Hot answers tagged

129

I found the term "grawlixes" here: The Lexicon of Comicana. Grawlixes Typographical symbols standing for profanities, appearing in dialogue balloons in place of actual dialogue. I also came across the terms "profanitype" and "symbol swearing." I think I like "grawlixes" best.


111

The Tironian et and the modern ampersand had different origins, with the Tironian et having been invented as one of ~13,000 symbols/shorthand by Cicero's scribe, Tiro. It persisted until it succumbed to a linguistic witch hunt during the middle ages, when suspicion was cast upon it for appearing to be a rune or secret cipher. (This detail has been rightly ...


103

X for No and O for Yes are clearly understood by everyone in Japan, but not in English. In fact, in my first Japanese class in the US, when the teacher used these symbols, I thought that X meant Yes because "X marks the spot." In my own Japanese to English translation, for tables, I usually spell out "Yes" and "No." For the circle, triangle, and X (i.e., ...


90

That looks like a caret symbol. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caret ... The caret /ˈkærət/ is an inverted V-shaped grapheme. It is the spacing character ^ in ASCII [...] and other character sets that may also be called a hat, control, uparrow, or less frequently chevron, xor sign, to the power of, pointer [...] or wedge. Officially, ...


70

I am a native English speaker, with what I hope is an above average education. I can think of no good reason, especially for a conference paper, to use anything other than "Yes" and "No" when what you mean is "Yes" or "No".


68

As a diacritic, this symbol is a circumflex. According to the linked Wikipedia article, hat, roof or house are used when the context is mathematics.


63

You asked what the “technical name” is; those technical names are given in bold below, although there are others less formal as well. The answer depends on precisely which character you mean. It might be a less-than sign, an angle quotation mark, or an angle bracket. In handwritten manuscripts and on primitive old-school typewriters there is no real ...


51

These have also been called obscenicons. Several links on Language Log offer an in-depth look at their usage. More on the early days of obscenicons Obscenicons a century ago CALL ME... UNPRONOUNCEABLE The "word" represented by the symbols could be pronounced bleep: So people came up with a small set of conventional euphemistic readings for <expletive ...


50

I'd also consider using Y for Yes and N for No. I think this is clear for everyone speaking English. It may look worse in the manner of design but will be understood by all.


49

Even though it looks like a seven, it's actually a shorthand character called a "Tironian et" From http://www.ualberta.ca/~sreimer/ms-course/course/abbrevtn.htm Tironian nota for "et" (this frequently looks like a small number "7" or, later, a "z" or a "z" inside a circle; cf. the ampersand: &): Tiro was a member of Cicero's household who ...


37

In What Is the Real Name of the #?, a good explanation of this sign is given. Technically, it's called the octothorpe. Called the pound sign, number sign and more recently the hashtag, it actually developed as a scribble for the abbreviation of pound in latin: lb, where lb is an abbreviation of libra, itself a shortened form of the full expression, libra ...


37

Below is taken from Wikipedia and answers your question, especially the first paragraph. On some online forums without threaded discussions, @ is used to denote a reply; for instance: "@Jane" to respond to a comment Jane made earlier. Similarly, in some cases, @ is used for "attention" in email messages originally sent to someone else. ...


35

The symbol @ means "at", as in "[this part of my email is directed] at Carol". In the past, this usage was fairly rare outside of the world of IRC and whatnot, but the spread of Twitter (which uses a @ prefixed to a username to implement user notifications) has seemingly resulted in an increase of such usage in other spheres, such as the business ...


33

The answer depends entirely on context. If you're doing quantum mechanics, it's called a hat and signifies that the thing it's on top of is an operator (something that acts on a wave function to derive an eigenvalue). If you're reading French, it's a circumflex and signifies a miniscule prononciation difference that only native French speakers can hear. ...


31

I worked in banking for 27 years (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Bank of America), and my experience in financial services was that M and MM were consistently used for thousands and millions, respectively. This practice was across the board - exam reports, internal reporting, and so on. They never used K for thousands. It would be bad form to mix K ...


29

The ♪ symbol is called a quaver, it represents 1/8th of the total duration represented by a full note The one that looks similar to ♪, but doesn't have the little thingy sticking out and is not coloured inside is called a minim and is half of a full note PS: if I understand it correctly, the "common name" above refers to what they are known as in ...


27

This is called a rebus: A rebus is an allusional device that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words. It was a favourite form of heraldic expression used in the Middle Ages to denote surnames, for example in its basic form 3 salmon fish to denote the name "Salmon". Here is an example:


26

It's not particularly common for expressions of time. It's similar to degrees-minutes-seconds: instead of decimal degrees (38.897212°,-77.036519°) you write (38° 53′ 49.9632″, -77° 2′ 11.4678″). Both are derived from a sexagesimal counting system such as that devised in Ancient Babylon: the single prime represents the first ...


26

As a web developer I frequently use angle brackets in markup. The World Wide Web Consortium is the standards organization for HTML, and in their recommendation for HTML 5, they refer specifically to Unicode character 003C: The first character of a start tag must be a "<" (U+003C) character. 003C is generally the character produced from the keyboard (...


25

From the U.S. Library of Congress: Illegible or unclear text: Illegible text is anything you can’t read because a page is damaged, text is heavily crossed out or because you can’t tell what the author has written. If there is a word or a string of words you cannot read use a pair of square brackets around a question mark [?]. Example: "I ...


23

A few symbols that look like ^: Well, ^ itself; in maths, I usually call it hat, but another answer says Wikipedia says it is also called roof or house; as a diacritic, I would call it a circumflex, or maybe even a hat; in French, it is called "accent circumflexe" (circumflex accent), or le petit chapeau (the little hat), so yeah, hat is just fine; There is ...


19

They can also be called chevrons, or angle brackets. While these terms can be interchangeable in a layman's context, and would not look so different when written by hand, there are 4 different symbols in the Unicode standard, and they have different usages. In mathematics, "greater than" and "lesser than" would be the correct precise terms. In HTML markup, ...


19

EDIT My answer has the most upvotes (as I type this). However I now believe that the answer provided by user13267 is better. I also think that the answer by Drew adds useful information. In the US, the answer is as given by the user lightbulb. In the UK we have individual names for them. ♪ is a quaver, ♩ is a crotchet. Then we have minim, semibreve and ...


18

These can also be called swear symbols or curse symbols, as evidenced by this quote: But I enjoy the opportunity to use swear symbols. (Daniel Clowes, Cartoonist) Those terms are not as cool as the word grawlix, but they are still in the vernacular, and thus worthy of a mention.


18

Actually, it's "worse" than that. Nearly all the vowels of English have more than one possible representation in IPA. For example: The vowel sound of the word "kit" can be written as [ɪ] or [i] The vowel sound in "lot" in British English can be written as [ɒ] or [ɔ] The vowel sound in "fleece" can be written as [i], [iː], [ij] or [ɪj] The vowel sound in "...


16

Within one language community, the IPA may be simplified for dictionary entries. The /r/ is a classic example. In strict IPA usage, it is the sign for an r sound with a short trill, as in Italian Roma, but English sources routinely use this sign for any standard pronunciation of r. In this recording from the late 1920s of John Gielgud delivering a speech ...


15

There is a symbol for it in predicate logic. "And/or" is just called "or" and is represented as ∨, from the Latin vel meaning or. But note that it's a separate symbol from the letter "v", though similar. In contrast, "or" in the sense of "this one or that one but never both" is called "exclusive or" or "xor" and can be symbolized as ⊻ or ⊕. Also, in ...


14

It is called a rebus. a puzzle in which words are represented by combinations of pictures and individual letters; for instance, apex might be represented by a picture of an ape followed by a letter X.


14

The Unicode character you used, ♪, is named EIGHTH NOTE. (Its Unicode code point is 9834 decimal, 266A hexadecimal.) The "d"-like character ♩ is named QUARTER NOTE. (Its code point is 9833 decimal, 2669 hexadecimal.) This, empty-"d" character, 𝅗𝅥, is named MUSICAL SYMBOL HALF NOTE. (Its code point is 119134 decimal, 1D15E hexadecimal.) But it does not ...


14

It seems the best current scholarly theory is "none of the above." The theories cited in the question have been proposed by various scholars, but there is little evidence to back any of them up. However, another proposal came out of the work of Italian scholar Giorgio Stabile in the late 1990s. (The story is basically told here. Unfortunately, while ...


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