Sometimes the word around turns into round, e.g., in the following sentence:

They were going round and round in a circle.

Shouldn’t you put an apostrophe before round in such cases, from the standpoint of English orthography (i.e. the rule that when you omit some part of the original word, you put an apostrophe there)?

For example, it seems to me more natural to put an apostrophe before cause if the word is really because, e.g.:

I like coffee ’cause it makes me feel great.

  • "round" isn't a contracted version of "around". Your assumption that "around" turned into "round" in this phrase may be correct, but they're two distinct words. – Max Williams Jul 27 '16 at 13:08
  • @MaxWilliams am I correct that cause is a contracted version of because, though? – Michael Smith Jul 27 '16 at 13:09
  • 1
    It can be viewed as a transatlantic variation: oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/… – Færd Jul 27 '16 at 13:10
  • You may use the apostrophe with round if you wish. Most writers wouldn't. – Hot Licks Jul 27 '16 at 13:12
  • "cause" is a word of it's own, as in "cause and effect", but "because" can be contracted to 'cause, yes. – Max Williams Jul 27 '16 at 13:12

Round in an old term and it is not generally written as 'round

Round vs around:

  • Round works virtually anywhere around would work. The reverse is not true, as round has a number of definitions it doesn’t share with around. For example, it wouldn’t work to say that the edge of a circle is around, and I wouldn’t invite you to play an around of golf.

  • But even though round works as a breezier alternative to around, round tends to create a casual tone, so around is usually safer in serious or formal writing.

  • British writers in particular are wont to use round in place of around. This substitution does occur in American English, but much less often.

Round etymology:

  • late 13c., from Anglo-French rounde, Old French roont (12c., Modern French rond), probably originally *redond, from Vulgar Latin *retundus (source also of Provençal redon, Spanish redondo, Old Italian ritondo), from Latin rotundus "like a wheel, circular, round," related to rota "wheel" (see rotary).

  • As an adverb from c. 1300; as a preposition from c. 1600. In many uses it is a shortened form of around. The French word is the source of Middle Dutch ront (Dutch rond), Middle High German runt (German rund) and similar Germanic words.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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