The Apostrophe, Prime, Acute, Double Prime, and Quotation Mark

These marks that tend to get used interchangeably in our digital world, some of that is the fault of the program being used, but sometimes it isn’t.

The Apostrophe
apostropheThe apostrophe has three uses in the English language:

1) in contractions (don’t, isn’t, and shouldn’t)

2) to show possession (the man’s, Jane’s, Indiana’s)

3) and used in plurals (minding your P’s and Q’s, the 1980’s)

The Prime
primeThe Prime symbol is used to show the unit of measure feet.

2’ (two feet)

double primeThe Double Prime
The correct use of the double prime is to indicate the unit of measure inches.

2” (two inches)

The Acute
acuteThe Acute is a diacritical mark.

1) café

2) sauté

3) touché

Acute Technical Notes
On Windows computers, letters with acute accents can be created by holding down the alt key and typing in a three-number code on the number pad to the right of the keyboard before releasing the Alt key.

160 for á

130 for é

161 for í

162 for ó

163 for ú

On a Macintosh computer, an acute accent is placed on a vowel by pressing Option-e and then the vowel, which can also be capitalised; for example, á is formed by pressing Option-e and then ‘a’, and Á is formed by pressing Option-e and then Shift-a.

The Quotation Mark
quote markQuotation Marks have a left and a right and a double and single. In the United States, double quotes open and close a quotation. A quote within that quotation is opened and closed with single quotes.

“And then she said, ‘and my name is Sally,’ before she turned and walked away.”

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