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Proposal: "{" and "}" to be known as openstache, closestache (sigusr2.net)
163 points by apgwoz 2839 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 73 comments

With apologies for dampening the mood of the original post...

  () == paranetheses
  [] == brackets
  {} == braces

In Italian, we qualify them by their shape:

    () == parentesi tonde (round)
    [] == parentesi quadre (squared)
    {} == parentesi graffe (claws)

In British English it's much the same:

  () == "round brackets" or usually just "brackets"
  [] == "square brackets"
  {} == "curly brackets" or "braces"

I grew up in India and am familiar with this, used to always wonder if I was wrong and why i often get confused when people say parentheses instead of brackets.(I have been in the US since the last 10 years)

Interesting, I'm from the US and I do call () parenthesis but the last two are the same from what I've learned and what other people say (usually in math classes).

In New Zealand:

  () == "round brackets"
  [] == "square brackets"
  {} == "curly brackets"
  <> == "pointy brackets"

In England I learned the version further up this thread. Computer Science nomenclature doesn't really follow British vs. American English separations as much as natural language.

In fact I don't recall anyone in Britain use those terms to me, either in university or at work.

That's how I learned it (although I never used 'round brackets' explicitly). This gets really confusing when you begin to talk to Americans and refer to 'brackets', thankfully everybody understands parens, and the others are the same.

> {} == parentesi graffe (claws)

I initially read that as "parentesi giraffe" which could have been plausible...

,-{ __ }-,

in French, they are (plural form):

    ( parenthèses )
    [ crochets ]    => "hooks"
    { accolades }   => "hugs"

Some computer scientists split the word in two to distinguish the opening one from the closing one (like Physicist do with the bra-ket notation).

( a b c ) is then pronounced "Paren, a, b, c, thèse".

I've never heard the "split parenthesis" - perhaps Quebec is different.

I have a Lisp teacher in Japan who has an interesting way of reading code. He says 'kakko' for '(', which is the usual Japanese word for a parenthesis. For the closing one, he says the word in reverse: 'kokka'. So "(def a (fn))" would be read "kakko def a kakko fn kokka kokka". It's quite effective.

Yes but in Physics the bra & ket vector notatin (kind of) mis-uses '<' & '>' to denote vectors as in <Ψ|H|Ψ> = E, for example (and if my memory servers right…)

In Romanian:

  () == paranteze (rotunde); the "rotunde" (round) adjective is optional  
  [] == paranteze pătrate (squared)  
  {} == acolade (braces)

In Mexico:

    () == Paréntesis
    [] == Corchetes
    {} == Llaves (keys)

In Swedish:

  () == Paranteser (Parentheses)  
  [] == Hakparanteser (Hook parentheses)  
  {} == Måsvingar (Gull wings)
        Klammerparanteser (Brace parentheses)
        Krullparenteser (Curl parentheses)
        Spetsparanteser (Tip parentheses)
        Ackolader (Swedification of the French accolades => Hugs)
Swedish uses left, right or more commonly amongst developers start and end prefixes. Måsvingar seem to be winning as the word of choice for braces amongst developers.

For completeness, the INTERCAL standard naming convention:

  ( wax
  ) wane
  [ U turn
  ] U turn back
  { embrace
  } bracelet


  () = runde Klammern (round)
  [] = eckige Klammern (angled)
  {} = geschweifte Klammern (cambered)

Thus, a counter-suggestion:

  [ == "open-brack"
  ] == "close-brack"

It's parentheses.

I find the following nomenclature to be both concise and descriptive e.g., "open square" or "close paren":

() == parens [] == squares {} == staches (formerly curlies)

I vote yes. I already say upscalator and downscalator to distinguish between the two types of escalators. This is equally quirky and useful. I like it.

Wow. The first time I read this, I thought you were talking about differentiating forward and back slashes.

up escalator. -> _/

down escalator: \_

We should add this to our i18n software so that they are switched for languages that read right-to-left.

What's a forward slash? I know only of slashes and backslashes...

So apparently sarcasm isn't appreciated @ HN...

/ <- this is a forward slash

Do you refer to the long flat ones at airports as lateralscalators, forwardscalators, or orthangonalscalators?

I think we can both agree that frontscalator makes more sense.

I think transcalator fits together more nicely.

(Edit: or maybe flatscalator)

I think parallelscalator has a nice ring to it.

Some are concurrent, but hardly all of them!

Since you must go on one then the next: serialscalators?

Unless you like to ride it facing the wrong way. Then it's a backscalator.

Or is that the one going the other way?

Excuse the serious response for a sec, but they're 'travelators' for those who are unsure.

Or conveyors.



I sort of like orthogonalscalators, because it's huge and people seem happy to abuse "orthogonal". Plus, it brings strange things to mind when you mention that there are two or three of them in parallel...

I'll have to admit, I've never thought about that. I like the suggestions given so far though.

Why not simply "sidescalator"?

I think of the way the slash would fall if it were a pen on a desk. The forward slash would fall forward / -> the back slash would fall back \ <-

Escalate already means move up, but has a clumsy opposite (de-escalate, I believe). Maybe descalator and escalator would be an alternative. However, ups- and downs- is better, plus you always get points for coining new words.

No no no! For the love of $(DIETY), don't call them openstache and closestache, but rather leftstache and rightstache.

While there isn't a difference in left-to-right language, those of us unfortunate enough to have to support right-to-left languages need a nontrivial algorithm to decide whether openstache is actually a leftstache or a rightstache (because the grpahic form of the character is that of a leftstache, independent of directionality, rather than openstache, which mirrors based on directionality)

I'm curious... do people who read right to left languages code that way as well?

} (y = x)fi ;("!dlrow olleH")nltirp.tuo.metsyS {

How about top to bottom languages? (Not doing that one out).

There is (AFAIK) one programming language that is RTL -- a variation on Basic which has been dead for about 15 years now.

The open-paren / left-paren problem is there even in e.g. Word, explictly _because_ it's considered open-paren rather than left-paren; When you type 'alif' (arabic 'a' equiv) 'ba' (arabic 'b' equiv) shift-9 (left paren), you get ')' 'ba' 'alif' . but if you type 'a' 'b' shift-9, you get 'ab('. if you insert a different directionality character immediately in fromt of the open-paren, the paren will be flip.

The rules for flipping parens are specified in the Unicode standard, and are extremely nontrivial and nonintuitive (both for implementing and for using -- it's often hard to get the kind of character you want!).

And it all exists because some idiot thinking "abstraction! It is an open-or-close that the person means, not the left-or-right!" was sitting in the committees making the decisions; There _was_ dissenting opinion, giving exactly the example I gave above, but abstraction was deemed way more important than usability.

-life: DIETY: command not found

Strange names for characters can help when they significantly shorten, such as "bang" versus "exclamation" (though in context I'd prefer "not" when it has that meaning).

However, "stache" doesn't shorten "brace"; both of them have one syllable, and the latter even has fewer letters if you have to type it. So, this seems unhelpful except as a joke.

On the other hand, we could use a good joke name for {}, to go along with "octothorpe" (#), "twiddle" (~), and "ampersand" (&). :)

"brace", "bracket", "paren": {} [] ()

Or, if you really feel like disambiguating, "curly brace", "square bracket", "parenthesis": {} [] ()

How is ampersand a joke name?

The etymology [1] does not suggest a joke origination.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampersand#Etymology

Through folk etymology, it has been claimed that André-Marie Ampère used the symbol in his widely read publications, and that people began calling the new shape "Ampere's and". [3]

To quote the Jargon File's entry on ASCII character names <http://www.jargon.net/jargonfile/a/ASCII.html>:

"INTERCAL called this `ampersand'; what could be sillier?"

I use open-curly/close-curly and never had a problem being understood. Add bracket if someone really isn't getting it.

I'm not Danish, but on their behalf I'd like to note that these are called Tuborgs after the beer company. Apparently their delivery trucks had a profile that looked like the braces.

You're on to something: in my math classes they would often be referred too as a "væltet Turborg". Which means a "fallen down Tuborg" ie. it's turned on the side. The profile can be seen on the roof of this truck: http://www.mc-barskk.dk/images/Tuborg_Julebryg.jpg

You're right. The special cockpit canopy:


Surely, this should be known as "}": handlebars and "{ pornstar".

Looks like openstache.com was registered today: http://who.godaddy.com/WhoIsVerify.aspx?domain=openstache.co...

Let's do some quantum mechanics with the bra ket notation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bra-ket_notation

LTACHE and RTACHE is a lot less to type, and has some consistency with LPAREN and RPAREN which I recall from "back in the day" when I was at university and learning about lexers and parsers (go dragon book!).

LBRACE and RBRACE take the same amount of time to type and are standard nomenclature in lexers/parsers.

Ahhh, the dragon book. Probably the only book I own that is older than me.

What's wrong with 'open brace'/'close brace'? Same amount of effort to say.

Drop the s'es; Opentache and closetache is more pronounceable.

One problem "stache" already has, which "tache" exacerbates: they sound too much like "dash". While "open dash" and "close dash" don't really make sense, that doesn't prevent them from adding to the confusion.

I've always had a problem pronouncing s'es, but I do totally prefer the way openstache sounds compared to opentache.

In Latin:

  () == arcus
  [] == quadrum
  {} == torquendum
However, this terminology hasn't been used since the Romans first programmed "SalveMundus.for"...

I made a field guide to brackets a while back:


In Portuguese they are called "keys", so you just use open-key and close-key, but I understand that that in English would be confusing.

That's a bad, literal translation of how it's called in Portuguese. "Keys" can be translated to "chaves" or "teclas".

Anyway, I don't get this, just as a joke. "Parenthesis", "Brackets" and "Braces" do just fine, thank you very much.

() Parenthesis => Parêntesis [] Brackets => Colchetes {} Braces => Chaves

Hardly bad, literal yes, almost. 'Chaves' (keys, braces, staches in the post's joke) really come from the mathematical term 'chaveta', a punctuation, symbol that serves as a opening and closure in mathematical terms, hence the term as a key and not as brace (what would be better translated as braçadeira).

  { = "woo woo"
  } = "nyuk nyuk"



Shorter this way.

ostache, clostache sounds funnier

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