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An apostrophe, marked thus ', is used to abbreviate or shorten a word : as, 'tis for it is; tho' for though; e'en for even; judg'd for judged. Its chief use is to show the genitive case of nouns: as, “A man's property; a woman's ornament.” — Murray.

Authors frequently, in the hurry of writing, abbreviate their words and use the apostrophe; but a compositor, however his copy may be written, should never abbreviate any word in prose works, except he be particularly ordered so to do.

The apostrophe is also used in printing to close an extract, or to show where it finishes; and in dialogues, frequently, to close each person's speech; in both cases it is usually put close to the end of the word, without any space before it, except where the word finishes with a kerned letter, and then a hair space, or one just sufficient for their preservation is used; when it comes after an ascending letter, a hair space should also be put between them. See Quotation.

The apostrophe is not used for abbreviation in the Holy Scriptures, nor in Forms of Prayers; but every thing there is set full and at length. To this even the Latin law language had regard, and did not shorten the word Dominus, when it had reference to God; whereas Dom. Reg. is put where our Lord the King is understood.

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