Edit for clarity: I have never seen this character, but it seems like it would exist. But without knowing what to call it, I don't know how to look up if it actually does exist. So, to me it's hypothetical, but I want to know if it's actual, and if so what it's called.

I have been searching in vain for a (hypothetical?) typographical character: an apostrophe above a comma (as shown in the picture). What is this character called, and do you know of any uses?

(Please let me know if this is not the correct StackExchange for this question).

For now I'm going to represent it with (the "replacement character", U+FFFD), because I don't know whether it exists in Unicode, or what it is called.

Below I have attached an image of the text dog� the in Times New Roman. To create the character I overlaid the text dog’ and the text dog, on each other in Microsoft Paint.

an image of the text <code>dog� the</code> in Times New Roman

What is this character called?

What I've tried so far:

I tried running that character through a reverse.photo search, and it turned up nothing.

So I tried duckduckgoing "semidemicolon" and got a bunch of stuff about Finnegan's Wake (including in a thesis project), because of this line:

notes of admiration! See the signs of suspicion! Count the hemi-
semidemicolons! Screamer caps and invented gommas, quoites
puntlost, forced to farce! The pipette will say anything at all for

Much closer was this College Humor visual gag about the hemi-demi-semi-colon](http://www.collegehumor.com/post/6872071/8-new-and-necessary-punctuation-marks#item-4) (which appears to be two semicolons vertically offset slightly):

Image contains Text, which is copied here. BEGIN TEXT. Hemi-Demi-Semi Colon. Usage: If you don't know when it's appropriate to use a semi-colon and you're too lazy to learn, you can use this in place of commas, semi-colons, and eriods. Pretty much wherever you feel like it. Example: Now I can act superior and avoid learning anything� I'm a stain on humanity. END TEXT. Image is watermarked <code>CollegeHumor</code>. � was used here (and only here) to represent the punctuation mark from the image, which appears to be two semicolons vertically offset slightly)

The closest I found was another joke, but this one in a photocopied report from 1970 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dept. of Computer Science, available at archive.org: Twinkle : a syntax language for a translator writing system. The joke is:

Since the semicomma and the demisemicolon do not yet exist, it was decided that clauses and other such ensembles, which are intended as single syntactic entities, be enclosed in square brackets.

That gave me the idea to search for semicomma, but alas that is just some music thing.

If this character doesn't have a name, and it works like fossils where since I found it I get to name it, I'm naming it demisemicolon or stacked commas.

  • 6
    I'm very curious what use case you have for this special character May 7, 2018 at 4:38
  • 3
    The example looks like an incorrectly kerned comma and closing quote to me.
    – Vincent
    May 7, 2018 at 10:09
  • 1
    It would be helpful to know where did you find this character before.
    – Luciano
    May 7, 2018 at 10:57
  • 5
    Might be a better fit at English.se where more editors hang out as opposed to designers.
    – Scott
    May 7, 2018 at 13:32
  • 2
    Prolapsed Colon?
    – Scott
    May 7, 2018 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


The sign you probably should use is the з, used in Ancient Egyptian to represent the ‘vulture or double ›aleph’, which is often printed as two commas on top of each other.

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