Simon Harriyott

Possessive apostrophes in C# identifiers

Having a strong inclination towards grammar pedantry precision is both a blessing and a curse. Just now I was irritated with an ambiguous variable name, playersTeams. Is it one playerʼs teams, or many playersʼ teams? The apostrophe placement is important in written English to distinguish (ooh, accidental rhyme!) the number of players referred to.

Pressing the ' key to create an apostrophe in the variable name is obviously disallowed, as it is used in C# to delimit character values:

Single quote

However, that key isnʼt actually an apostrophe - itʼs just used as one for convenience. There is an actual proper Unicode apostrophe character though:


This can be used in identifiers, thus:

Apostrophe in identifier

Now Iʼm pretty sure what will happen when this code is reviewed. It does look wrong, and Iʼm not sure if I will actually use it. It does, however, help with one of the hard problems in computer science.

n.b. You can select and copy the big apostrophe above, and paste it into your code editor.




27 September 2017