Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Straight Versus Curly Apostrophe

What I'm not talking about is apostrophe usage, because that's a bigger matter handled well by the Purdue Owl. What I am talking about is a smaller, more trifling matter, one I'd stumbled across while formatting my manuscript in preparation for independent publishing.

It all started when I met a lovely woman named Kate Harold at the PNWA conference last year who was a fellow finalist in the childrens book genre. We became fast friends and soon began swapping online critiques. Turns out, she is not only a writer, but an editor for a family and patient hospital blog, and with her background, she helpfully pointed out the inconsistent style of apostrophe in my work. Here's the gem she sent me:

KATE: "The straight apostrophe is used online in web content; the curly one is for printed pieces. This is totally minor, but it’s something I always have to proof for with anything that goes to print, so it always stands out to me."
ME: "Thank you for the detailed feedback. I just type along, so I'm not sure how it changes, but something to be aware of since I’ve never seen (noticed) this before."
KATE: "[It] drives graphic designers nuts!" 

It's minor, but now I seem to be hyper-aware of this little bit of punctuation; I've spotted it in a pretty popular indie book I'm reading, and I can't get it out of my mind! Here's a snapshot of the straight and curly in the same paragraph:

Straight and Curly Apostrophes

So, if you're indie publishing, you have one more teeny-tiny thing to worry about. Curse me for sharing or thank me, your choice. But it is what it is!


"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance my deride it, but in the end, there it is." ~ Winston Churchill

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