So what do we actually call this thing? - Page 2

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Thread: So what do we actually call this thing?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Istine View Post
    Yes, caret and tilde are the terms I would use too. I haven't used them in English as such though.
    The only times I've used the caret is in maths to denote indices (power of) and I've only used the tilde when attempting to write Spanish (makes the n sound like ny).
    In the real world of symbols, as opposed to the more limited world of computer symbols, I would use the tilde in mathematics to indicate "approximately". In fact historically the equals sign was written as two parallel lines of equal length because "noe 2 things can be more equal." (The Whetstone of Witte by Robert Recorde 1557) In contrast if the top line is twisted into a tilde then the symbol means "approximately equal" as a twisted line in general means "approximately" where it appears. I think you can also twist both lines to indicate "very approximately equal" but then of course they're both equal again, so that makes no sense to me.

    The caret as a way of denoting indices actually means "this next bit should be in a superscript font but I can't do that here" or, to put it more succinctly, literally "up a bit".

    Regarding the tilde as an accent, I suppose that Monty Python would use it in the case of the Spanish order of The Knights who say Ni, although I might be confusing them with the Spanish Inquisition. That's only to be expected though.
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  2. #12
    For what it's worth, I had a friend nicknamed "Dinkus" because he had a small you-know-what. Ah, this writing minutiae...
    John Oberon
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  3. #13
    The closest thing to a technical term would be a section break. Its sort of a holdover from when pagination wasn't automated like it is with modern word processors in order to aid in the printing process. The curly ones you are referring to might be called a fleuron.

  4. #14
    Member DaBlaRR's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
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    You really like to use the word "folks" … I have no further input.
    disclaimer: I type to ask quuuesstions... if for wutever reeeson i mistake a their with there, or a two with to... or anything of the sort... forums is where i can lazeee tipe and not put effort in... i am not a professional...

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  5. #15
    WF Veteran Riis Marshall's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Grantham, Lincolnshire - home of Isaac Newton and some woman whose name I've forgotten

    Yes, I like to address my friends here as 'Folks' because I think it's far more stylish than 'Hey, Youns Guys'.

    Hello Folks

    Following some more Internet-based research - Chicago Style has nothing to say about it - my conclusion is the generic term for the marker, whatever we use is 'section break marker'. According to some sources, the squwiggly thing - - is called a 'section break sign' or simply a 'section sign'. And as Terry posted above, the three asterisks is called a 'dinkus'.

    Interesting: the stuff we learn on the way to looking up other stuff.

    All the best with your writing.

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  6. #16
    Here's a link to a page I found with all the names for those odd squiggles, dots and loopy loops you find in literature.

    "Your right leg I like. I like your right leg. A lovely leg for the role. That's what I said when I saw you come in. I said A lovely leg for the role. I've got nothing against your right leg. The trouble is neither have you." Peter Cook to Mr Spigott

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