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I can’t figure out why the writer didn’t write just turn around when it is not in a conversational part. I’ve met a lot of apostrophes in conversations in Harry Potter books, like ’Bye and C’mon, which are used to omit some letters, which, I think, sometimes contain the speakers’ subtle emotions in it. But this is my first time to find it in a narrative part. I’d like to know if the writer is trying to achieve some effect or something.

“Look!” said Ron suddenly, pointing out of the window.

Hagrid had just straightened up and turned ’round. (Harry Potter 4 [US Version]: p.266)

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Did you mean to say "some spells" (as in "the wizard cast a spell") or "some spellings"? – hippietrail Oct 18 '11 at 9:13
For some reason, I intensely dislike it when authors improvise with contractions like this. It seems like a cheap way to seem original. Common usage (e.g. C'mon) and dialogue excepted, of course. – TLP Oct 18 '11 at 10:09
I haven't been to check the text, but if I encountered this particular example, I would assume it was a typographical error. In British usage, "turn round" is not a contraction, it is an ordinary phrase, of which "turn around" is a variant, and a rather less common one in my estimation. I wonder if the apostrophe could have been inserted by a US editor who didn't realise this? – Colin Fine Oct 18 '11 at 13:29
@hippietrail Thanks for pointing that out. – user7493 Oct 19 '11 at 8:07
up vote 6 down vote accepted

It looks to me as if the US editor saw the phrase "turned round" (which is normal British English, and what Rowling actually wrote), failed to recognize it, and inserted an apostrophe as a 'correction'.

(Colin Fine saw this first: but if he doesn't think it certain enough for an answer, I do.)

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Yes, I've come back to insert it as an answer, and saw you got there first. – Colin Fine Oct 18 '11 at 14:09
I think this is most likely correct. It doesn't make sense to have a contraction that doesn't contract (outside of dialog.) – Fraser Orr Oct 18 '11 at 17:39
Perhaps someone with a British edition can confirm? – Fraser Orr Oct 18 '11 at 17:40
I happened to find that part of British edition (pdf) on the Net and it has no apostrophe. Thank you, Colin Fine, TimLymington, Fraser Orr. – user7493 Oct 19 '11 at 8:11

As stated by Andreea Mladin, it's a Contraction. Same as "it's" and "haven't" - you are ommitting a specific letter/part of word and substituting with an apostrophe.

In normal forms, it usually appears at the end (you have the full word, then the contracted word ... have-n't = have-not). When it comes down to things like "speech" though, things like accents and dialects can be presented with all sorts of fun things, and contractions is one of them.

'twas a moonlit night. 'tis not a problem squire. etc. (through in intentional mispelling of words, and you can built quite a presentation of language)

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OK, you got me. I started correcting your misspellings before I realised. But what do you mean by 'presentation'? – TimLymington Oct 18 '11 at 14:22

It's a contraction (of sorts) of 'turning around'.

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'Round is a contraction of a around, used in UK English, although it's reasonably old-fashioned. Mind that you use a close quote as your apostrophe, though — your example (at the top) uses an open quote!

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Fixed the apostrophes. – Andrew Leach Aug 7 '13 at 11:47
'Round is not a word used by me or anyone I know, and if I saw it I would assume an American origin. Round, on the other hand, is normal. – TimLymington Aug 7 '13 at 15:06

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