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圏点

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Hi,

「お見苦しいところをお見せして、あたくしたちは申し訳なく思っていらっしゃいます!」

To the right of each of the characters in いらっしゃいます (vertical writing) is a dot. I still sometimes feel a little unsure of the purpose of these dots. I know that they can be used for emphasis, or to mark out an individual word in a potentially ambiguous string of kana. I suppose here they are for emphasis, right?
 
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Yes, for emphasis. あたくしたち+いっらしゃいます... It sounds to me as if the speaker has made a faux pas by using the polite form of speech いらっしゃいます when referring to herself/themselves, instead of the neutral おります. If that is the case, the dots would be a way to further draw attention to the error of the speaker.
 
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You'll also see these dots in television shows. Someone mispronounces a word for comic effect; at the same time, a huge colorful subtitle of the sentence is shown with 圏点 above each character of the word (which is written with spelling mistakes to reflect the pronunciation), thereby indicating that it is indeed incorrect and making sure you definitely don't miss the joke. :)

That said I didn't know the name for them until now. You can always learn something new here!
 

Toritoribe

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Oh, OK, I thought ~ております was old person's or dialect speech, no?
Unlike (~て)おる, (~て)おります is commonly used in standard Japanese.
おる【居る】

「いる」の古風な、または尊大な言い方。また、「いる」に比べて方言的な響きを帯びる。「君はそこに―・ったのか」「都会にはセミも―・らんようになった」

5 (補助動詞)動詞の連用形に接続助詞「て」を添えた形に付いて用いる。
「…ている」の古風な、または尊大な言い方。「そこに控えて―・れ」

----------------------------------------

2 (「おります」の形で、自分や自分の側の者についていう)「いる」の丁寧な言い方。「五時までは会社に―・ります」

5 (補助動詞)動詞の連用形に接続助詞「て」を添えた形に付いて用いる。
イ(「…ております」の形で「…ている」の丁寧な言い方。「ただ今、外出して―・ります」
おる【居る】の意味 - 国語辞書 - goo辞書

That's odd ... the Japanese Wikipedia article is titled 圏点, so I thought it was the preferred term ...
Actually, I looked up 圏点 in the dictionary when I saw this thread title since I didn't know it. (It could be just for me, of course.)
 
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By the way, would you say that my second usage -- "to mark out an individual word in a potentially ambiguous string of kana" -- is a different type of usage, or is it really just exactly the same thing, i.e. emphasis? Could you use 圏点/傍点 for the word disambiguation function without any intention of emphasis?
 

Toritoribe

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It is possible to use 圏点/傍点 just for disambiguation function without any intention of emphasis.
 
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