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’tis or ’tain’t

Published

’Tis the season for backwards apostrophes. The web, and the pages of magazines, are full of variations on the phrase ’tis the season, half of which have the apostrophe backwards (like the example at left) – presumably because someone just typed an apostrophe on the keyboard and their software helpfully turned it into a single open quotation mark. But that ain’t an apostrophe. The apostrophe, like the comma, only faces one way. Pay attention, please, and get it right!

Web-page headline with backwards apostrophe

(Not sure how to get the right glyph? Copy and paste it from someplace else. If your software is giving you an open single quote, just type an apostrophe at the end of the word, where it’ll face the right way; then delete that and paste it at the front.)

[Images: from the holiday-season home page of lee.com – hardly the only high-profile retailer to make this mistake.]

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