Watch out: Apostrophes get their revenge for this mistreatment with an act of subversion I’ll call the smart quote flip.
Let me explain.
Let’s say you want to tell someone you earned your PhD in taxidermy in 2008. And let’s say you want to remove the initial 2 and 0 from that year and replace them with an apostrophe. Here’s how:
Step 1: As you type your text, leave out the space that precedes your apostrophe. This will trick that rambunctious little mark into wrapping around the word that precedes it.
But wait! What if you don’t have a preceding word to wrap your apostrophe around? Just make a temporary one.