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ASCII Pronunciation Rules for Programmers


Great post Jeff - really.

This should almost be mandatory reading for development teams.


This can’t be a serious post. It can’t be…


Nope, still seems like gibberish to me.


Ryan North (http://qwantz.com/archive/001239.html) says $ sounds like the sound dogs make when they’re just about to throw up.



Let me put a more complete spanish translation, we also have this problem between spanish developers.

! Signo de Admiracion
" Comillas

(every body call it “Signo de gato” or “cat sign”)

$ Signo de Peso
% Porcentaje
Et (“a lot of person thinks it’s Amperson”)
’ Apostrofe
() Parentesis
[] Corchetes
{} Llaves
Manor que, Mayor que (Not so sure)

  • Asterisco
  • Signo de ms (not so sure)
    , Coma
  • Guion
    . Punto
    / Diagonal
    \ Contra Diagonal
    : Dos Puntos
    ; Punto y coma
    = Signo de igual
    ? Signo de Interrogacin
    @ Arroba
    ^ Acento circunflejo
    _ Guion Bajo
    ` (I didn’t find this but for sure starts with “Acento” someting)
    | Barra
    ~ Tilde

I hope this is userful to somebody


I always refer to the ampersand as the cheerio sign, seriously
upper left corner of pic




Tiago S.:
Here in Brazil we pronounce “#” as “lasagna”.

Sorry, but where in Brazil do people pronounce it like that? I’ve always seen “cerquilha” (little fence?) or “sustenido” (sharp) or “jogo da velha” (tic-tac-toe).


Hurrah for Strudel! There’s a whole wikipaedia article about it:


When I see a $ in code I refer to it as String. In BASIC, Text$ was a string variable. So over time I started calling it the “string” character. I still get a lot of weird looks because of that. I generally catch myself right after I’ve said it though.


I’ve used “Whack” to specify the “” key to fellow geeks, all I get is blank stares back, I’m assuming it’s an age thing also since I’m senior to them (8 years) which is like grandpa to grandson in computer years right?

    #        A corridor, or iron bars, or a tree, or possibly a kitchen
             sink (if your dungeon has sinks), or a drawbridge.
            Stairs down: a way to the next level.
            Stairs up: a way to the previous level.
    @        You (usually), or another human.
    )        A weapon of some sort.
    [        A suit or piece of armor.
    %        Something edible (not necessarily healthy).
    !        A potion.
    (        Some other useful object (pick-axe, key, lamp...)
    $        A pile of gold.
    *        A gem or rock (possibly valuable, possibly worthless).
    ^        A trap (once you detect it).
    "        An amulet, or a spider web.
    _        An altar, or an iron chain.
    {        A fountain.
    }        A pool of water or moat or a pool of lava.


In German @ is “Affenschwanz” or monkeytail.


The nice thing about using the terms “hash” and “bang” is that they are composable into “'shebang”, as in the common




One thing I noticed when I started exploring the Unix/Open Source world as a young programmer was that they had WAY better names for these characters (and by better, I mean easier to say; but also usually more fun to say) than I had ever been introduced to at my defense contractor job. It’s so much easier to say “bang” than “exclamation point”.

Some of the names for operators are fun too:

= (order comparison): “Spaceship”
= (in Ruby): “Hashrocket”


Whoops, the filter ate my spaceship operator. I don’t know how to escape it in this comment box :-/


I’ve heard some Latinos says “Sey-sostenido” for “C-sharp” where “sostenido” is the # used in the musical scale.


I’ve always pronounced ASCII ‘a-sic’ but that can’t be right it’s more like ‘as-key’?


In Russia “@” called the “doggy” (like a small dog) sometimes. I have no idea why. But other then that other ASCII symbols names are similar to most commonly used once, mentioned here already.


I call the $ symbol the “ching”. I was speaking to a colleague about $$ and said “doesn’t the ching ching get the process id in perl?”