Which is the correct single quote to use to show a truncated year number? In the example below is it (first), (second) or (third)?


First: from '98 to '07 

Second: from `98 to `07 

Third: from \textquotesingle 98 to \textquotesingle 07


In the typographic rules, at least for Italian, it is not clear. I prefer (third) but it is not very "typographic", someone said.

  • What's the name of the effect or font of numbers that go outside, underneath, the text-line?
    – nilon
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 3:01
  • Subscript? BTW, which is the relationship with the question? Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 3:39
  • I actually looked up truncated numbers that go below the line. The answer? In Graphic Design SE: georgia. The word "truncated" awakened this interest of mine. That's all. People writing numbers might find (it's just my hunch) this typography interesting.
    – nilon
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 4:15
  • 1
    Ah! Now understand. They are called old style figures. Check: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/41095/… Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 7:28

2 Answers 2


Since it's an omission, the normal apostrophe ' should be used.

First: from '98 to '07 

However, some style manuals (such as the Oxford Style Manual) advocates not truncating a year in numerical form.


As per Butterick's Practical Typography, it is called apostrophe and it should be curly, like a single closing quote.

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