Abbreviate a year: Help please!

Chad Kent's picture

Does anyone know the proper form of the "apostrophe" in an abbreviation of a year?

…as in '09.

I'm getting mixed feedback on this from various applications; InDesign, Word, Text Edit, etc.

I'm assuming this version is correct:

But, when listed in sequence Word automatically switches it around to an apostrophe, prompting a client to bring this up:

I've looked all over and can't seem to find anyone who addresses this in a typographical way. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

blank's picture

’09 with an apostrophe is correct. ’09 – ’10 just looks like crap and should be 2009 – 2010 if at all possible.

jupiterboy's picture

The pointy bit always points at what is missing.

Chad Kent's picture

Thanks for the quick feedback James and jupiterboy…both very helpful!

After further experimentation in Indesign, if I type '09 it actually renders a single quote mark instead of the correct apostrophe…not good! I'll use the correct version from now on.

Thanks again!

Stephen Coles's picture

> can’t seem to find anyone who addresses this in a typographical way

http://fontfeed.com/archives/erik-spiekermanns-typo-tips/

dtw's picture

Word just doesn't have the smarts to tell when you want an apostrophe. All it does is look at what you type immediately before and after the straight-apostrophe key, and if you have white space or nothing-at-all before, it assumes you're starting a quote and turns it into an ‘. If there's text before, it assumes you're either ending a quote or putting an apostrophe in the middle of a word, and turns it into a ’. It just can't cope with the concept of an apostrophe at the start of something, which is why it can't cope with fish ’n' chips either. But ’09 is what you want, not ‘09.
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Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

brianlawler's picture

Brian P. Lawler
Typographic Insomniac

My favorite graphic designer suggests the following:

To get the correct apostrophe, type PERIOD-APOSTROPHE-NUMBER, then delete the period.

NEVER assume that Microsoft Word does anything correctly. It is typographically brain-dead.

dtw's picture

Well, quite. Personally, I've trained myself to type ALT+0146 as fast as any other typing, and to pre-empt when I'm going to need to. :-D

I'm looking at Word's built-in keyboard shortcuts: see what you get if you type CTRL+apostrophe, then release the CTRL and press apostrophe again. According to what I can see, that should also give you a hard ’ without invoking Word's "is-this-really-a-quote?" routine.
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Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

Chad Kent's picture

Thanks for the tips everyone!

I also found that OPTION+SHIFT+] makes an apostrophe as well.

NEVER assume that Microsoft Word does anything correctly. It is typographically brain-dead.

Word is definitely brain-dead, especially typographically…of course, InDesign doesn't recognize it in this instance either…so sad.

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