Re: Entity for apostrophe?

Russell Steven Shawn O'Connor (
Wed, 30 Jul 1997 15:02:42 -0400 (EDT)

Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 15:02:42 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Russell Steven Shawn O'Connor" <>
Subject: Re: Entity for apostrophe?
Message-ID: <>

Walter Ian Kaye wrote:
> At 1:25a +0200 07/27/97, Holger Wahlen wrote:
>  > Seeing that there are entity definitions for things like en
>  > dash, left double quotation marks and the likes coming up,
>  > I'm wondering why I can't find anything to represent an
>  > apostrophe [1]. Okay, there's "&rsquo;", but wouldn't it be
>  > better to have a name like "&apo;" as well? Imagine this:
>  >      <!ENTITY rsquo   CDATA "&#8217;">
>  >      <!ENTITY apo     CDATA "&#8217;">
>  > After all, the same glyph [2] is used in two different
>  > functions, so wouldn't it be appropriate to have two
>  > possibilities to refer to it? Apart from the mnemonic
> Technically, that is not an apostrophe. &#39; is, regardless
> of whether it looks "curly" or not. One could easily argue that
> using a right single quote as an apostrophe constitutes abuse...

Actually &#39; has multiple meanings, single closing quote, apostrophe,
part of a double closing quote, an acute accent, prime, feet, ... 

What should be added is
<!ENTITY apo  CDATA "&#700;">

Character number 700 is unabiguously an apostrophe.  (I think that is the
correct character number)
Yes, using &#8217; as a apostrophe would be abuse.

> And your use of "`" is correct? To me (and Adobe), that is a
> grave accent which you are [mis]using as a left single quote.
> That makes me shudder like fingernails on a chalkboard do. Ick.

Character number 96 (`) also has multiple meanings.  A single open quote,
part of a double opening quote, a grave accent, backwards prime, ...

Again Unicode has peticular characters, which may or may not look
indentical, for all of these possible meanings.

>  > [2] Actually I'm not quite certain whether it really is the
>  >    same: Does Unicode distinguish between `real' apostrophe and
> Ack, he did it again... a grave accent diacritic.

His use is approprate. (see above)

Someday I'm goign to look up the original meaning(s) for ` and ' in the
ANSI X3.4 standard.  For now I have been relying on the meaning given in
the UNICODE 2.0 book.

(Note: this character ` doesn't look much like a grave accent on my VT240

Russell O'Connor                 
"And truth irreversibly destroys the meaning of its own message"
-- Anindita Dutta, "The Paradox of Truth, the Truth of Entropy"