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Friday, May 15, 2009

Criminal Sentence 216: Odd Apostrophe

I was reading a book and came across this odd apostrophe:

"$250,000’ worth of poker chips"

Now if we wanted to spell this out (with a smaller dollar number for simplicity's sake), an apostrophe is warranted:

"ten dollars' worth of poker chips"

Just as you would do here:

"one dollar's worth of poker chips"

I've never seen an apostrophe used this way and I don't think it's allowed, though my style guides are silent on the matter.

If you come across such a situation, I would suggest not using an apostrophe after a dollar sign. In the $250K example, it would be awkward to spell out the number and then use an apostrophe, so you would have to reword the sentence somehow.

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