|Exclamation, exclamation, call signs||!|
- - Hyphen ; Hyphen ;
|Indent ; Up line||-|
quotation marks "" »« / «»
‚'› ‹ / ‹ ›
|Slashes / \|
|Brackets () |
The apostrophe (from ancient Greek ἀπόστροφος apóstrophos , German , away ' , especially in the grammarians as a noun , apostrophe'; via late Latin apostrophus into German in the 17th century, since the 18th century without Latin ending) as the ellipsis (including the quotation or the upper bar , plural: -e) is a punctuation mark that marks certain omissions in a word in the German language or that clearly clarifies the genitive of proper names that already have an s-sound in the nominative (written: -s, -ß, - z, -x, -ce ) end if you do not have an article , a possessive pronoun or the like with you.
The use of the apostrophe, also known as backstroke, Nachstrich, Oberstrich, Oberhäklein, apostrophe, ellipsis, probably goes back to the 16th or 17th century. In its history, the apostrophe was mainly used as an ellipsis and to mark the root of the word , such as contractions or an appended genitive - s .
With Johann Christoph Adelung , who described the use of German and thus had a normative effect, the first German grammarian advocated the use of the apostrophe in the declination of proper names towards the end of the 18th century . There were also examples for some cases of plural apostrophe usage: "the Papa's, the Uhu's, the Kadi's, the Motto's". Until the end of the 19th century, the use of the genitive apostrophe was not uncommon and was also illustrated in textbooks on the German language, for example in Johann Christian August Heyses Lehrbuch der deutschen Sprache (1849):
“In addition, one uses the apostrophe in the genitive form of personal proper names, especially gender or family names, before the ending 's, as well as in the adjectives derived from such names before the adjective ending, around the correct form of the name to be identified more clearly. E.g. Göthe's works [.] "
Traditional brands with a genitive apostrophe founded during this period include Hoffmann's starch factories (founded in 1850), Beck’s beer (founded in 1873) or Kaiser's coffee shop (founded in 1880).
Only towards the end of the 19th century, also with the change in the scientific paradigm of linguistic research from descriptive linguistics to a more prescriptive or normative linguistics, did a position critical of apostrophes gradually gain acceptance; for example Jacob Grimm and Konrad Duden spoke out against the genitive apostrophe. In 1893, in the 25th edition of Heyse's textbook on the German language, revised by Otto Lyon , the use of the genitive apostrophe for proper names was no longer required and only approved for names ending in "s".
"It is completely wrong to separate the genitive S from the name with an apostrophe."
The Duden initially only disapproved of this use of the apostrophe: In genitive cases it is “not necessary” to put an apostrophe. In the 1880 edition, the genitive apostrophe is only recommended for words ending in a / s / sound or "sch"; in addition, the genitive ending in "-ens" (as in Fritzens, Maxens, Franzens) is mentioned. But it was not until the reform of German spelling in 1901 that this usage was clearly declared illegal. Cases of the now incorrect apostrophe use are also documented from the 20th century. Those who learned to write before 1901 often continued to use the apostrophe. Thomas Mann also regularly used the genitive apostrophe for nouns ending in a vowel: Baron Harry’s , Johnny’s , Erika’s . An extensive use of genitive apostrophes can also be found in Nietzsche 's works. On January 24, 1945, the Aachener Nachrichten put a genitive apostrophe in the headline “Allied planes smashed Rundstedt's retreat columns” in the first edition of a German newspaper that appeared after the liberation by the Allies .
With the reform of German spelling in 1996 , the apostrophe in personal names is again considered correct if it is not used to denote an omission, but rather separates the basic form from the genitive ending -s (or the adjective suffix -sch ) and thus clarifies it. The official regulation of the German spelling, which literally approves the "occasional use" for this purpose, gives the examples of Carlo's Taverne and Einstein's theory of relativity (§ 97 E). Since its 21st edition (1996), the Duden has named Grimm's fairy tales and Andrea's flower corner as examples. Since its 22nd edition (2000), he has also named Ohm'scher Resistance and Willi's Würstchenbude and added the note “to distinguish from the male first name Andreas” in brackets after Andrea's Blumenecke . Before the spelling reform, such a distinction was only made using the basic form apostrophe: Andreas Blumenecke (Andrea 's flower corner ) or Andreas' Blumenecke ( Andreas's flower corner ); even after the reformed spelling, this is still a possibility for a clear distinction.
Use in German
The official regulations regulate the obligatory use of the apostrophe in § 96, in § 97 the optional one as an ellipsis and (§ 97 E) to clarify the basic form of a personal name. The use of apostrophes in adjectival derivations of proper names is regulated by § 62, the effect of apostrophes at the beginning of sentences on upper and lower case is regulated by § 54 (6).
Eisenberg-Wahrig 2013 regulates the use of apostrophes in R61 and with an exception to R55. The summary at the end of the book on page 94 says:
“The apostrophe is set
- to mark the genitive of nouns that end in s, ß, z, x : Delacroix 'painting , Peter Weiss' family
- with omissions of parts of the word: just have to suffer ; that was a disaster
- for derivatives of names that are formed with -sch: Schubert songs also: Schubert songs
In principle, the apostrophe must not be used to separate the genitive s. It is only allowed to clarify proper names: Christina's flower shop "
One function of the apostrophe is to identify the letters left out ( elision ); mainly in the written form of spoken language, especially with words that would otherwise be difficult to read or misunderstand:
- It's cold today. - Today's e cold s.
- Do you still have a euro? also: do you still have another euro? - Do you still have one euro?
- That's a thing. also: That's a special thing. - This is so ei ne thing.
- What nonsense! / Come on in! - What ei n nonsense. Come S ie only beginning.
For omissions within the word:
- D'dorf for Düsseldorf
- Lu'hafen for Ludwigshafen
- M'gladbach for Mönchengladbach
- K'lautern for Kaiserslautern
- Ku'damm for Kurfürstendamm
Occasionally, the apostrophe is irregular even in the composition preposition used + certain articles, for example, in's , on's , um's , zu'r . According to the current rules, an apostrophe is only recommended if the composition would be "opaque" without an apostrophe (for example with a bicycle ). The apostrophe is also illegal when the e of the ending -en is omitted in the 1st and 3rd person plural indicative of the present active and the subjunctive I.
Clarification of the basic form of a proper name
This is the basic form apostrophe. Use here is optional.
Adjectives from proper names
The apostrophe is occasionally used in front of the adjective ending -sche (-scher, -sches, -schen) not as an ellipsis, but to clarify the basic form of a personal name:
- "The Grimm fairy tales" instead of "the Grimm fairy tales",
- "The ohmic resistance" instead of "the ohmic resistance",
- "The Strauss waltzes" instead of "the Strauss waltzes".
For proper names that end in an s-sound, the genitive form is formed by adding an apostrophe if these words do not have an article, a possessive pronoun or the like with them. This also applies if -s, -x, -z are mute in the basic form, and also for proper names from other languages: Alternatively, the outdated genitive formation with -ens can be used: "Klausen's friend Thomas". In this case, it is also possible to paraphrase "von" ( analytical form formation ):
- Felix's sand castle or Felixen's sand castle or Felix's sand castle
- Ringelnatz 'poems or Ringelnatz's poems or the poems of Ringelnatz
- Bordeaux 'port facilities or the port facilities of Bordeaux
- Joyce's Influence, or Joycen's Influence, or Joyce's Influence
In some cases (as in the first example) the description with "from" is considered colloquial.
- Petra's nail studio (wrong) - right on the other hand: Petra's nail studio
- Grandpa's leather pants (wrong) - right on the other hand: Grandpa's leather pants
According to the Reformed spelling , the apostrophe may be used in the genitive to clarify the basic form of a person's name. Normally, however, no apostrophe is used in the genitive s. Examples:
- Andrea's hairdressing salon (correct) - to distinguish it from the men's name "Andreas"
- Willi's Würstchenbude (correct) - to distinguish it from the English male name " Willis "
In contrast to proper names, other words that end in an s-sound or a silent s, x or z are generally not used alone in the genitive, but always have an article, a possessive pronoun, demonstrative pronoun or the like with them. Therefore, as in the corresponding case, no apostrophe is used for proper names, i.e.:
In such cases, it is uncommon to place the genitive attribute in front (i.e. the formation of expressions of the shape of this corpus size or the Grand Prix profit ).
Special writing of proper names
- D'horn (district of Langerwehe in North Rhine-Westphalia)
The phonemes / l̩ / and / n̩ / ( syllabic consonants ), which are common in Bavarian dialects, are usually written in dialect texts as "l" or "n" without any further identification. When adopting such words in standard German texts, in individual cases they resemble forms in which standard German colloquial language also speaks [l̥] or [n in], but in stage German pronunciation [əl] or [ən] and therefore “el” or “ en ”is written. For a writer with a standard German character it can therefore be falsely obvious that an "e" has been omitted in the spelling and that an apostrophe should therefore be used. One example is the name Wiesn in Bavarian for the Oktoberfest there . This is not an abbreviation of the standard German plural Wiesen , but the dialect form of the singular Wiese . According to the current spelling, the frequently used apostrophe Wies'n is not used.
Discussion of misuse
The use of the apostrophe in the German language has changed several times over the course of history, and a debate among the general public and specialist circles about the correct or perceived frequent incorrect use of the apostrophe is not a new phenomenon.
The evaluation between "wrong" and "right" often also depends on which rule system is used: In Andrea's Taxi , for example, according to the spelling rules before the 1996 reform, both apostrophes are considered incorrect, but according to the current rules, the first is now optionally possible. Neither of the two is necessary, however; the common form according to both sets of rules is Andreas Taxis . In the German spelling rules, an apostrophe is only set in a few cases, so that incorrect use mainly affects the incorrect use of unnecessary apostrophes, as can be seen in the following examples:
- For very common omissions with "... das" there is no apostrophe:
- wrong: on, on, in, over, under
- correct: ans, on, ins, over, under
- The joint s in compound words is separated without an apostrophe:
- wrong: Bahnhof's restaurant
- correct: station restaurant
- No apostrophes are used in the plural (including loanwords and abbreviations ):
- wrong: cars, snacks, CDs, trucks
- correct: cars, snacks, CDs, trucks / lorries (both possible)
- The apostrophe in the imperative of the second person is also illegal , since the disappearance of the imperative ending -e is accepted as legal.
- wrong: go with me!
- correct: go with me!
- Occasionally, arbitrary apostrophes appear in other cases; usually word endings are separated from consonant and s :
- wrong: no, evening, right, wednesday
- correct: nothing, in the evening, right, on Wednesdays
- Other examples are
The overly frequent use is very much questioned by some language critics and language tutors - possibly both as part of a fundamental discourse about the spelling reform and motivated by fundamental language maintenance efforts against the influence of the English language (see Anglicism ).
A section of the public and the public media complained, especially during the reform process, of polemical terms such as apostrophitis , delusional apostrophe or idiot apostrophe , perceived as rampant excessive use of the apostrophe beyond the rules of the usual German spelling . The revision of the spelling of 1996, which again allowed a more extensive use of the apostrophe as a genitive apostrophe in some cases to indicate the stem form, met with criticism in the press and sparked discussions and was criticized, for example, as "Victory of the idiot apostrophe". Sometimes wrong apostrophes are described as a spreading "virus". Some critics of the additional apostrophe are of the opinion that it slows down the reading speed and that it makes it more difficult to skim through texts, since the attention is drawn away from the meaningful words to meaningless syntax symbols. In addition, protruding from the lines of letters and the additional space between the letters lead to a more restless, torn typeface. Non-standard apostrophes were perceived and criticized negatively, especially on signs in public spaces . Many critics accused the users of overfitting .
In the discourse, linguists also expressed themselves who see a benefit in the genitive apostrophe and refer to it as a “nice apostrophe”: “The separation of the s makes it easier for the reader to understand it more quickly”. The linguist Anatol Stefanowitsch emphasizes the usefulness of a more extensive use of apostrophes to mark the word stem boundaries, "where there could otherwise be confusion about this boundary".
Use in other languages
In some languages, the apostrophe is used to avoid a hiatus (Latin vocal collision) by means of elision (Latin: ēlīdere ~ knock out, push out). While the Germans a vocal clash in word only inside, mostly with a Hiattrenner bypassed (Austria ish , but America- n - ish ), for example, in the French and Italian language also in the meeting of two vowels at the end of a word and -early that of the first word (usually an article) replaced by an apostrophe. Two examples:
- Fr .: “la apostrophe” becomes “l'apostrophe”. Note: the apostrophe is not followed by a space.
- It .: “una amica”, a friend , becomes “un'amica”. But one writes: “un amico”, because after “un” (as an apocope of “uno”, i.e. for male nouns) no apostrophe may be used.
In English, the apostrophe is used to indicate omissions (don't) , ownership (the cat's whiskers) and, in some cases, plural forms of words not established in English (P's) , (late 1950's) . The English genitive singular is formed by adding an s separated from the root by an apostrophe. An English company name occasionally consists of a mere genitive, such as McDonald’s . This is a common English ellipse , a shortening of the longer McDonald's restaurant or McDonald's corporation . So it is usually said in English: “ I am going to the butcher’s ” (literally: “I go to the butcher’s”), the actual noun, the “Laden”, is only taken into account. Failure to differentiate between the written genitive and plural forms is seen as wrong in the English-speaking world as well as in German and is sometimes referred to as “greengrocer's apostrophe” (greengrocer's apostrophe).
In English, the Irish name prefix Ó is rendered with O '(e.g. O'Hara).
Before the 19th century, it was still common in English and German to form the plural of nouns with a foreign word sound ( banana’s , pasta’s , ouzo’s ) with an apostrophe to clarify the pronunciation; today this is no longer considered correct in the English formal written language. However, the plural apostrophe exists e.g. B. still in the modern Dutch language , together with the genitive apostrophe for some vowel ends.
The frequency of apostrophes in different languages was compared on the basis of translations of extensive texts (the Gospel and the draft of the European Constitution , number of apostrophes in 9,000 sentences - i.e. related to end points ). This resulted in:
|≈ 1,100||≈ 660||≈ 55||some||some|
In Czech and Slovak , the Hatschek (ˇ) looks like a trailing apostrophe for lowercase letters with ascenders , so that the apostrophe is used as a replacement for the Hatschek if the original character is not available. Example: d 'instead of ď.
In the Latin transcription of Chinese ( Pinyin ) and Japanese, the apostrophe functions as a syllable separator ; in Somali as well as in the Latin transcription of Arabic and Hebrew as a symbol for the glottic stroke .
In Switzerland, the straight apostrophe 'is often used in spellings such as 34'034 as a thousand separator , although this spelling is classified as outdated by the Swiss Federal Chancellery. In the programming language C ++ 14 , the straight apostrophe was introduced as a character for grouping numbers .
The shape of the apostrophe comes from its use in manuscripts , where it was drawn by a dot with a downward smear that is curved clockwise, similar to a superscript comma. The apostrophe used in typography reflects this form. In later sans serif fonts , the shape of the apostrophe, analogous to the shape of the comma, is more geometric or stylized.
- The typographically correct apostrophe '( Unicode :
RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK) is a small, slightly inclined from top right to bottom left arc of a superscript point is similar or a digit 9 and is at the height of the lengths of the writing. The exact appearance depends on the font style used. The typographically correct apostrophe can be entered using the keyboard as follows:
- when using the keyboard layout E1 according to the German standard DIN 2137 : 2018-12 (as already with the keyboard layout T2 according to the previous standard DIN 2137: 2012-06) with Alt Gr+1
- under Windows with Alt+ 0146on the numeric keypad
- under Mac OS X with a German keyboard layout with ⌥+ ⇧+ #, with a German-Swiss keyboard layout with ⌥+ ⇧+!
- under Linux / X using Alt Gr+ ⇧+ B(or Alt Gr+ ⇧+ Nor Alt Gr+ #for newer German layouts)
- with the Neo keyboard layout via Mod3+0
- with the EurKEY layout using AltGr+ Shift+0
- can also be generated by pressing + + if the keyboard is assigned with the Compose key activated .Compose>'
- The replacement character 'is a straight, vertical line (Unicode
APOSTROPHE), which is only used in place of the correct apostrophe if there are technical restrictions. It is created
The surrogate character '(U + 0027) is also used on other occasions:
- In programming languages it is used as a symbol with different meanings, for example in certain BASIC dialects as a comment character or in programming languages based on C to identify a literal of the data type char (example:)
- Furthermore, (U + 0027) serves as a replacement character for similar characters that cannot be entered , in particular as a substitute for the prime as a unit character for feet (unit) and angular minute (example: 60 'instead of 60'). (The Prime can now be entered on the E1 keyboard layout in accordance with DIN 2137: 2018-12.)
In early computer fonts such as 7-bit ASCII was just like on many typewriters provided no typographically correct apostrophe, the straight apostrophe instead '( English typewriter apostrophe offered) as a surrogate. The Latin-9 / ISO 8859-15 character set, which is mostly used for Western European languages, also dispenses with a corresponding character. Furthermore, the character is not taken into account in most modern keyboard layouts and must be generated using key combinations if necessary. Many computer programs (e.g. for word processing) can also automatically recognize the desired punctuation and convert typographically incorrect apostrophes into correct ones.
A secondary development of apostrophe setting is that nowadays one of the diacritical characters acute ( ´ ) and grave accent ( ` ) - both can be entered using the key ´- or the simple typographical quotation mark ( ' ) on the right is used instead of the actual apostrophe ( ' ), since the automatic correction is generated 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.
Placement of similar signs
To make it easier to differentiate between them, the characters are shown enlarged. The typographically correct character has a green background, the substitute character accepted in Switzerland is yellow, and incorrect characters with a semantically different meaning are red.
|character||Surname||Unicode character value|
|'||Apostrophe (typographically correct)||U + 2019|
|'||Replacement character for the apostrophe||U + 0027|
|ʼ||Ejective mark ( IPA )||U + 02BC|
|ˈ||Stress Mark ( IPA )||U + 02C8|
|´||Acute||U + 00B4|
|`||Grave accent||U + 0060|
|'||Single closing quote||U + 2018|
|′||Prime , foot , minute of arc||U + 2032|
|'||rotated apostrophe (e.g. for ʻOkina )||U + 02BB|
Representation in HTML / XML
|'||Apostrophe (typographically correct)||'||
|'||Replacement character for the apostrophe||'||
The shape gave its name to the Antarctic apostrophe Iceland .
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