On Tuesday 04 February 2003 18:32, "nicky" wrote:
>It seems to me that there's
>a tendency in Italian to call
>W "vu", especially (or only?) as in "WWW".

That reminds me of what Japanese does with "violin" in katakana.
I have seen a katakana character (glyph?) for "vu", not a normal
part of Japanese speech, fairly sure. IIrc, it combined a basic
katakana character with a modifier that was obviously a "misfit".
(I think I could find a reference.)

"WWW" is simple, memorable, and catches the public fancy. However, I
do wonder whether the person who created it (Tim Berners-Lee?) was
fully aware how awkward it would be when spoken frequently in
English, where it expands to 9 syllables (my count, not necessarily

One practical financial commentator on TV (Louis Rukeyser?), no
greatly concerned with awkward correctness, simply said

People such as computer programmers sometimes need to read aloud
what's on paper, and any symbol that requires more than one
syllable to pronounce is likely to quickly be read as an
agreed-upon substitute. One that is memorable is "bang" for !.
The four-leaved Mac symbol (Command key) (U+2318) was sometimes read
as "splat", apparently.

There used to be a big and sometimes very humorous/witty collection
of alternate words for all non-alphameric printable characters, in
what was probably a predecessor to the New Hacker's Dictionary
(also a delightful niche cultural resource).

I was trying to figure out a concise way to say "http://www", and
finally settled on "hot-tip triple-dub".

This reminds me that I have called the local NPR radio station more
than once to tell/teach them that / is *not* a backslash. I told
them that if listeners typed in exactly what was spoken, they were
guaranteed to fail to reach the Web site.

The backslash is so much a part of the public consciousness that the
local public transit authority (Boston MBTA) put up permanent
two-color porcelain-enameled* station signs on the subway/surface
lines that said "HYNES\ICA" and "CHARLES\MGH". They were replaced
some months later. (The MBTA can't quite spell, btw.)
*If protected, these might last many millennia; Metalphoto halftone
images might, also. The MBTA has some screened halftone
porcelain-enameled decorative images in its stations.

I'll try to remember to dig out the origins of the "back tick"
(U+0060) and the backslash; I have read about both.

Just for fun, rearranged syllables (or morphemes?):
Turn-age teetant muta ninjles

[1]The opening words of a children's nursery rhyme, iirc; next,
"...Three men in a tub...", but the meter doesn't fit...
(P.S. ... Aha! It's "Rub-a-dub-dub." Sorry.)

Btw, I'm thinking of writing a moderately-long message about
pathological misuse of phonetic alphabetic scripts, specifically
English letters and words using the roman alphabet. Too concisely,
I'm referring to the likes of "Sorry for the inconvience", a
distressingly-commonplace notice one sees in public; also
"nutrious", "incandent", and numerous other words with omitted
syllables. IF you regard these misspellings as very-wide, low
logograms (no, I'm not kidding), they are less surprising.

(Does Korean consist of alphabetic logograms? I think both terms are
somewhat wrong.)


-- Nicholas Bodley |@| Waltham, Mass.
-- Sent using KMail with Mandrake Linux 9.0 --
(No, I don't know any useful amount of German, Dutch, or Norwegian.)