I am reading The Rifters Trilogy by Peter Watts and wonder, what does it mean, when the author sometimes uses words with an apostrophe before them? As I have figured, that is some sort of way of making the word special, but what way exactly?
For reference: the text is available online for free, I am talking about the third book in the trilogy, the "Behemoth". If you search the page, you can easily find occurences of
'scaphe and maybe several others.
As per the request, here are three use cases:
Clarke turns her head sideways for a better view; the muscles in her neck tighten against the added drag. Erickson's flesh, exposed through the tear in his diveskin, is fish-belly white. It looks like gashed, bleeding plastic. His capped eyes look even deader than the flesh beneath his 'skin. He gibbers. His vocoder cobbles nonsense syllables together as best it can. ...
A comm panel decorates the bulkhead within easy reach. He taps it. "Ambient channel. Grace. How are you coming with those 'skins?"
He dragged her to safety, to an evacuation 'scaphe hovering uncertainly over a station already emptied of personnel.
But her friends had set their sights a lot higher than Achilles Desjardins; they were out to liberate every 'lawbreaker on the planet. ...
Sudbury's senior 'lawbreakers had worked between floors twenty and twenty-four. It had been lucky that Desjardins had managed to raise the alarm before they'd been hit.