Re: Simple symbol question

Subject: Re: Simple symbol question
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2001 05:39:11 -0700 (PDT)

--- pkingston -at- nomadsoft -dot- co -dot- uk wrote:
>
> Anyone know what these symbols are known as when used as brackets (rather
> than mathematical symbols)?
>
> < >

Did a small amount of research on this one. My 3rd edition of HTML for Dummies
calls them "angle brackets." That was okay with me, but I wanted to get some
confirmation. So I went to the W3C site. For some reason, they choose not to
use a word to define what a ">" or "<" is.

My next stop was TechEncyclopedia, http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/, but
they didn't have a definition for "angle bracket," "<", or ">".

So I went to FOLDOC, http://foldoc.doc.ic.ac.uk/foldoc/index.html, where I got
the following information:

"Either of the characters "<" (less-than, ASCII 60) and ">" (greater-than,
ASCII 62). Typographers in the Real World use angle brackets which are either
taller and slimmer (the ISO "Bra" and "Ket" characters), or significantly
smaller (single or double guillemets) than the less-than and greater-than
signs.

See broket."

So, off I go to "See broket" where I find the following:

"/broh'k*t/ or /broh'ket/ (From broken bracket) Either of the characters "<" or
">" when used as paired enclosing delimiters (angle brackets)."

Just to be sure, I did a Google Search, http:www.google.com. Google didn't much
care for the term 'broket' but they did have a link to something called
Antionline.com, http://www.antionline.com/, which has this definition for
'broket':

"[rare; by analogy with `bracket': a `broken bracket'] Either of the characters
< and >, when used as paired enclosing delimiters. This word originated as a
contraction of the phrase `broken bracket', that is, a bracket that is bent in
the middle. (At MIT, and apparently in the Real World as well, these are
usually called angle brackets.)"

I think I'll call them "angle brackets" and follow the term with a visual
representation of what I'm referring to (< or >). "Broket" seems like a fine
word; it conveys something esoteric yet precise. Yet 'broket' seems just a tad
pretentious. Maybe in a couple more years the world will be ready for it.

Whatever you do, though, you'll want to make sure the reader know what symbols
the words you are using refer to.



=====
Tom Murrell
Lead Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com
Personal Web Page - http://home.columbus.rr.com/murrell/
Page Last Updated 07/15/01

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References:
Simple symbol question: From: pkingston

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