Re: Up and down thing

Subject: Re: Up and down thing
From: dski -at- CAMEONET -dot- CAMEO -dot- COM -dot- TW
Date: Sat, 5 Oct 1996 17:01:30 GMT

Paul David Marvel asked --

> Any ideas about what to call the "logical or" symbol on the keyboard--the
> up-and-down thing that usually resides above the front slash? My audience
> will not understand "logical or" and a casual test of "up-and-down thing"
> resulted in my colleagues pointing to the arrow keys and exclaiming that
> such a term is not worthy of our docs.

"Vertical bar" is what I've seen it called in ISO and ANSI descriptions
of the ASCII character set. Some well-known symbols are named for their
functions ("plus sign," "equals sign"), but some are not ("ampersand,"
not "and sign"). Much material on character names fails to differentiate
between appelations and functions, or fails to make it clear that some
function-based names (like "Not" for "!") occur only subdialects of the
computerist's dialect.

> We also thought of using "shift + front slash," but I'm not sure the users
> will differentiate front and back slashes. We are also not sure if the
> up-and-down thing is above the front slash on all keyboards. Is it?

Hopefully not -- it certainly wasn't, back before the IBM PC AT-style
keyboard layout (the worst layout in the history of computers) became
nearly ubiquitous. The possibility that a keyboard could be laid out
otherwise occurs to few people other than Dvorak fans. I salute you.

Dan Strychalski dski -at- cameonet -dot- cameo -dot- com -dot- tw


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