'Bye -- to mark a pause on b?

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Senior Member
Hi there,

I'm reading Lauren Weisberger's novel The Devil Wears Prada. She uses 'Bye instead of Bye several times. Do you think she uses the apostrophe to mark a pause on b? I mean, I know Bye is short for Goodbye, but that doesn't explain the apostrophe, since Bye is now a word on its own.

Here's a short passsage:
"Hi Andrea, it's Cara. [...] Just wanted to let you know. Anyway, have a good weekend. I'll talk to you later. 'Bye."
(Don't know if it helped any:))

  • prawer

    English - US
    Hi Susanna,

    I actually do think it's meant to indicate the contraction of "goodbye," rather than to suggest a pause. I'd imagine that an author would be likely to use an ellipsis "..." to signal this pause in dialogue. You're right that many readers would recognize 'bye' as a word on its own, but it's also true (I think) that readers would see "'Bye" and not interpret it as requiring a pause.


    Senior Member
    American English
    A lot of us still think of 'bye as a contraction for "goodbye." I hadn't thought about it until now, but I guess you do see it without the apostrophe these days. I don't think apostrophes get the love they deserve.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    An apostrophe does not indicate a pause in English. I don't think any author would use it that way. It's used for contractions, for possessives (before or after the letter "s"), and sometimes as a pronunciation guide (as in "Hawai'i," which in the Hawai'ian language is pronounced with two distinct "i" sounds).

    I agree with prawer: here, it indicates contraction. (It's not hard to eliminate the other two possibilities.)

    Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    An apostrophe is not used to mark a pause. It is used for possessives or, like in this case, to denote contractions...letters that normally would be there but aren't.

    'Bye = goodbye
    Can't = cannot
    Isn't = is not


    Senior Member
    OK, so it's definitely not used to emphasize the b. I was thinking of people who say it like this: [Mmbbye!]. So it's not that. OK. Thanks!


    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Personally I wouldn't write Bye with an apostrophe, but I don't think it looks strange either and it shouldn't look strange to anyone who knows that Bye is short for Goodbye.
    It's a question of evolution: as Bye becomes established as a word in its own right, the apostrophe disappears, but not everyone changes at the same time.


    Senior Member
    English English
    the apostrophe disappears, but not everyone changes at the same time.
    :thumbsup: Until relatively recently I always wrote 'phone, for example. (I've no idea why ~ I've never written tele' for television.) I rarely write Bye but when I do, it has no apostrophe. I can't imagine (anyone) writing 'Bye'Bye:eek:
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