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          @DDDDDDDD6 Frequently Asked Questions About UNIX GDDDDDDY
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This article contains the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about
UNIX.
This article includes answers to:


        1)  How do I remove a file whose name begins with a "-" ?
        2)  How do I remove a file with funny characters in the filename ?
        3)  How do I get a recursive directory listing?
        4)  How do I get the current directory into my prompt?
        5)  How do I read characters from a terminal without requiring the user
              to hit RETURN?
        6)  How do I read characters from the terminal in a shell script?
        7)  How do I check to see if there are characters to be read without
              actually reading?
        8)  How do I find the name of an open file?
        9)  How do I rename "*.foo" to "*.bar", or change file names
              to lowercase?
        10) Why do I get [some strange error message] when I
              "rsh host command" ?
        11) How do I find out the creation time of a file?
        12) How do I use "rsh" without having the rsh hang around
              until the remote command has completed?
        13) How do I truncate a file?
        14) How do I ¤set an environment variable, change directory‡ inside a
              shell script and have that change affect my current shell?
        15) Why doesn't find's "¤‡" symbol do what I want?
        16) How do I redirect stdout and stderr separately in csh?
        17) How do I set the permissions on a symbolic link?
        18) When someone refers to 'rn(1)' or 'ctime(3)', what does
              the number in parentheses mean?
        19) What does ¤awk,grep,fgrep,egrep,biff,cat,gecos,nroff,troff,tee,bss‡
              stand for?
        20) How does the gateway between "comp.unix.questions" and the
            "info-unix" mailing list work?
        21) How do I pronounce "vi" , or "!", or "/*", or ...?


    If you're looking for the answer to, say, question 14, and want to skip
    everything else, you can search ahead for the regular expression "^14)".

While these are all legitimate questions, they seem to crop up in
comp.unix.questions on an annual basis, usually followed by plenty
of replies (only some of which are correct) and then a period of
griping about how the same questions keep coming up.  You may also like
to read the monthly article "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions"
in the newsgroup "news.announce.newusers", which will tell you what
"UNIX" stands for.

With the variety of Unix systems in the world, it's hard to guarantee
that these answers will work everywhere.  Read your local manual pages
before trying anything suggested here.  If you have suggestions or
corrections for any of these answers, please send them to to
sahayman@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu or iuvax!sahayman.

1)  How do I remove a file whose name begins with a "-" ?

    Figure out some way to name the file so that it doesn't
    begin with a dash.  The simplest answer is to use

            rm ./-filename

    (assuming "-filename" is in the current directory, of course.)
    This method of avoiding the interpretation of the "-" works
    with other commands too.

    Many commands, particularly those that have been written to use
    the "getopt(3)" argument parsing routine, accept a "--" argument
    which means "this is the last option, anything after this is not
    an option", so your version of rm might handle "rm -- -filename".
    Some versions of rm that don't use getopt() treat a single "-"
    in the same way, so you can also try "rm - -filename".

2)  How do I remove a file with funny characters in the filename ?

    The  classic answers are

        rm -i some*pattern*that*matches*only*the*file*you*want

        which asks you whether you want to remove each file matching
        the indicated pattern;  depending on your shell, this may
        not work if the filename has a character with the 8th bit set
        (the shell may strip that off);

    and

        rm -ri .

        which asks you whether to remove each file in the directory,
        answer "y" to the problem file and "n" to everything else.,
        and which, unfortunately, doesn't work with many versions of rm;
        (always take a deep breath and think about what you're doing
        and double check what you typed when you use rm's "-r" flag)

    and

        find . -type f ... -ok rm '¤‡' Ø;

    where "..." is a group of predicates that uniquely identify the
    file.  One possibility is to figure out the inode number
    of the problem file (use "ls -i .") and then use

        find . -inum 12345 -ok rm '¤‡' Ø;

    or
        find . -inum 12345 -ok mv '¤‡' new-file-name Ø;


    "-ok" is a safety check - it will prompt you for confirmation of the
    command it's about to execute.  You can use "-exec" instead to avoid
    the prompting, if you want to live dangerously, or if you suspect
    that the filename may contain a funny character sequence that will mess
    up your screen when printed.

    If none of these work, find your system manager.

3)  How do I get a recursive directory listing?

    One of the following may do what you want:

        ls -R                         (not all versions of "ls" have -R)
        find . -print                (should work everywhere)
        du -a .                        (shows you both the name and size)

    If you're looking for a wildcard pattern that will match
    all ".c" files in this directory and below, you won't find one,
    but you can use

        % some-command ›find . -name '*.c' -print›

    "find" is a powerful program.  Learn about it.

4)  How do I get the current directory into my prompt?

    It depends which shell you are using.  It's easy with some shells,
    hard or impossible with others.

    C Shell (csh):
        Put this in your .cshrc - customize the prompt variable
        the way you want.

            alias setprompt 'set prompt="$¤cwd‡% "'
            setprompt                # to set the initial prompt
            alias cd 'chdir Ø!* && setprompt'

        If you use pushd and popd, you'll also need

            alias pushd 'pushd Ø!* && setprompt'
            alias popd  'popd  Ø!* && setprompt'

        Some C shells don't keep a $cwd variable - you can use
        ›pwd› instead.

        If you just want the last component of the current directory
        in your prompt ("mail% " instead of "/usr/spool/mail% ")
        you can use

            alias setprompt 'set prompt="$cwd:t% "'


        Some older csh's get the meaning of && and || reversed.
        Try doing:

            false && echo bug

        If it prints "bug", you need to switch && and || (and get
        a better version of csh.)


    Bourne Shell (sh):

        If you have a newer version of the Bourne Shell (SVR2 or newer)
        you can use a shell function to make your own command, "xcd" say:

            xcd() ¤ cd $* ; PS1="›pwd› $ "; ‡

        If you have an older Bourne shell, it's complicated but not impossible.
        Here's one way.  Add this to your .profile file:

                LOGIN_SHELL=$$ export LOGIN_SHELL
                CMDFILE=/tmp/cd.$$ export CMDFILE
                PROMPTSIG=16 export PROMPTSIG
                trap '. $CMDFILE' $PROMPTSIG

        and then put this executable script (without the indentation!),
        let's call it "xcd", somewhere in your PATH

                : xcd directory - change directory and set prompt
                : by signalling the login shell to read a command file
                cat >$¤CMDFILE?"not set"‡ </dev/null›
            stty -cbreak

            echo "Thank you for typing a $readchar ."

7)  How do I check to see if there are characters to be read without
    actually reading?

    Certain versions of UNIX provide ways to check whether
    characters are currently available to be read from a file
    descriptor.  In BSD, you can use select(2).  You can also use
    the FIONREAD ioctl (see tty(4)), which returns the number of
    characters waiting to be read, but only works on terminals,
    pipes and sockets.  In System V Release 3, you can use poll(2),
    but that only works on streams.  In Xenix - and therefore
    Unix SysV r3.2 and later - the rdchk() system call reports
    whether a read() call on a given file descriptor will block.

    There is no way to check whether characters are available to be
    read from a FILE pointer.  (Well, there is no *good* way.  You could
    poke around inside stdio data structures to see if the input buffer
    is nonempty but this is a bad idea, forget about it.)

    Sometimes people ask this question with the intention of writing
            if (characters available from fd)
                    read(fd, buf, sizeof buf);
    in order to get the effect of a nonblocking read.  This is not the
    best way to do this, because it is possible that characters will
    be available when you test for availability, but will no longer
    be available when you call read.  Instead, set the O_NDELAY flag
    (which is also called FNDELAY under BSD) using the F_SETFL option
    of fcntl(2).  Older systems (Version 7, 4.1 BSD) don't have O_NDELAY;
    on these systems the closest you can get to a nonblocking read is
    to use alarm(2) to time out the read.


8)  How do I find the name of an open file?

    In general, this is too difficult.  The file descriptor may
    be attached to a pipe or pty, in which case it has no name.
    It may be attached to a file that has been removed.  It may
    have multiple names, due to either hard or symbolic links.

    If you really need to do this, and be sure you think long
    and hard about it and have decided that you have no choice,
    you can use find with the -inum and possibly -xdev option,
    or you can use ncheck, or you can recreate the functionality
    of one of these within your program.  Just realize that
    searching a 600 megabyte filesystem for a file that may not
    even exist is going to take some time.


9) How do I rename "*.foo" to "*.bar", or change file names to lowercase?

    Why doesn't "mv *.foo *.bar" work?  Think about how the shell
    expands wildcards.   "*.foo" "*.bar" are expanded before the mv
    command ever sees the arguments.  Depending on your shell, this
    can fail in a couple of ways.  CSH prints "No match." because
    it can't match "*.bar".  SH executes "mv a.foo b.foo c.foo *.bar",
    which will only succeed if you happen to have a single
    directory named "*.bar", which is very unlikely and almost
    certainly not what you had in mind.

    Depending on your shell, you can do it with a loop to "mv" each
    file individually.  If your system has "basename", you can use:

    C Shell:
        foreach f ( *.foo )
            set base=›basename $f .foo›
            mv $f $base.bar
        end

    Bourne Shell:
        for f in *.foo; do
            base=›basename $f .foo›
            mv $f $base.bar
        done

    Some shells have their own variable substitution features, so instead
    of using "basename", you can use simpler loops like:

    C Shell:

        foreach f ( *.foo )
            mv $f $f:r.bar
        end

    Korn Shell:

        for f in *.foo; do
            mv $f $¤f%foo‡bar
        done

    If you don't have "basename" or want to do something like
    renaming foo.* to bar.*, you can use something like "sed" to
    strip apart the original file name in other ways, but
    the general looping idea is the same.

    A program called "ren" that does this job nicely was posted
    to comp.sources.unix some time ago.  It lets you use

        ren '*.foo' '#1.bar'

    Shell loops like the above can also be used to translate
    file names from upper to lower case or vice versa.  You could use
    something like this to rename uppercase files to lowercase:

        C Shell:
            foreach f ( * )
                mv $f ›echo $f | tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]'›
            end
        Bourne Shell:
            for f in *; do
                mv $f ›echo $f | tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]'›
            done

    If you wanted to be really thorough and handle files with
    ›funny' names (embedded blanks or whatever) you'd need to use

        Bourne Shell:

            for f in *; do
                eval mv '"$f"' Ø"›echo "$f" | tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]'›Ø"
            done
9't.  It happens
     to be harmless to include them in this particular example; versions of
     tr that don't want the [] will conveniently think they are supposed
     to translate '[' to '[' and ']' to ']').

    If you have the "perl" language installed, you may find this rename
    script by Larry Wall very useful.  It can be used to accomplish a
    wide variety of filename changes.

        #!/usr/bin/perl
        #
        # rename script examples from lwall:
        #       rename 's/Ø.orig$//' *.orig
        #       rename 'y/A-Z/a-z/ unless /^Make/' *
        #       rename '$_ .= ".bad"' *.f
        #       rename 'print "$_: "; s/foo/bar/ if  =Ä /^y/i' *

        $op = shift;
        for (@ARGV) ¤
            $was = $_;
            eval $op;
            die $@ if $@;
            rename($was,$_) unless $was eq $_;
        ‡


10) Why do I get [some strange error message] when I "rsh host command" ?

    (We're talking about the remote shell program "rsh" or sometimes "remsh";
     on some machines, there is a restricted shell called "rsh", which
     is a different thing.)

    If your remote account uses the C shell, the remote host will
    fire up a C shell to execute 'command' for you, and that shell
    will read your remote .cshrc file.  Perhaps your .cshrc contains
    a "stty", "biff" or some other command that isn't appropriate
    for a non-interactive shell.  The unexpected output or error
    message from these commands can screw up your rsh in odd ways.

    Fortunately, the fix is simple.  There are, quite possibly, a whole
    *bunch* of operations in your ".cshrc" (e.g., "set history=N") that are
    simply not worth doing except in interactive shells.  What you do is
    surround them in your ".cshrc" with:

            if ( $?prompt ) then
                    operations....
            endif

    and, since in a non-interactive shell "prompt" won't be set, the
    operations in question will only be done in interactive shells.

    You may also wish to move some commands to your .login file; if
    those commands only need to be done when a login session starts up
    (checking for new mail, unread news and so on) it's better
    to have them in the .login file.

11) How do I find out the creation time of a file?

    You can't - it isn't stored anywhere.  Files have a last-modified
    time (shown by "ls -l"), a last-accessed time (shown by "ls -lu")
    and an inode change time (shown by "ls -lc"). The latter is often
    referred to as the "creation time" - even in some man pages -  but
    that's wrong; it's the time the file's status was last changed,
    either by writing or changing the inode (via mv or chmod, etc...).

    The man page for "stat(2)" discusses this.

12) How do I use "rsh" without having the rsh hang around until the
    remote command has completed?

    (See note in question 10 about what "rsh" we're talking about.)

    The obvious answers fail:
                rsh machine command &
    or      rsh machine 'command &'

    For instance, try doing   rsh machine 'sleep 60 &'
    and you'll see that the 'rsh' won't exit right away.
    It will wait 60 seconds until the remote 'sleep' command
    finishes, even though that command was started in the
    background on the remote machine.  So how do you get
    the 'rsh' to exit immediately after the 'sleep' is started?

    The solution - if you use csh on the remote machine:

            rsh machine -n 'command >&/dev/null /dev/null 2>&1 ", or stdout and stderr
    together with ">&" but there is no direct way to redirect
    stderr only.  The best you can do is

        ( command >stdout_file ) >&stderr_file

    which runs "command" in a subshell;  stdout is redirected inside
    the subshell to stdout_file, and both stdout and stderr from the
    subshell are redirected to stderr_file, but by this point stdout
    has already been redirected so only stderr actually winds up in
    stderr_file.

    Sometimes it's easier to let sh do the work for you.

        sh -c 'command >stdout_file 2>stderr_file'

17) How do I set the permissions on a symbolic link?

    Permissions on a symbolic link don't really mean anything.  The
    only permissions that count are the permissions on the file that
    the link points to.

18) When someone refers to 'rn(1)' or 'ctime(3)', what does
    the number in parentheses mean?

    It looks like some sort of function call, but it isn't.
    These numbers refer to the section of the "Unix manual" where
    the appropriate documentation can be found.  You could type
    "man 3 ctime" to look up the manual page for "ctime" in section 3
    of the manual.

    The standard manual sections are:

        1        User-level  commands
        2        System calls
        3        Library functions
        4        Devices and device drivers
        5        File formats
        6        Games
        7        Various miscellaneous stuff - macro packages etc.
        8        System maintenance and operation commands


    Some Unix versions use non-numeric section names.  For instance,
    Xenix uses "C" for commands and "S" for functions.

    Each section has an introduction, which you can read with "man # intro"
    where # is the section number.

    Sometimes the number is necessary to differentiate between a
    command and a library routine or system call of the same name.  For
    instance, your system may have "time(1)", a manual page about the
    'time' command for timing programs, and also "time(3)", a manual
    page about the 'time' subroutine for determining the current time.
    You can use "man 1 time" or "man 3 time" to specify which "time"
    man page you're interested in.

    You'll often find other sections for local programs or
    even subsections of the sections above - Ultrix has
    sections 3m, 3n, 3x and 3yp among others.


19) What does ¤awk,grep,fgrep,egrep,biff,cat,gecos,nroff,troff,tee,bss‡
    stand for?

    awk = "Aho Weinberger and Kernighan"

        This language was named by its authors, Al Aho, Peter Weinberger and
        Brian Kernighan.

    grep = "Global Regular Expression Print"

        grep comes from the ed command to print all lines matching a
        certain pattern

                    g/re/p

        where "re" is a "regular expression".

    fgrep = "Fixed Grep".

        fgrep searches for fixed strings only.  The "f" does not
        stand for "fast" - in fact, "fgrep foobar *.c" is usually slower
        than "egrep foobar *.c"  (yes, this is kind of surprising. Try it.)

        Fgrep still has its uses though, and may be useful when searching
        a file for a larger number of strings than egrep can handle.

    egrep = "Extended Grep"

        egrep uses fancier regular expressions than grep.
        Many people use egrep all the time, since it has some more
        sophisticated internal algorithms than grep or fgrep,
        and is usually the fastest of the three programs.

    cat = "catenate"

        catenate is an obscure word meaning "to connect in a series",
        which is what the "cat" command does to one or more files.
        Not to be confused with C/A/T, the Computer Aided Typesetter.

    gecos = "General Electric Comprehensive Operating System"

        When GE's large systems division was sold to Honeywell,
        Honeywell dropped the "E" from "GECOS".

        Unix's password file has a "pw_gecos" field.  The name is
        a real holdover from the early days.  Dennis Ritchie
        has reported:

            "Sometimes we sent printer output or batch jobs
             to the GCOS machine.  The gcos field in the
             password file was a place to stash the information
             for the $IDENT card.  Not elegant."

    nroff = "New ROFF"
    troff = "Typesetter ROFF"

        These are descendants of "roff", which was a re-implementation
        of the Multics "runoff" program.

    tee        = T

        From plumbing terminology for a T-shaped pipe splitter.

    bss = "Block Started by Symbol"

        Dennis Ritchie says:

            Actually the acronym (in the sense we took it up; it may
            have other credible etymologies) is "Block Started by Symbol."
            It was a pseudo-op in FAP (Fortran Assembly [-er?] Program), an
            assembler for the IBM 704-709-7090-7094 machines.  It defined
            its label and set aside space for a given number of words.
            There was another pseudo-op, BES, "Block Ended by Symbol"
            that did the same except that the label was defined by
            the last assigned word + 1.  (On these machines Fortran
            arrays were stored backwards in storage and were 1-origin.)

            The usage is reasonably appropriate, because just as with
            standard Unix loaders, the space assigned didn't have to
            be punched literally into the object deck but was represented
            by a count somewhere.

    biff = "biff"

            This command, which turns on asynchronous mail notification,
        was actually named after a dog at Berkeley.

            I can confirm the origin of biff, if you're interested.  Biff
            was Heidi Stettner's dog, back when Heidi (and I, and Bill Joy)
            were all grad students at U.C. Berkeley and the early versions
            of BSD were being developed.   Biff was popular among the
            residents of Evans Hall, and was known for barking at the
            mailman, hence the name of the command.

        Confirmation courtesy of Eric Cooper, Carnegie Mellon
        University

    Don Libes' book "Life with Unix" contains lots more of these
    tidbits.


20) How does the gateway between "comp.unix.questions" and the
    "info-unix" mailing list work?

    "Info-Unix" and "Unix-Wizards" are mailing list versions of
    comp.unix.questions and comp.unix.wizards respectively.
    There should be no difference in content between the
    mailing list and the newsgroup.

    To get on or off either of these lists, send mail to
    Info-Unix-Request@brl.mil or Unix-Wizards-Request@brl.mil .
    Be sure to use the '-Request'.  Don't expect an immediate response.

    Here are the gory details, courtesy of the list's maintainer, Bob Reschly.

    ==== postings to info-UNIX and UNIX-wizards lists ====

       Anything submitted to the list is posted; I do not moderate incoming
    traffic -- BRL functions as a reflector.  Postings submitted by Internet
    subscribers should be addressed to the list address (info-UNIX or UNIX-
    wizards);  the '-request' addresses are for correspondence with the list
    maintainer [me].  Postings submitted by USENET readers should be
    addressed to the appropriate news group (comp.unix.questions or
    comp.unix.wizards).

       For Internet subscribers, received traffic will be of two types;
    individual messages, and digests.  Traffic which comes to BRL from the
    Internet and BITNET (via the BITNET-Internet gateway) is immediately
    resent to all addressees on the mailing list.  Traffic originating on
    USENET is gathered up into digests which are sent to all list members
    daily.

       BITNET traffic is much like Internet traffic.  The main difference is
    that I maintain only one address for traffic destined to all BITNET
    subscribers. That address points to a list exploder which then sends
    copies to individual BITNET subscribers.  This way only one copy of a
    given message has to cross the BITNET-Internet gateway in either
    direction.

       USENET subscribers see only individual messages.  All messages
    originating on the Internet side are forwarded to our USENET machine.
    They are then posted to the appropriate newsgroup.  Unfortunately,
    for gatewayed messages, the sender becomes "news@brl-adm".  This is
    currently an unavoidable side-effect of the software which performs the
    gateway function.

       As for readership, USENET has an extremely large readership - I would
    guess several thousand hosts and tens of thousands of readers.  The
    master list maintained here at BRL runs about two hundred fifty entries
    with roughly ten percent of those being local redistribution lists.
    I don't have a good feel for the size of the BITNET redistribution, but
    I would guess it is roughly the same size and composition as the master
    list.  Traffic runs 150K to 400K bytes per list per week on average.

21) How do I pronounce "vi" , or "!", or "/*", or ...?
    You can start a very long and pointless discussion by wondering
    about this topic on the net.  Some people say "vye", some say
    "vee-eye" (the vi manual suggests this) and some Roman numerologists
    say "six".  How you pronounce "vi" has nothing to do with whether
    or not you are a true Unix wizard.

    Similarly, you'll find that some people pronounce "char" as "care",
    and that there are lots of ways to say "#" or "/*" or "!" or
    "tty" or "/etc".  No one pronunciation is correct - enjoy the regional
    dialects and accents.

    Since this topic keeps coming up on the net, here is a comprehensive
    pronunciation list that has made the rounds in the past.  This list
    is maintained by Maarten Litmaath, maart@cs.vu.nl .

Names derived from UNIX are marked with *, names derived from C are marked
with +, names derived from (Net)Hack are marked with & and names deserving
futher explanation are marked with a #.  The explanations will be given at
the very end.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           -- SINGLE CHARACTERS --

     SPACE, blank, ghost&

!    EXCLAMATION POINT, exclamation (mark), (ex)clam, excl, wow, hey, boing,
        bang#, shout, yell, shriek, pling, factorial, ball-bat, smash, cuss,
        store#, potion&, not*+, dammit*#

"    QUOTATION MARK, (double) quote, dirk, literal mark, rabbit ears,
        double ping, double glitch, amulet&, web&, inverted commas

#    CROSSHATCH, pound, pound sign, number, number sign, sharp, octothorpe#,
        hash, fence, crunch, mesh, hex, flash, grid, pig-pen, tictactoe,
        scratch (mark), (garden)gate, hak, oof, rake, sink&, corridor&,
        unequal#

$    DOLLAR SIGN, dollar, cash, currency symbol, buck, string#, escape#,
        ding, big-money, gold&

%    PERCENT SIGN, percent, mod+, shift-5, double-oh-seven, grapes, food&

&    AMPERSAND, and, amper, address+, shift-7, andpersand, snowman,
        bitand+, donald duck#, daemon&, background*

'    APOSTROPHE, (single) quote, tick, prime, irk, pop, spark, glitch,
        lurker above&

*    ASTERISK, star, splat, spider, aster, times, wildcard*, gear, dingle,
        (Nathan) Hale#, bug, gem&, twinkle, funny button#, pine cone, glob*

()   PARENTHESES, parens, round brackets, bananas, ears, bowlegs
(    LEFT PARENTHESIS,  (open) paren,  so,  wane,  parenthesee,   open,  sad,
        tool&
)    RIGHT PARENTHESIS, already, wax, unparenthesee, close (paren), happy,
        thesis, weapon&

+    PLUS SIGN, plus, add, cross, and, intersection, door&, spellbook&

,    COMMA, tail, trapper&

-    HYPHEN, minus (sign), dash, dak, option, flag, negative (sign), worm,
        bithorpe#

.    PERIOD, dot, decimal (point), (radix) point, spot, full stop,
        put#, floor&

/    SLASH, stroke, virgule, solidus, slant, diagonal, over, slat, slak,
        across#, compress#, reduce#, replicate#, spare, divided-by, wand&,
        forward slash

:    COLON, two-spot, double dot, dots, chameleon&

;    SEMICOLON, semi, hybrid, giant eel&, go-on#

<>   ANGLE BRACKETS, angles, funnels, brokets, pointy brackets
<    LESS THAN,    less, read from*, from*,        in*,  comesfrom*, crunch,
        sucks, left chevron#, open pointy (brack[et]), bra#, upstairs&, west
>    GREATER THAN, more, write to*,  into/toward*, out*, gazinta*,   zap,
        blows, right chevron#, closing pointy (brack[et]), ket#, downstairs&,
        east

=    EQUAL SIGN, equal(s), gets, becomes, quadrathorpe#, half-mesh, ring&

?    QUESTION MARK, question, query, whatmark, what, wildchar*, huh, ques,
        kwes, quiz, quark, hook, scroll&

@    AT SIGN, at, each, vortex, whirl, whirlpool, cyclone, snail, ape, cat,
        snable-a#, trunk-a#, rose, cabbage, Mercantile symbol, strudel#,
        fetch#, shopkeeper&, human&, commercial-at

[]   BRACKETS, square brackets, U-turns, edged parentheses
[    LEFT BRACKET,  bracket,   bra, (left) square (brack[et]),   opensquare,
        armor&
]    RIGHT BRACKET, unbracket, ket, right square (brack[et]), unsquare, close,
        mimic&

Ø    BACKSLASH, reversed virgule, bash, (back)slant, backwhack, backslat,
        escape*, backslak, bak, scan#, expand#, opulent throne&, slosh, slope,
        blash

^    CIRCUMFLEX, caret, carrot, (top)hat, cap, uphat, party hat, housetop,
        up arrow, control, boink, chevron, hiccup, power, to-the(-power), fang,
        sharkfin, and#, xor+, wok, trap&, pointer#, pipe*, upper-than#

_    UNDERSCORE, underline, underbar, under, score, backarrow, flatworm, blank,
        chain&, gets#, dash#

›    GRAVE, (grave/acute) accent, backquote, left/open quote, backprime,
        unapostrophe, backspark, birk, blugle, backtick, push, backglitch,
        backping, execute#, boulder&, rock&

¤‡   BRACES, curly braces, squiggly braces, curly brackets, squiggle brackets,
        Tuborgs#, ponds, curly chevrons#, squirrly braces, hitchcocks#,
        chippendale brackets#
¤    LEFT BRACE,  brace,   curly,   leftit, embrace,  openbrace, begin+,
        fountain&
‡    RIGHT BRACE, unbrace, uncurly, rytit,  bracelet, close,     end+, a pool&

|    VERTICAL BAR, pipe*, pipe to*, vertical line, broken line#, bar, or+,
        bitor+, vert, v-bar, spike, to*, gazinta*, thru*, pipesinta*, tube,
        mark, whack, gutter, wall&

Ä    TILDE, twiddle, tilda, tildee, wave, squiggle, swung dash, approx,
        wiggle, enyay#, home*, worm, not+


                        -- MULTIPLE CHARACTER STRINGS --

!?        interrobang (one overlapped character)
*/        asterslash+, times-div#
/*           slashterix+, slashaster
:=        becomes#
<-        gets
<<        left-shift+, double smaller
<>        unequal#
>>        appends*, cat-astrophe, right-shift+, double greater
->        arrow+, pointer to+, hiccup+
#!        sh'bang, wallop
Ø!*        bash-bang-splat
()        nil#
&&        and+, and-and+, amper-amper, succeeds-then*
||        or+, or-or+, fails-then*


                                -- NOTES --

! bang                comes from old card punch phenom where punching ! code mad
e a
                loud noise; however, this pronunciation is used in the (non-
                computerized) publishing and typesetting industry in the U.S.
                too, so ...
! store                from FORTH
! dammit        as in "quit, dammit!" while exiting vi and hoping one hasn't
                clobbered a file too badly
# octothorpe        from Bell System (orig. octalthorpe)
# unequal        e.g. Modula-2
$ string        from BASIC
$ escape        from TOPS-10
& donald duck        from the Danish "Anders And", which means "Donald Duck"
* splat                from DEC "spider" glyph
* Nathan Hale        "I have but one asterisk for my country."
* funny button        at Pacific Bell, * was referred to by employees as the "fu
nny
                button", which did not please management at all when it became
                part of the corporate logo of Pacific Telesis, the holding
                company ...
*/ times-div        from FORTH
= quadrathorpe        half an octothorpe
- bithorpe        half a quadrathorpe (So what's a monothorpe?)
. put                Victor Borge's Phonetic Punctuation which dates back to th
                middle 1950's
/ across        APL
/ compress        APL
/ reduce        APL
/ replicate        APL
:= becomes        e.g. Pascal
; go-on                Algol68
< left chevron        from the military: worn vertically on the sleeve to signif
y
                rating
< bra                from quantum mechanics
<> unequal        e.g. Pascal
> right chevron        see "< left chevron"
> ket                from quantum mechanics
@ snable-a        from Danish; may translate as "trunk-a"
@ trunk-a        "trunk" = "elephant nose"
@ strudel        as in Austrian apple cake
@ fetch                from FORTH
Ø scan                APL
Ø expand        APL
^ and                from formal logic
^ pointer        from PASCAL
^ upper-than        cf. > and <
_ gets                some alternative representation of underscore resembles a
                backarrow
_ dash                as distinct from '-' == minus
› execute        from shell command substitution
¤‡ Tuborgs        from advertizing for well-known Danish beverage
¤‡ curly chevr.        see "< left chevron"
¤‡ hitchcocks        from the old Alfred Hitchcock show, with the stylized profi
le
                of the man
¤‡ chipp. br.        after Chippendale chairs
| broken line        EBCDIC has two vertical bars, one solid and one broken.
Ä enyay                from the Spanish n-tilde
() nil                LISP
--
-JUDGE DREDD/NIA

[OTHER WORLD BBS]