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Working with Apostrophes and Other Punctuation

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Table 1. Indexing Punctuation Rules

Indexed Punctuation Description Example
Apostrophes If a word ends in an apostrophe ('), the searchable term is saved without that character. That is, the index adds a word [john's] as [john]. [johns] is indexed as [johns]
[john's] is indexed as [john]
[john'sssss] is indexed as [johnsssss]
Other Punctuation The indexer removes these items from terms.

[johns] is indexed as [johns]
[john!@#$%^&*()] is indexed as [john @ ()]

Apostrophes and Punctuation in Entire Message Searches, Unquoted In this instance, the 's is removed from possessive terms. However, apostrophes elsewhere are turned into whitespace.

Entire Message: [johns] matches [johns]
Entire Message: [john's] matches [john AND s], but not [johns]
Entire Message: [john'sssss] matches [], because this becomes [john AND sssss] and no mail matches sssss.
Entire Message: [john!@#$%^&*()] matches [john AND *] where * is a wildcard, but this actually causes an error in the index since it creates terms with leading wildcards. Leading wildcards are disallowed.

Apostrophes and Punctuation in Entire Message Searches, Quoted Sent directly to the index unmodified, index merges them together.

Entire Message: ["johns"] matches [johns]
Entire Message: ["john's"] matches [john], but not [johns] because as noted above, the index removes possessive 's.
Entire Message: ["john'sssss"] matches [johnsssss], because of the merging. This likely has no match.
Entire Message: ["john!@#$%^&*()"] matches [john], because the index removes punctuation.

Apostrophes in all Other Searches, Quoted or Unquoted All apostrophes are turned into whitespace. This is unlike Entire Message, which will, in code, before the index, remove the possessive s.

Subject: [johns] matches [johns]
Subject: [john's] matches [john], because of the index stemming the 's
Subject: [john'sssss] matches [johnsssss], because of the merging. This likely has no match.
Subject: [john!@#$%^&*()] matches [john], because the index removes punctuation.

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