English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Suppose you have a sentence which concludes with the eye dialect somethin' for the word something. Where does the period go? Which is correct?

This is really somethin'.

This is really somethin.'

It seems to me that the apostrophe is part of the word, and hence attaches to it as opposed to the sentence. Thus, I'd put the period after the apostrophe. The second construction looks like an error, with mismatched quotes.

share|improve this question

You're correct—the apostrophe is there to signify that a letter (or letters) were omitted from the word, and so, the apostrophe goes with the word and before the period.

While periods go inside quotes in American English, this isn't a quote.

share|improve this answer
I think that the period goes inside whenever, isn't that true? Not just quotes; it has/had something to do with printing press technology... typography, see below. I don't think it has anything to do with just quotes. I think. :) – kalaracey Dec 30 '10 at 19:45
@kalaracey - no, that would not be correct. Some useful references: [1], [2], [3] (yes, those are from Wikipedia, but they appear to be solid on this topic). – Dori Dec 30 '10 at 23:26

Place the apostrophe before the period in this case.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.