Akira Says ... Linotype’s Monthly Typographic Tip

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Akira says ...

Typographic Tip of the Month from Linotype’s Type Director Akira Kobayashi!

June 2006: “Apostrophes and Quotation Marks”

Which glyph is correct: the inch, the acute, or the apostrophe? – This feature describes the poper use of the pesky punctuation mark that signifies omission and forms the possessive (and sometimes plurals).

Apostrophes

Prime symbol
Prime symbol, used here to incorrectly create the possessive.
One of correct uses of the prime symbol is the representation of feet (unit of measurement common in the US), e.g., 8' = 8 feet.

Acute accent
Acute accent, used here to incorrectly create the possessive.The acute accent is properly used as a component of diacritic characters, e.g., á, é, í, ó, ú, etc.

Apostrophe
Apostrophe: an apostrophe is used to form the possessive. Use of the prime or the acute is incorrect (as seen above). In general, an apostrophe curves like a little number nine (9).

Samples
but the specific form can vary, depending on the overall typeface design (you will find a list of the used fonts at the end of this article).

Quotation Marks

Double prime symbol
Double prime symbol, used here to incorrectly set a quotation.
The use of the double prime in quotations is often dubbed “dumb quotes”. One of correct uses of the double prime symbol is the representation of inches (unit of measurement common in the US), e.g., 8' 6" = 8 feet 6 inches.

Left and right double quotes
Left and right double quotes. Quotation marks look similar to apostrophes. The left quotes opening the quotation above look like two little sixes (66), while the right quotes closing the quotation look like two little nines (99). Different countries and languages have their own styles and customs for the setting of quotations. Get more information about local specifications.

Left and right single quotes
Left and right single quotes. Different countries and languages have their own styles and customs for the setting of quotations. Get more information about local specifications.


Click here for the HTML values of all the special characters used in these samples.



Curious about the typefaces used in this month’s tip?
Body text:
Palatino™ nova

Apostophes from left to right:
Avenir™ Next
Berling™ Nova
Linotype Didot™ Next
Engravers
Neue Helvetica™ Next
Linotype Syntax™
Linotype Univers
Notre Dame™
Optima™
Peignot™
Sabon™ Next
Times™
Expectation™
Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch™

Related products

Avenir® Next font family (Platinum Collection)
Berling™ Nova font family (Assorted Collection)
Linotype Didot® font family (Linotype Originals)
Engravers™ font family (Linotype Originals)
Neue Helvetica® font family (Linotype Originals)
Linotype Syntax® font family (Platinum Collection)
Linotype Univers® font family (Platinum Collection)
Notre Dame™ font family (Linotype Originals)
Optima® font family (Linotype Originals)
Peignot® font family (Linotype Originals)
Sabon® Next font family (Platinum Collection)
Times® font family (Linotype Originals)
Expectation™ font family (Linotype Originals)
Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch™ font family (Linotype Originals)