Real Apostrophes in Titles

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
Ortographically correct and typographically aesthetic is the use of the real apostrophe in texts. Many people don’t have it on their keyboard and so they use all sorts of false apostrophes, for example:

  • Not apostrophes: ' ́ ` ′ ‘
  • Correct apostrophe: (Unicode: U+2019, RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK)
  • Most popular on the Internet but despite the name still not correct is: ' (Unicode U+0027, APOSTROPHE) 
I would like to have a standard how this character is handled. Either use the correct apostrophe  or the keyboard version ' only. It should be rather easy to add this to autocorrection and merge these songs. Because “Let's Go” and “Lets Go” are hardly different songs and keeping them apart is bad for the stats.
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G.G.B.

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Posted 3 years ago

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Elliot Robinson

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I think to say ' is not correct is being rather pedantic as everyone would understand and read it as an apostrophe. If you're handwriting an apostrophe, do you always make sure it looks like the "correct" apostrophe? As you say, the most popular apostrophe symbol is ' because that's what we have easy access to on our keyboards.

I think the best thing to do is for Last FM to read every variant as the same and, as you say, merge all variations. Hopefully this will be fixed by the database and new autocorrect - it certainly doesn't make sense for them to be distinct entries on the site. I +1 your suggestion.
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G.G.B.

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Let's say it is not typographically correct, because the apostrophe has a defined form, angle and proportions in this context (it's curved and tilted, not a vertical line, which is definitely a big difference), as far as I know. Handwriting would be a different topic, because everybody develops his own way to write, even if there are predefined handwriting systems as well. In everyday life I don't use the correct apostrophe either, simply because it's missing on most keyboards. I have tried to use it in my ID3 tags, but the problem was Last.fm, where all the songs had the typographically false apostrophe. Using the correct apostrophe I would have created duplicates and I wouldn't get good recommendations anymore because the system doesn't get the connection. So I turned back to the false apostrophe in tagging.
I also hope that one day they will all merge into one system and maybe we can even get the option to chose our preferred apostrophe in the settings. Could take a while, because I reckon this is a bigger task than it looks like.
(Edited)
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Adylise Skylar Larkyn

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I've definitely scrobbled things "wrong" because the apostrophe used on the site for the song is different than the one I have in my metadata. It usually happens because I copy the song title from wikipedia or something. I think it'd be nice if the site read all apostrophes as the same so we can avoid some of the wrong titles.
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Iezuz

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Not every quotation character should be redirected to either of those two though (e.g. «ʺ“‟„′′′′′‹)
Any thoughts on hyphens, dashes and minus signs?
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G.G.B.

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I think the rules on how to use these characters are mostly standardised and depend on the language and alphabet you are using. Last.fm's job would be to merge all versions in stats and split them in localisation for the users.
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Elliot Robinson

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A localised variation of alphabet would be great for me as I love k-pop but there is this weird obsession amongst the fans that the song and album titles have to be EXACTLY as they appear on the artwork, even if it's clearly just a stylisation for the artistic design of said artwork. This ends up with a lot of songs in all-caps, which to my English eyes looks wrong.

I doubt this would be implemented, however, as I imagine it'd be a bit of a nightmare to programme.
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jwf

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This is definitely something I'd like to see standardized. Otherwise, you have cases like this where the common apostrophe (i.e. on our keyboard) for one is correctly tied to the album metadata and album artwork, whereas the "correct" apostrophe from Spotify is isolated and treated as a standalone track.

https://www.last.fm/music/Bibio/_/Lovers%E2%80%99+Carvings

https://www.last.fm/music/Bibio/Ambivalence+Avenue/Lovers'+Carvings
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Elliot Robinson

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In many ways, it makes total sense for Last FM to bond with Spotify, but Spotify's horrible naming system is so annoying and riddled with errors that it causes a lot of problems for users who care about accuracy.

Whoever at Spotify HQ decided to go against the widely held convention of "<song name> (Radio Edit)" and instead do title formats like "<song name> - Radio Edit" should be slapped until they're black and blue.
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jwf

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It would make more sense for me for Last.fm to do something smart when aggregating from the various music databases they use, like MusicBrainz. MusicBrainz is just one of many sources that Last.fm is already using to build their catalogue (Spotify also uses MusicBrainz, amongst others). I'm not sure if one database can be prioritized over another, but this is specifically something that MusicBrainz handles already.

To me, it might make more sense for Last.fm to handle the special apostrophes when they're building their catalogue from the various databases and handle it once they've processed all the data from the music databases. I don't know what the pipeline is like to understand when it all happens, but maybe at the end, Last.fm could aggregate these types together.
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whoislibrious

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I agree cases like these should be merged as well, nobody even uses the "typographically correct" apostrophe in their everyday lives... (especially me who doesn't even have it in my keyboard)