What is an alternative to apostrophes


An initiative by graphic designer Roland Scheil.

Around the 1990s, a disease emerged in the local area for which there is still no effective cure: apostrophitis. Ignorance and amateurism, paired with arbitrariness and indifference, seem to be both the root and breeding ground for this incurable disease. But what is it all about?

The apostrophe (ancient Greek apóstrophos = turned away) is a punctuation mark (also called apostrophe or upper dash), which in the German language marks certain omissions in a word or clarifies the genitive of proper names, which in the nominative already refer to an s-sound ( written: -s, -ß, -z, -x, -ce) end. The application and spelling rules can be found in detail in the Duden and Wikipedia.

In terms of appearance, there are essentially two forms of apostrophe: The straight apostrophe can be found on German keyboards between the Ä and the return key. In the typewriter form it looks like this: inn're Freud '

But this form is often disparagingly referred to as a tip apostrophe. The trained typesetter or trained typographer does not love this form and has grown the typographically correct apostrophe from the straight line. This can be recognized by the slightly curled position or the slight incline (depending on the font used). The typographically correct apostrophe looks like a raised 9 or a raised comma: inn’re Freud ’

You generate the typographically correct apostrophe on macOS-based computers using alt + shift + #, on Windows systems using the key combination alt + 0146 (on desktop keyboards with German keyboard layouts; on smartphone and tablet keyboards, the desired characters are via the alternative To find character assignment).

People with a practiced eye for detail and a sense of aesthetics only use the typographically correct or straight apostrophe - and nothing else. Because: similar does not mean the same! A secondary development of apostrophe setting is that one of the accent marks acute (´) or grave accent (`) - both can be entered using the ´ key - or the single closing quotation mark (') is used instead of the actual apostrophe ('), as the automatic correction when entering a 'directly after a letter', these characters are visually similar and the person writing the difference is not known or aware of the difference.

Note: German genitives with -s do not have an apostrophe. An apostrophe in a plural s is simply wrong. Imperatives do not have an apostrophe in German. Accented word spacing is not a visually satisfactory substitute for an apostrophe. Neither does a single closing quotation mark.

In order to make the general public even more aware of the clinical picture of apostrophitis with all its manifestations, I hereby call 9.9.2018 for the »1. International Day of the Typographically Correct Apostrophe «.

(Accessed March 1, 2018)

And in the future, all friends of the well-kept typeface design will celebrate this special day of the apostrophe together on September 9th. You can also celebrate in the Xing group or on Twitter under the hashtags #TagDesApostrophs or #ApostropheDay. I look forward to active participation.

Nordfrische greetings

Roland Scheil
Dipl. Designer (FH)

Sources and further links:
Duden, Wikipedia, einklich.net, Text & Sinn, deppenapostroph.info, typefacts, Krank.de