A Conversation for Peculiarities of the Danish Alphabet

On Windows NT...

Post 1

Is mise Duncan

There is a utility in the Accessories group called the Character Map.
Running this gives you a list of all the characters available in any given font which you can copy into the clipboard and paste into any application in the usual manner.

Additionally, certain non US keyboards have an [AltGr] button which results in different characters when pressed in combination with the standard keys - for example in Polish, [Alt Gr]+O would give : Ó.

For information on such things try http://www.unicode.org
Enjoy smiley - winkeye

On Mac OS...

Post 2


MacOS has these nice little shortcuts for keyboards that don't have the appropriate keys:

option-a = å
option-shift-a = Å
option-o = ø
option-shift-o = Ø
option-' = æ
option-shift-' = Æ

On Windows NT...

Post 3


It is also important to note that, for Windows operating systems, the number keys pressed in the Alt-### shortcuts must be on the keypad portion of the screen. Number keys along the top of the keyboard do not yield the desired results. On some systems, you need to enter a four digit.

So, for example: æ - Alt-145 is listed by Windows as being Alt-0230 (both work fine with the default US Code pages).

The character map application lists the desired keystroke combination for a selected character in the lower right hand corner.

On Windows NT...

Post 4


>...must be on the keypad portion of the screen...

Oops. They must be on the keypad portion of the KEYBOARD.


On Windows NT...

Post 5


Can't remember which other versions of Windows support this, but on Windows 2000 you can arrange to flip your keyboard temporarily into a different 'locale'. (I.e. you can tell the computer to behave as though it had a different keyboard layout.)

E.g. I have a US laptop, but I'm from the UK, so I've set it up so that by hitting Alt-Shift flips into UK layout (or back to US) so I can type in a £ sign. I wouldn't want it in that state permanently - too many of the key tops would be wrong, but it's handy when I need a £ instead of a #. (And being a laptop there's no numeric keypad, so using the Alt-xxx solution requires some not-so-handy 4 finger combinations!)

Why do Americans call the # a pound sign? smiley - smiley

The pound sign

Post 6


> Why do Americans call the # a pound sign? smiley - smiley

When trying to explain the pointless or unexplainable, I generally blame society. Or the media. Or even better, both.

It is a Well Known Fact (WKF) that Americans are on average, subjected to more media inspired violence than any other culture in human history with the possible exception of post-Stooges Canada. Believe me, when it comes to the media, Americans have a lock on the average.

Combine the constant assault on the senses with a certain free-spirited savoir faire of such beloved (and bad) Hollywood fixtures like John Wayne and Gary Coleman, and one can see why Americans choose to assert their (our?) world power by aggressively naming punctuation. Case in point, the bang (!), slash (/), pipe (|), asterisk (*), and colon (smiley - smiley.

Naturally, the opportunity to use the word 'pound' as punctuation left early Americans giddy, and in keeping with our common history with the British Isles, were more than happy to apply it to the £ symbol, as intended by God and the Queen.

After a petulant tiff between England and the rebel colonies involving the incessant staining of endless wool uniforms with gore, the rebel colonists found that the use of the £ sign dwindled in every day practice. Never content to let such a good punctuation name go to waste, Americans were saved by the ingenuity of an ornery Scotsman by the name of Alexander Graham Bell and his timely invention of the Telephone. With the inevitable invention of Touch-Tone one-hundred years later, Americans were once again able to mash the pound sign (#) repeatedly in frustrating attempts to talk with another human, and in expressing their rage, reclaim a historical link to the primeval wellspring from which aggressive punctuating has emerged.

"Abbreviation without representation is Tyranny!" Lets go throw some Snapple (tea) into the ocean.

What do the Brits call the (#) sign? We call the (£) a squiggly little L and wonder where the L in Pound went. Is it another one of the Cholmondely/Chumley or Sloughterleigh/Slushee transformations that so entrances the American populous? And by the way, in abbreviating Pounds-weight (lb.), not only is there no L, there also is no B. Perhaps now you understand why we are such an aggressive warlike people. If we were a more cultured and civilized people, like the Aussies, we would probably call the (#) a shilling sign instead.

The pound sign

Post 7


We pronounce # 'hash'. (At least most developers do.) Since I sometimes end up teaching software developers in America, this can get confusing, along with the fact that for a Brit, brackets are '()' (developers tend to refer to '[]' as square brackets; I'm not even sure what Americans call '{}', but when I call them 'curly brackets' people seem to know what I'm talking about).

Just to make life more interesting I usually try to remember to use the American versions (along with the pronunciation of router - I was told that the UK way of saying this sounds rude to most Americans!), only I always forget sooner or later...

I've a feeling there are French origins to both lb (pounds weight) and the L in £ (pounds sterling).

The pound sign

Post 8

Is mise Duncan

I have a feeling that the Americans (or at least the US ones) call "()" braces, and "{}" curly braces.

I do remember a C lecture about closing curly braces...even though they are an total pain!

Also # is hash, but also number - as in #1.

The pound sign

Post 9


'Parentheses' seems to be the preferred term for '()' amongst the people I teach. I assumed it was universal, although software developers have a vocabulary all their own...

The pound sign

Post 10

Wand'rin star

The pound sign (which I can't access on this keyboard )is a capital L with two slant lines through it and is short for the Latin word for pound as is "lb" I'm tempted to say the word we're looking for here is Libra, but as I know that means scales and I don't have a Latin dictionary this side of the world, I won't.[possibly came into English via the French "livre"which also means book {curiouser and curiouser}] I thought the curly braces were called suspenders,but, as you can see, I have no idea of the functions of the different parantheses.smiley - smiley

The pound sign

Post 11


As an American, I feel it is my duty to confirm or deny allegations as to our culture's punctuation preferences.

(,) - parentheses
[,] - brackets
{,} - braces
<,> - angle brackets
$ - The One True Currency

The braces ({,}) are sometimes referred to as curly braces, as are the brackets ([,]) referred to as square brackets, but the efficiency wonks liken this behavior to calling the Stooges Moe Stooge, Curley Stooge, Larry Stooge, and Shemp Stooge, somewhat redundant, quite unnecessary and rather grating.

Sometimes, when watching the Stooges, it can be difficult to determine the source of aggravation, but one can be sure that calling the Stooges by their last name is a factor.


Post 12

Wand'rin star

I'm not going to be able to remember that - insufficient uncluttered synapses left. I think people like me function as stooges in some of these threads. Totters off repeating "curly brackets are braces, curly brackets............."

The pound sign

Post 13


Ah, but giving them their full names is only redundant if you can be sure of the cultural context you are in. (Generally not the case on the Internet, although people often forget this.)

If the context is the UK, then you can call parentheses 'brackets' - everyone will know that you mean '()', and it's fewer syllables. You could say parentheses, but it turns out that while some people will understand, some won't and several will think you are strange. ('Parentheses' is a term I only came across first in maths and later in computing - it's not commonly used elsewhere in the UK.) And you have to call '[]' square brackets because they don't have any other name over here! (At least not that I'm aware of.)

It's like failing to identify 'Moe' as a Stooge out of context - for me Moe is, by default, the barman at Homer's local. smiley - smiley

And as anyone knows, $ is just short for 'string' - what else could it possibly mean? (Apart from maybe 'hexadecimal' if you happen to use that kind of assembler.) smiley - winkeye

Violent punctuation...

Post 14


The wonderful thing about the internet is its ability to narrow the cultural gap and foster communication. I feel I must update my resume to indicate that I can punctuate in four different cultural contexts.

On a side note, I found that American Unix programmers, a peace loving, cookie eating species, often substitute the term 'whack' for the otherwise predominant 'slash' when referring to the '/' character. Still violent, but more akin to spanking then keel-hauling.

That's it. From now on, I think I will name one of the underused and un-cleverly named puncuation marks 'spank'. Perhaps the AT sign (@) or the tilde (~) or the umlaut/diaeresis (¨).

I think I will also rename the carrot/caret? (^) the "nuggie". For those of you who grew up in a culture devoid of nuggies, a nuggie involves using one arm to imobilize an individual in a headlock, while digging the nuckle of the remaining hand in the top of the scalp. Sometimes used as a sign of affection.

Violent punctuation...

Post 15

Santragenius V

Seeing that this whole thing started off a brilliant discussion about the Danish alphabet (alfabet, as we like to call it), I'll add a comment about these things: {}

In Denmark, they are often called Tuborgs (yes, the name of the beer). Or even "væltet Tuborg" = tilted Tuborg.

This is due to the fact that the brewery once had parasols (aka huge umbrelas but for anti-sun use) made -- and seen from the side they had the exact same shape as a } (turn your head 90o right to see it!)

There -- isn't that a wonderful bit of next-to-useless trivia?


Violent punctuation...

Post 16

AEndr, The Mad Hatter

The thing with the slash / is that many programmers, especially on unix systems and latex using scientists, require \ and /, where \ is back slash and / is forward slash. In context we may say / slash, but only when the usage and context is obvious. \ is nearly always backslash.
So if you use / whack, then \ may be slash or backslash, reducing the syllables from 3 for forward slash / to 1 for whack /. I don't know if the Am UNICES use anything for \ similar to / whack, but you can imagine them doing so.

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