from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The superscript sign ( ' ) used to indicate the omission of a letter or letters from a word, the possessive case, or the plurals of numbers, letters, and abbreviations.
- n. The direct address of an absent or imaginary person or of a personified abstraction, especially as a digression in the course of a speech or composition.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The text character ’, that serves as a punctuation mark in various languages and as a diacrictical mark in certain rare contexts.
- n. A sudden exclamatory piece of dialogue addressed to someone or something, especially absent.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A figure of speech by which the orator or writer suddenly breaks off from the previous method of his discourse, and addresses, in the second person, some person or thing, absent or present.”
- n. The contraction of a word by the omission of a letter or letters, which omission is marked by the character ['] placed where the letter or letters would have been.
- n. The mark ['] used to denote that a word is contracted (as in ne'er for never, can't for can not), and as a sign of the possessive, singular and plural; as, a boy's hat, boys' hats. In the latter use it originally marked the omission of the letter e.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In rhetoric, a digressive address; the interruption of the course of a speech or writing, in order to address briefly a person or persons (present or absent, real or imaginary) individually or separately; hence, any abrupt interjectional speech. Originally the term was applied only to such an address made to one present.
- n. In botany, the arrangement of chlorophyl-granules under the action of direct sunlight (light-apostrophe), and in darkness (dark-apostrophe): in the first case upon the lateral walls of the cells, so that their edges are presented to the light; in the latter, upon the lateral and basal cell-walls: used in distinction from epistrophe (which see).
- n. In grammar, the omission of one or more letters in a word.
- n. In writing and printing, the sign (') used to indicate such omission.
- n. The sign (') used for other purposes, especially, single or double, as a concluding mark of quotation, as in “‘Well done,' said he.” See quotation-mark.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. address to an absent or imaginary person
- n. the mark (') used to indicate the omission of one or more letters from a printed word
An apostrophe is missing from “childrens”, and there is a strong case for making “menu” plural, but these lapses are so frequent in signs as to be mundane; it is the appearance of “Al” that makes it irresistible.
I guess that being French, the incredibly sophisticated and capricious ways the apostrophe is used in my language has given me full confidence that I would be forgiven whatever I would do in another language.
The apostrophe is used when you abbreviate the decade as the '90s (the apostrophe indicates the missing numerals).
Log in to Reply jadechimera (UID#1821) on September 8th, 2009 at 4: 33 pm lack of possessive apostrophe is also fail …
The apostrophe is no picnic in a last name either.
In summary, both with and without an apostrophe are okay, but it seems without the apostrophe is preferred.
The apostrophe is misused extensively; more so, perhaps, than any other punctuation mark.
An apostrophe is commonly used to indicate omitted characters.
We went out to dinner, but had no real plan for where we were going, so ended up going to the Captain Americas (the lack of an apostrophe is theirs, not mine) on the vague idea we'd have burgers.
The rhetorically violent apostrophe, then, punctuates a series of political evils that demand action, but the violence of the apostrophe is followed by a sequence accenting rational analysis and peaceful discussion, not storming the barricades.