Fun_People Archive
1 Feb
BONG Bull Bits No. 358!

Date: Thu, 1 Feb 96 02:27:39 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: BONG Bull Bits No. 358!

From: (Mike Linksvayer)

READ THAT BACK NOW.  Discussions in the silent-tristero mailing 

list, forwarded by a certain National Law Journal lurker, lately 

revolved around the word names for certain punctuation marks.  

Some are from typography, others from computer programming.  

     "Shriek" or "bang" for !.  That Siamese-twin thing with a 

question mark superimposed is called an "interrobang."
     "Up" for upward-pointing caret, "waka" if aimed sideways.
     "Twiddle" for tilde.
     "String" or "dollar" for $.
     "Splat" for asterisk (well, look at it!).
     "Dot" for period.
     "Cereal" for ampersand.
     "Sharp" or "hash" for pound sign (phone company vets call it 

"octothorpe," of mysterious etymology).
     "Tick" and "back-tick" for the single quote.
     Lexicographers hold that "ampersand" derives from "and per se 

and."  You could look it up.  

     Ancient printers named the em space "molly" and the en space "nut."  

     And the Chief Copyboy, no Biblical scholar, nonetheless 

recalls a nun's lesson having to do with "jot and tittle." Jot is 

the dot on a letter i and Tittle is the cross of a letter T.

ODE TO THE WAKA.  A list member chipped in this poem by Lee 

Leitner of Infocus magazine.  Since wire service technology 

doesn't transmit all the punctuation marks, some readers will see 

this without the symbols.  Internet readers set up in foreign 

alphabets, Lord knows what you're going to get:

<>!*''#             Waka waka bang splat tick tick hash,
^@`$$-              Caret at back-tick dollar dollar dash,
!*'$_               Bang splat tick dollar under-score,
%*<>#4              Percent splat waka waka number four,
&)../               Ampersand right-paren dot dot slash,
|{~~SYSTEM HALTED   Vertical-bar curly-bracket tilde tilde CRASH.

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