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Apostrophe

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Apostrophe

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Apostrophe is breaking off from normal speech and speaking to an imaginary person or even to an abstract quality or idea.

Example

(to camera) He's getting angry. Now we'll have some fun!

Heaven tell me, why does he speak thus?

O, I do not know what to do? What should this be, do you think?

Discussion

An apostrophe steps out of normal speech, allowing the speaker to express a thought or feeling that does not fit into the normal speaking context. The apostrophe is typically a question, an explanation or an expression of frustration.

In speech, apostrophe may well include a physical turning away from others in a symbolic show of speaking to another imaginary person or concept. This allows the speaker to say things that they may well not feel able to say to the person or persons present.

In drama, the 'aside' is a common device where the actor speaks directly to the audience, perhaps to tell them his or her thoughts or act as a narrator in some way. In movies, the actor will look directly into the camera.

In classic drama or poetry, an apostrophe may be signalled by prefixing it with the word 'O'.

'Apostrophe' is Greek for 'turning away'. It is also known as apostrophatio or exclamatio.

Of course an apostrophe is also a word for a a grammatical symbol.

Classification: Emotion, Reference, Questioning

See also

Aside

 

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