Here's one question that caused controversy in comments:
What Unicode symbol should be used for Apostrophe?

Should questions about software support of Ukrainian Cyrillic script be on-topic?


  1. Many of our users are I.T. professionals so they can answer;
  2. We need a quality traffic on this site. If there's a good set of questions on similar topics, this may be fine;
  3. One of the top sample questions at Area51 is: How to use em dash and en dash in Ukrainian?, so there may a popular demand on the topic;


  1. This kind of questions can be only marginally called "Language and Usage";
  2. StackOverflow may be a better place; I myself have answered a couple of questions on Thai script (one, two).
    On the other hand, there is no Thai Language site in StackExchange network.

3 Answers 3


While the specific question about the apostrophe is universal to a lot of languages, some punctuation rules can be extremely language-specific.

For example, French language uses guillemets « » for quotation marks, separating them with a thin space. German language uses reverse guillemets » «. Both questions are valid for their respective stacks:

English and Portuguese make a distinction between use cases of em-dash and en-dash:

For this reason, I believe questions about punctuation and typography of Ukrainian language, including the Unicode implementation, should be part of this stack.

  • I've been thinking long about that, still I cannot understand how on earth the length of a dash is connected with software support of Cyrillic script. Can you explain that to me? How does typograpy connect with I.T.? I mean, I kindly ask you as an expert to explain that to me, a layman, that's a sencere call for help to understand it.
    – Yellow Sky
    Feb 8, 2017 at 10:22
  • @YellowSky I'd say, it's about knowing which punctuation marks to employ in which language, and it just so happens that Unicode is a convenient way to enumerate and employ punctuation marks. Does it make sense?
    – svavil
    Feb 8, 2017 at 11:43
  • So you mean, saying "M-dash" or "N-dash" is not enough now-a-days, without the hexadecimal code of the Unicode symbols they won't understand what you mean? Ploxo rabotayete, tavarishi. Puff, puff.
    – Yellow Sky
    Feb 8, 2017 at 12:24

My opinion: some of them are on topic, others are not.

Not on topic: those questions that really have no Ukrainian language specifics. For example, those two questions on StackOverflow that you provided would have totally same answer for Japanese (except for encoding). And I believe that one who posted question knew it, so he/she posted it on StackOverflow.

On topic: questions with ANY Ukrainian-specific information. The question about apostrophe is one of them: there can be traditions (and there are) about using specific code symbols that no non-Ukrainian person on StackOverflow can know, but most of people on this ukrainian.stackexchange.com know. This question is really language-specific: you wouldn't know the answer to question "Which Unicode should I use for Japanese full stop "。")


It was I who objected in that question about the apostrophe, and the reason was I don't consider that question to be "about software support of Ukrainian Cyrillic script". There's no such a thing as "Ukrainian apostrophe", there's no even such a thing as "Cyrillic apostrophe" in Unicode (correct me, if I'm wrong). The problems of "escape characters" and differentiating between apostrophes and closing quotation marks are universal and are not specific of the Ukrainian language alone, software developers working with different languages face them, first of all those who work with English and French which also use apostrophes, I'm sure they've got the solutions to the problem.

That question is about strings of characters containing [Ukrainian] words with apostrophes, there's absolutely nothing of language in it and the component "Ukrainian" is disappearing vague, it could also be English or whatever. If we're Ukrainian Language SE, both "Ukrainian" and "language" should be in a question, that's my point of view. If I ask a question about what a phoneme is and ask to show it to me using Ukrainian words as examples, that will be "language" and absolutely nothing of "Ukrainian". Will you consider such a question belonging here, too?

There're 10 apostrophes in this answer.

  • 1
    I don\'t have my own opinion yet, so I\'ve asked this question to see what\'s the community opinion on this matter. (this comment needs no additional escaping) Feb 8, 2017 at 3:52
  • 1
    “it could also be English or whatever” — I disagree. Apostrophes of different languages can potentially have different coding in the Unicode (and sometimes have). Specifically, English apostrophe is standardized as U+2019, while Ukrainian apostrophe haven't stabilized yet, but tends to be U+02BC. I don't even talk about Armenian apostrophe and so on.
    – Sasha Mod
    Feb 8, 2017 at 7:42
  • 1
    “there's no even such a thing as ‘Cyrillic apostrophe’ in Unicode”. Yes, there's not such a thing as ‘Cyrillic apostrophe’ in Unicode. Still, a character chosen for Cyrillic apostrophe by ICANN differs from a character chosen for English apostrophe by Unicode consortium. (And character within Latin script that specifies the result of transliteration of Cyrillic soft sign (e.g. “dyvytʼsya” ← «дивиться») may differ from classic Latin apostrophe too.)
    – Sasha Mod
    Feb 8, 2017 at 7:54
  • @Sasha - Do you mean, if we agree here on a particular kind of apostrophe for Ukrainian, it will be accepted globally? )) As for Armenian, they have a very different alphabet which is half a millenium older than Cyrillic, they have all the punctuation different, the Armenian full stop at the end of a sentence is ":", a colon, their question mark is not a symbol at the end of the sentence, but a special curl above the last vowel of the word in question, etc., they do need a special symbol for their apostrope, we don't. Enjoy: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_alphabet#Punctuation
    – Yellow Sky
    Feb 8, 2017 at 7:55
  • @YellowSky, I never said that agreeing here on something influences the global world. But I abstain from deciding whether a user is allowed to ask here about things that are (or are not yet) accepted globally.
    – Sasha Mod
    Feb 8, 2017 at 8:01
  • @YellowSky, and I just said that your point "Cyrillic apostrophe character = English apostrophe character" is simply wrong.
    – Sasha Mod
    Feb 8, 2017 at 8:02
  • @Sasha - Where's Language in all these different encodings for an apostrophe? Why not start a separate Software Support of Ukrainian Cyrillic Script SE and discuss such problems on it?
    – Yellow Sky
    Feb 8, 2017 at 8:04
  • @YellowSky, such technical questions are indirectly related to using Ukrainian. I do not say that we should necessarily accept such technical questions — as I've said I abstain from making such decisions. But surely Ukrainian SE is not only for purely-linguistic questions (just because some of not-purely-linguistic questions have passed definition (which BTW wasn't my original intent)).
    – Sasha Mod
    Feb 8, 2017 at 8:16
  • @Sasha - It's OK, no problem, I just expressed my point of view and tried to prove its consistency. This site is a communal thing, audiatur et altera pars, as they say.))
    – Yellow Sky
    Feb 8, 2017 at 8:34

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