Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How to read keyboard symbols

~tilde (sounds like til-da); be prepared to explain to non-technical people saying "you know, the wave-shaped thingy"
!exclamation; commonly read as bang in computer shell programming as in #!/bin/sh
#pound; but commonly read as shee in computer shell programming as in #!/bin/sh, not sure why
^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"
*star; some read asterisk
(opening parenthesis (some may shorten it saying paren)
)closing parenthesis
_underscore; once I heard people say underbar
-minus, hyphen; as symbol before arguments in commands, some people including me read dash, easier to say one syllable
`backtick or backquote
{opening brace
}closing brace
[opening bracket
]closing bracket
|pipe or vertical bar
\backslash; be prepared to explain to some non-technical people
"double quote
'single quote
<less than; some may read left angle bracket
>greater than
.dot; period if in English text
?question mark
/slash or forward slash; some non-technical 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.


Unknown said...

I need it !

Anonymous said...

So insulted about the computer illiterate comments, but how do you say or call in reference '//' ?

Yong Huang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yong Huang said...

Hi Anonymous. You can just say "slash slash". Some people may read it as "double-slash" or "double slashes". Where do you see this? In a Windows environment, you may see "\\", which you can read as "backslash backslash". It refers to a server or workstation, usually a remote one. By the way, I changed the word "computer-illiterate". It's indeed inappropriate. Thanks for pointing that out. I wrote this blog posting a long time ago.