Monday, January 21, 2008

English names for the characters in keyboard

~ tilde (sounds like til-da); be prepared to explain to computer-illiterate people saying "you know, the wave-shaped thingy"
! exclamation; commonly read as bang in case of #!/bin/sh
@ at
# pound; but commonly read as shee in case of #!/bin/sh, not sure why
$ dollar
% percent
^ caret; not many people know this word so be prepared to say "no, not carrot; it's the character above 6, an arrow pointing up"
& ampersand
* star; some read asterisk
( opening parenthesis (some may shorten it saying paren)
) closing parenthesis
_ underscore; once I heard people say underbar
+ plus
- minus; as symbol before arguments in commands, some people including me read dash, easier to say one syllable
= equals
` backtick or backquote
{ opening brace
} closing brace
[ opening bracket
] closing bracket
| pipe or vertical bar
\ backslash; be prepared to explain to some computer-illiterate people
: colon
; semicolon
" double quote
' single quote
< less than; some may read left angle bracket
> greater than
, comma
. dot; period if in English text
? question mark
/ slash or forward slash; some computer-illiterate people may be confused about / and \

(), [] and {} may also be called brackets in general. In that case, they specifically call [] square brackets and {} curly brackets. I never like this. Open and Closing may also be called left and right.


Flores Online said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Flores Online, I hope you enjoy. The address is A hug.

Llengot said...


The 'pound' (#) is also named 'hash' or even 'sharp' (which is really a musical sign).

The notation #! on the scripts is often called 'shebang' (sharp + bang). That's because it's commonly read as shee.

Hope this helps :)

Curtibabe said...

Well, if you REALLY want to get technical, you may want to call "#" an octothorpe.

bhaskar said...

regarding (),[],{}

we can call them as
( : o-paren
) : c-paren
{ : o-brace
} : c-brace
[ : 0-bracket
] : c-bracket

where o stands for open
and c for close

...............isn't it simple?

Nat said...

Strictly F.Y.I.:
Wikipedia names the "`" mark as Grave Accent ( ). Of course, Wikipedia is not a definitive source, but I thought that you might find this one datum to be interesting.

Jay said...

You can also say apostrophe for single quote

Frank Lindahl said...

Nice, might add hyphen for '-' and IBM mainframers say splat for '*'.

Frank Lindahl said...

Oops, slipped up apostrophe is the term for single quote, depending upon context.

admin said...

Hi, I find this information very much useful. Especially in my case since I am teaching keyboarding to kids and I encounter alot of questions about the names of those characters. Any way do you have the exact technical terms of those?

lee woo said...

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of charater. See the link below for more info.


Sebastián Gurin said...

thank you very much for this work. can I copy paste this in my blog also ? With your permission I'm copy this table in my blog and referencing back here. thanks!