Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

Pain in the English offers proofreading services for short-form writing such as press releases, job applications, or marketing copy. 24 hour turnaround. Learn More

rock ‘n’ roll

What kind of an inverted apostrophe should be used before n? Strictly speaking, I think it should be tail pointing downwards. But for reasons of aesthetics is it okay to use the one with the tail upwards?

Submit Your Comment



Sort by  OldestLatestRating

*Any* apostrophe should always have the tail downwards. As T. Carer said, the tail-upwards symbol is an opening quotation mark -- it isn't an apostrophe at all.

Writing " 'n' " (e.g. "rock 'n' roll" or "fish 'n' chips") with quotes instead of apostrophes is a fairly common mistake, even for people with English as their first language. Usually this is the result of word processors turning ' characters into curly quotes automatically. (They make the same mistake, for example, with " 'twas ", which is short for "it was".)

mpt December 13, 2003, 5:52am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

An apostrophe that notes ommission should always curl toward the left (tail downwards).

The similar-looking punctuation mark (curling to the right or tail upwards) would be an opening single quotation mark, which serves a different purpose.

T. Carer December 10, 2003, 4:08pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Yes     No