Punctuation

Q. Good day! I want to inquire about your rule in 6.114 about “smart” apostrophes at the beginning of a word. How come the apostrophe is the same character as the right single quotation mark? What is the implication of an incorrect (character for) apostrophe? Thank you very much.

A. Good day to you! The implication of the incorrect apostrophe symbol is that somebody goofed. The implication of the correct symbol at the beginning of a word is that one or more letters have been omitted: ’tis. An apostrophe is identical in appearance to a right single quotation mark (Unicode U+2019). Please refer to the Unicode.org Code Chart for General Punctuation, which tells us that U+2019 is “the preferred character to use for apostrophe.” A common error in typing an apostrophe is to type a left single quotation mark (or not to notice when Microsoft Word does it for you!).