, Jacque, and so much for my thoughts on how and why people do things in the
real world. My first thought in answer to Neytiri still stands: "I don't know why", and I'll
leave it at that.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

Brendan

Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by Brendan » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:32 pm

For the full run-down try http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ucs/apostrophe.html. Google is a very handy tool.

ISO 8859-1 is the commonly used 8-bit coded character set used for West European languages. Of the 189 characters in this code, we are interested in the following three here:

0x27 APOSTROPHE
0x60 GRAVE ACCENT
0xB4 ACUTE ACCENT

The apostrophe character 0x27 represents the single undirectional (vertical) quotation mark that serves on the common simple typewriter also as the apostrophe. The acute and grave accent characters represent the accents used in languages such as French, but without any associated base character below. They were probably included in the standard because European typewriters feature corresponding key labels, but these accent-only characters have no common use in European text.

ISO 10646-1 is a 16-bit superset of ISO 8859-1, also known as Universal Character Set (UCS) or Unicode. It added two directional single quotation marks:

U+2018 LEFT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
U+2019 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK

In proper typography, U+2019 is not only the right single quotation mark, but also the preferred character for representing the apostrophe.

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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by Proton » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:55 pm

John F wrote:It's something I needed to know, for some projects I was working on. So I browsed around in books like "Windows Secrets" (used to buy and read big thick books on operating systems back then, if you can believe it) and found out. Versions before WinXP made it easier to set this up, but once you know where to look, it's a piece of cake.
Thanks! Let me try that...

йцукенгшщзхї
фівапролджє
ячсмитьбю

D'oh! I must be doing something wrong :oops:


"A lie can run around the world before the truth can get its boots on."
James Watt

“No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated."
Richard Feynman
The Quantum Universe has a quotation from me in every chapter — but it's a damn good book anyway.”
Richard Feynman



jbuck919
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Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:00 pm

Proton wrote:
John F wrote:It's something I needed to know, for some projects I was working on. So I browsed around in books like "Windows Secrets" (used to buy and read big thick books on operating systems back then, if you can believe it) and found out. Versions before WinXP made it easier to set this up, but once you know where to look, it's a piece of cake.
Thanks! Let me try that...

йцукенгшщзхї
фівапролджє
ячсмитьбю

D'oh! I must be doing something wrong :oops:
Forgive me if we've been over this and I missed it, but can you explain why you are in the shortstop position at Yankee Stadium?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Proton
Posts: 218
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:10 am
Location: 40° 49' 36.97"N 73° 55' 42.21"W

Re: Why do people use the acute instead of the apostrophe?

Post by Proton » Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:10 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Proton wrote:
John F wrote:It's something I needed to know, for some projects I was working on. So I browsed around in books like "Windows Secrets" (used to buy and read big thick books on operating systems back then, if you can believe it) and found out. Versions before WinXP made it easier to set this up, but once you know where to look, it's a piece of cake.
Thanks! Let me try that...

йцукенгшщзхї
фівапролджє
ячсмитьбю

D'oh! I must be doing something wrong :oops:
Forgive me if we've been over this and I missed it, but can you explain why you are in the shortstop position at Yankee Stadium?
Because Hu's on First.


"A lie can run around the world before the truth can get its boots on."
James Watt

“No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated."
Richard Feynman
The Quantum Universe has a quotation from me in every chapter — but it's a damn good book anyway.”
Richard Feynman



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