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ASCII Pronunciation Rules for Programmers


In swedish # can be “lumber yard” (brdgrd) or “woodpile” (vedstapel).


iirc, wax means “to get more”, while wane is “to get less”.
the phase of the moon is usually referred to by these words.
the problem is that in the northern hemisphere (where most humans live, sorry you three :stuck_out_tongue: ) when the moon is waxing (new) it looks like this )
its easy to remember, when it’s born it looks like the bottom part of a ‘b’, and when it’s dieing it looks like the bottom part of a ‘d’.

i suggest muddying the water further and defining ( = wane, ) = wax

so that “wax bang at hash buck grapes circumflex and splat wane” is )!@$%^*(



can also be pronounced as “boy fishing” (since that’s what it looks like).


I always liked the name a coworker gave the ! key. He called it “damn it”, but usually in context to vi as in q! (quit damn it).


i gotta tell you whoever calls the double quotes ‘dieresis’ is out of his mind, and probably haven’t exposed to spanish or german.


I saw $ called “bling” somewhere. I was like, man, that’s tight.


I’ve had this conversation before. The carat is not the same thing as the circumflex.

Here’s a carat:^
Here’s a circumflex: ˆ

still can’t see the difference? Here’s a few side by side: ^ˆ^ˆ^ˆ^ˆ^ˆ^ˆ^ˆ^ˆ


I work at a PHP shop where there are lots of $ floating around:

$ - Bling


I’d like to nominate the following for standardization:
! bang
" rabbit ears
? hunchback
% grapes
@ vortex

  • splat

and new additions
~ worm
_ dead worm
$ bling
| calista flockhart
/ leaning tower of pisa
\ rigor mortis


For “t = t.Name”, I would say “tee implies tee dot name”


All you have to do is visit the Unicode Consortium web page
to find a formal definition that is Universally applicable (that means outside the states as well as inside).

Your pound key would confuse with Ux20A4 Lira sign and UxA3, pound sign


Some Danish translations

garden gate (havelge)

" goose eyes (gsejne)
@ elephant trunk A (snabel-a)


In norwegian, we often refer to the dot “.” and “-” in the context of class/object members as ‘sin’ wich is the ‘his genetive’ ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His_genitive ).

“window.document.height()” becomes "window sin document sin height()"
wich rougly translates to
"the window’s document’s height"
It sounds slightly awkward since we’re mixing english and norwegian, but it quite accurately describes the intention indepent of actual syntax.


Jeff: “…most other cultures know it as the hash key.”

You mean, most English cultures. We ofcourse have our own words for all these characters in our own languages. Some examples of how I call these characters in Dutch:

- hekje (little fence)

{ } - accolade openen / accolade sluiten (opening accolade / closing accolade); I guess that’s a French word
: - dubbele punt (double point)
; - puntkomma (point comma)
@ - apenstaartje (monkey’s tail)
^ - dakje (little roof)


What on earth makes you think that writing a blog full time qualifies you to write about programming? Guess what: IT DOESN’T. I know three people who are more qualified to write about programming simply because THEY STILL DO IT FOR A LIVING.


Ahh, the age-old # = pound, number, hash, octothorpe, sharp, etc debate.

I believe the definitive answer is “anything but pound”. You Americans only call it pound because it’s in the same place as the actual pound () key on the GB keyboard layout :slight_smile:


A friend of mine from South Africa calls ‘:’ “double dot” and ‘;’ “comma dot”; it was pretty funny the first time he said “you forget the comma dot at the end of your line there.”


@ in russian is “sobaka” (#1089;#1086;#1073;#1072;#1082;#1072;), which means… a dog


In the Navy, we always called the dash - a “tac”

Compartments (rooms) on a ship are labelled like: 6-150-3-E

It’s pronounced ‘six tac one-fifty tac three tac E’ and it means that the compartment is 5 decks below the main deck, starts at the 150th frame aft of the bow, is the second space out from the centerline on the starboard side, and is an engineering space.


Don’t forget “backticks”, Jeff :slight_smile: