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Pedantry vs. Reality
Authored by: MJCube on Feb 21, '05 04:55:14PM

Saying it doesn't make it so. You can say it's not a back quote all your life, but that won't stop people from calling it that, because they have their reasons. On millions of dumb terminals and text-only video screens from decades past, the ` and ' characters appeared just like proper single quotes ‘ and '. If you never saw this, you might not believe me. I think "regardless to other uses it might have in computing" is a rude thing to say in this forum; computing is the whole reason we're here. There are a lot more purposes for computing than typesetting; in fact your whole computer typesetting system was made possible by programmers who call ` a back-quote, because that's their area of expertise.

I would call this pedantry not ‘errant' but ‘irrelevant' here.



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Pedantry vs. Reality
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Feb 21, '05 06:44:42PM

It wasn't rude at all. The first person said I should have corrected him for calling it a "backtick instead of the more correct back quote" even though "back tick" was on his list, and "back quote" is not correct either. I wasn't correcting him anyway, I was merely stating the proper name of the character on that key. The character is called a grave, and the only reason people called it other things was because they didn't know what it was called. Did you even know what it's called? People like to get defensive when they don't know something. If programers called a tilde a "squiggly" would that make it right? Should we start calling an "A" a triangle? ;)

Of course it doesn't matter what you call something, or what you know or don't know. But if someone wants to clarify proper usage you can't criticize them for that. Did you think your teachers were rude if they corrected you?

As far as dumb terminals and other text only devices (or more correctly devices that can't do typography), the most commonly used quotes are the typewriter inch and foot marks (such as the ones I used in this post).

I don't think terminals being dumb is the problem. I think it's the lack of grammar and spelling that seems to be so rampant these days. That's the reality.

If I called someone a name, that would be rude, or if I said they didn't know what they were talking about. I didn't do any of those things.

---
G4/466, 1 GB, Mac OS X 10.3.8



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Pedantry vs. Reality
Authored by: amaloney on Feb 21, '05 10:58:53PM

I agree with you David.

It is more efficient to have a one to one correspondence between an object and its name. Otherwise we run the risk of ambiguity and the loss of the ability to communicate.

For instance, if I use the word ‘cleave' to mean ‘divide, cut' and you use its alternative meaning ‘cling', how do we know what the other means?

However, in these days of deconstruction and post modernism


Al
Honi soit qui mal y pense!



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Pedantry vs. Reality
Authored by: powerbookg3user0 on Feb 22, '05 01:39:25AM

One thing:
``Text'' is LaTeX.

It prints "Text"

---
Takumi Murayama



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Two CS professors did clash over the tilde
Authored by: jmzrsky on Feb 25, '05 12:31:46AM

... and its proper name, in a workshop I attended. In the middle of some dry discussion of some obscure programming syntax, one of them casually mentioned "a twiddle" while scribbling a tilde on the whiteboard. The other asked what a twiddle was - "do you mean a tilde?" "Sure, but I call it a twiddle, just as we say 'bang' instead of 'exclamation point'." "But 'bang' is shorter - 'twiddle' isn't!" And so forth. It was a much livelier topic than anything else that day!

> If programers called a tilde a "squiggly" ...

Just don't get me started on what to call the # character ... :)



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Two CS professors did clash over the tilde
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Feb 25, '05 09:45:16AM

> Just don't get me started on what to call the # character ... :)

Thank you! :)

How about...

Number sign, hash, cross-hatch, pound sign, square, tictacktoe, and... octothorpe!

I call it a number sign.

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G4/466, 1 GB, Mac OS X 10.3.8



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Apple's fertility symbols
Authored by: jmzrsky on Feb 26, '05 04:01:25AM

I've heard "grid" too (used as a name for #). But as with "bang" for ! and "twiddle" for ~, it was a bolder-geek-than-I using it. Of special relevance to us Macheads is the strange coincidence linking the cartographic origins of the # and its florid twin, Apple's "command key" symbol:

1. The #, a cartographic symbol for "village", is called (in that context) the octothorp(e) because it once reminded someone of eight fields surrounding a central village square (thorp = village). See http://onlinedictionary.datasegment.com/word/pound+sign and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorp

2. Apple's "command key" is a cartographic symbol (once?) used in Swedish campgrounds to denote something worth seeing. Apparently it's a "floral symbol". See http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=Swedish_Campground.txt

What links them is not only their form (the command key looks like a floral outgrowth of the #) but also the concept of fertility: the # carries, in its interstices, the yielding soil of ancient English fields; while the command key connotes a flower unfolding its tender petals, an object of beauty to frolicking Swedish campers.

Coincidence? Before answering, notice the symbol next to the command key on your keyboard: the apple, Biblical sign of fertility and sin. And someone has already taken the first bite! (Probably one of those Swedish campers ...) ;-P



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Apple's fertility symbols
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Feb 26, '05 10:37:52AM

I knew that one about the Command key being "a place of interest."

Interestingly about the Apple logo, they started off with a picture of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under a tree with a portion of a William Wordsworth poem. Jobs thought it was too cerebral and not easily reproduced at small sizes, so he asked Rob Janov the art director for their PR firm to design something better. He did a black silhouette of an apple, but thought it looked like a tomato, and wanted to simplify it, so he took a "byte" out of it, and added the six colors. Jean-Louis Gasse said of it "One of the deep mysteries to me is our logo, the symbol of lust and knowledge, bitten into, all crossed with the colors of the rainbow in the wrong order. You couldn't dream of a more appropriate logo: lust, knowledge, hope and anarchy."

And remember that the Apple I kit was priced at $666!

I don't think any other company has had such a sense of humor and irony.

---
G4/466, 1 GB, Mac OS X 10.3.8



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