--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, Nicholas Bodley <nbodley@...> wrote:
> I had attributed it to the use of [%] as a character in URLs to
> signify that the following two digits were to be taken as a code
> point; for instance, if you want to include a space code in a[n]
> URL, you represent it as %20 , iirc.

The vast majority of my friends are addicted to Slashdot, and I
really, really doubt this. It would be much geekier to use this kind
of notation to refer to the same thing the code refers to (e.g. "This
%20 for rent") rather than just moving the placement of the percent
sign for fun.

I also doubt the RPN theory, since %50 is prefix notation, not
postfix. Though I did and do not go to MIT, or even want to, I was
raised on HP calcs to the point where I have a hard time using
"normal" infix calcs, and it has never, ever occurred to me to put a
percent sign first.

> My guess is that most Slashdotters read many more URLs than
> "real" text, and think that that's typical usage in other
> situations.

My guess is that someone at some point, either because of a typo or
because of a native RTL language, typed %50 and someone thought it was
cool. In online communities, it seems things like that spread like
wildfire. I remember years ago in an online chatroom I frequented,
someone accidently typed "you are such a ferak" instead of "freak" and
the word "ferak" was adopted for widespread use in that chatroom.
I've noticed certain words, phrases, spellings, etc. to be common on
Slashdot and (thankfully :) ) no where else.

> The Polish mathematician Jan (?) Łukasiewicz invented a
> parentheses-free math. notation.

I never knew why it was called Reverse Polish Notation, and now I do.
Thanks! :)