Superscript and Subscript Characters in General Use
John W Kennedy
john.w.kennedy at gmail.com
Wed Jan 4 05:44:14 CST 2017
No it isn’t. It isn’t an apostrophe; it’s a left single quote, although some modern printers mistakenly suppose it to be an apostrophe, and substitute one. And it isn’t an elision; it’s meant as a substitute glyph for a superscript c. (I confess that, not being from Scotland, I thought it to be an elision for over fifty years, but when I was preparing a transcription of William Dunlap’s “André: a Tragedy in Five Acts” [New York, 1798], in which a character named “M‘Donald” plays a major role, I looked into the matter, and was surprised to learn the truth.)
> On Jan 4, 2017, at 3:12 AM, Philippe Verdy <verdy_p at wanadoo.fr> wrote:
> This is the traditional use of the apostrophe to be used to marc an elision at end of words. Nothing new.
> 2017-01-04 6:36 GMT+01:00 John W Kennedy <john.w.kennedy at gmail.com>:
>> > On Jan 3, 2017, at 10:20 PM, Asmus Freytag <asmusf at ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>> > On 1/3/2017 4:24 PM, Marcel Schneider wrote:
>> >> On Tue, 3 Jan 2017 09:31:42 +0100, Christoph Päper wrote:
>> >>>> Among the possibilities, you include Unicode subscripts.
>> >>> Just for the sake of completeness.
>> >> This tends to conclude that preformatted subscripts are really an option here.
>> > Not so. You yourself quote this statement:
>> > | Superscript modifier letters are intended for cases where the letters carry
>> > | a specific meaning, as in phonetic transcription systems, and are not
>> > | a substitute for generic styling mechanisms for superscripting of text,
>> > | as for footnotes, mathematical and chemical expressions, and the like.
>> > It is clear that the uses that you advocate go against this intent.
>> > Therefore, your conclusion that this is "an option" is nothing more than a very personal
>> > opinion on your part (and one that many people here would consider misguided if
>> > presented as general recommendation).
>> > A./
>> As long as this is being discussed, what about the historic practice of using M‘ (nowadays often seen as M’ instead) in Scottish names—e.g., M‘Donald—as a typographic substitute for M(superscript c)?
>> John W Kennedy
>> Having switched to a Mac in disgust at Microsoft's combination of incompetence and criminality.
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