The apostrophe has a lot of jobs.
- It makes things possessive,
- it indicates the omissions of letters in contractions and numbers in dates,
- it is used to indicate strange accents in dialog, and
- it indicates plurals of words and letters.
To complicate matters, it looks almost or exactly the same as the single-quote in many fonts and in handwriting.
I have read of proposals to use a distinct mark of punctuation for each task. What are some of these proposals?