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ASCII Pronunciation Rules for Programmers


hell, I can’t comment here :frowning:


I don’t want to get circumflexed! That’s a caret…fo sho fo sho

gotta love assKey!


sheez I can’t say a-s-s-key???


You forgot the best one for ‘’ (backslash)… “OJ Simpson”.



For a reference, I live in Japan and people pronounce these signs as follows (only from my observations):

!: bikkuri mark
": nijyu in-yohu
#: sharp
$: dol mark
%: percent
: and
’: apostrophe, in-yohu
( ): kakko / kakko-tojiru
[ ]: chu-kakko / chu-kakko-tojiru
{ }: dai-kakko / dai-kakko-tojiru
*: asterisk
+: plus, tasu
,: comma
-: dash, boh, hyphen, mainasu
.: period, ten, dot
/: slash
: backslash, gyaku-slash
:: colon
;: semicolon
=: tohgoh, equal (not “equals”)
?: question mark, hatena, gimon-hu
@: at
^: caret, yamagata-kigoh, hat
_: underline, underscore, kasen
`: grave, backquote
|: bar, boh, pipe
~: tilde, nyoro


() cowboys


“Why isn’t it possible anymore to enter characters
by pressing “Alt GR” and the numeric ASCII code into
the numpad?”

Isn’t it Alt not Alt GR?


$ is normally pronounced “euro”. As distinct from €, pronounced Euro.


Comma ‘,’ isn’t cedilla, which symbol is different.
cedilla = ‘’- ‘c’


if # is most commonly called hash, then why is c# not called cee-hash…microsoft thats bloody why.

I still call it c-hash, who’s with me?


I’ve always used/said = as ‘therefore’


I want to know which madman thought C# was a good name for a language?

I know lets pick a character that everyone mistakes for another #9839;- #
that everyone in the world calls a different name, and no-one can agree on a name for, and there has been a long running debate about what it is called, oh and make sure you can’t search for it in any search engine!


Some of those are mathamatical functions, not names for the symbol.
Factorial is denoted as !, but that doesnt mean the ! symbol is called factorial
For those not mathematically minded, a factorial is a multiple of all preceding integers including the input value (ie !3 = 3x2x1 = 6, !4 = 4x3x2x1 = 24)


To the guy who wonders about ~ (the tilde) and who thinks it is rarely used.

In most Unix shells this character gets expanded to the value of the environment variable $HOME which contains the path to the current users home directory.
Thus ~/somefile is shorthand for /home/currentuser/somefile

It is also the default escape character in the secure shell ssh - pressing it terminates the connection.

In Perl it is part of the “contains” operator as in

$var = untrusted_user_input;
if($var =~ regex;){
sanitize input …;

and there it is used extensively. I would wager that you find it in nearly 90% of all Perl-based CGI scripts that handle input from forms.

To the chap who enquired as to . In German legalese this is shorthand for “paragraph” = section of law.

As to its presence on the Mac keyboard. Toggle “show invisibles” in AppleWorks and you will see that the app uses it internally as a section delimiter eq to LaTex \section{} directive.

About C#: One would assume that the monicker was borrowed from musicspeak, where you would pronounce it “C-sharp” as in “pitch up by half-tone”.


@bart: “I like how in choosing between harboring mild anti-American sentiments or, say, doing a Google search, you chose the former. :)”

Oh well, we’ll just have to fall back on aluminum, check, diaper, fanny-pack(!), garbage, replacing large numbers of 's’s with 'z’s etc.

The explanation of ‘#’ as pound sign you give, also merely shifts the idiosyncrasy from the choice of the term, to the adoption of an archaic italian printers symbol (which is then generally not used by Americans anyway).


After reading up a bit on typography (http://www.creativepro.com/article/typographic-tips-apostrophes-quotation-marks is an excellent article) you can see that neither ", ’ nor ` are actual quote characters.


“A friend of mine from South Africa calls ‘:’ “double dot” and ‘;’ “comma dot””

In french “:” is “two-dots” and “;” is “dot-comma”.
Literally, official names.


Isn’t “/” a whack (over the head) and “” a kick (in the shins)?


on my french canadian keyboard the “cdille()” has a specific key and the “virgule(comma)” has another specific key. I don’t know about the french one because I’ve never seen an azerty keyboard. There are a lot of differances on how to say those characters here

in Qubec French

! point d’exclamation
" Double guillemets (although is called guillemets too)


$ signe de dollar
% pourcent
"e" comercial (read as et)
’ apostrophe
() parantheses
[] crochets
plus petit, plus grand (literally lower, greater)

  • asterisque
  • plus
    , virgule
  • tiret
    . point
    / barre oblique
    \ barre oblique inverse
    : deux points
    ; point virgule
    = gal
    ? point d’interogation
    @ arrobas (also a comercial)
    ^ accent circonflex
    _ underscore (never heard anything else in french)
    ` accent aigu
    | barre
    ~ tilde


I think some people who know that backslashes are somehow related to computers so they figure the double slash in a URL (which is they ever get closest they get to computer code) must be a backslash. When, of course it’s a “forward” slash–thus the confusion.

What purpose does the backslash purpose serve, anyway? It’s the path separator in Windows, of course, but you can’t use a regular slash in file names, and lots of Windows programs will take either as the separator. Most of the above have origins in pre-digital typesetting, but I can’t think of a non-computer use for a backslash.