Apostrophize

Apostrophize

əˈpästrəˌfīz

Verb

  • Address an exclamatory passage in a speech or poem to (someone or something).
  • Punctuate (a word) with an apostrophe.

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Example Sentences

“You’ll want to apostrophize carefully when you write your final papers, because I will deduct for punctuation errors.” 

“When Sandra apostrophizes in the empty room in the third act, I always cry.” 

“A skilled actor can apostrophize about anything, but it takes practice.”

Word Origin

Latin, early 17th century

Why this word?

“Apostrophize” came into the English language in the early 1600s at the same time as “apostrophe.” It can either refer to the act of punctuating a word with an apostrophe mark, or it can describe a rhetorical (speaking) tactic. For example, in “Romeo and Juliet,” Juliet is apostrophizing when she cries out “O, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” She’s addressing Romeo, but she thinks he’s not there, so it’s an apostrophe.

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