Sign up ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a term that covers grave and acute accents, umlauts, cedillas, tildes and all other characters that can be added to normal letters.

I have come across the word diacritics. But this seems to include things like commas and apostrophes.

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by z7sg Ѫ, Jasper Loy, Hugo, Mitch, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Nov 16 '11 at 14:55

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

It's the first link on 3 of those wiki pages. – z7sg Ѫ Nov 16 '11 at 12:31
@z7sgѪ Heh, I didn't look at the links. In that case, it probably is general reference, you're right. – onomatomaniak Nov 16 '11 at 12:34
Four of those five Wikipedia pages are in the category Alphabetic diacritics (see bottom of the page). The fifth is a disambiguation page, but the intended page is also in Alphabetic diacritics. – Hugo Nov 16 '11 at 12:43
I did see the word "diacritic", but I had understood it to include commas, etc. So I thought it was not the correct level of abstraction. Thanks to onomatomaniak for explaining. – Urbycoz Nov 16 '11 at 12:47

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I believe the term you're looking for is diacritic.

share|improve this answer
It seems that a diacritic also includes "apostrophes", "commas", etc. I'm only interested in characters that can be added to normal letters. – Urbycoz Nov 16 '11 at 12:38
Commas are not diacritical in English. See: (Apostrophes aren't either; they're diacritical in languages whose scripts use them in the form of an "accent", not a punctuation mark.) – onomatomaniak Nov 16 '11 at 12:41
Adding a comma to individual letters- how weird! Oh ok, well I guess it works then. Thanks! – Urbycoz Nov 16 '11 at 12:44
No problem. (Though I imagine this question will be closed in any case as general reference.) – onomatomaniak Nov 16 '11 at 12:46
It's looking that way. Unfairly in my opinion. You have to know the word already to know what to look for. Ho hum! – Urbycoz Nov 16 '11 at 13:43

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.