What's In A Name?

Below are 6 "special" characters that you have probably seen in writing from time to time...especially if you've studied or speak a language other than English.  They are all either marks of punctuation or diacritical marks that indicate that the letter with which it is used is pronounced differently than is customary.  For the diacritical marks, the letters themselves are inclued only as a means to illustrate where you would usually find the marks.  Your job:  Provide the generally-accepted official name of each punctuation or diacritical mark.

I APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE FOR HOW THIS POST LOOKS.  I am usually much more conscientious about not only what my posts say, but how they look.  Copying & pasting the various marks wasn't as easy as I thought it would be!


  1. Although in this version, they look like to little diamonds above the letter U, when this diacritical mark is used, they are usually written as two dots:

  2. This wavy mark is generally found above the letter N in Spanish.  It changes the pronunciation of the N to a "ny" sound (similar to how the "ni" in the word "onion" is pronounced), but this mark can also be found above vowels in Portuguese and other languages:                 

  3. This mark of punctuation is widely-recongized as shorthand for the word, "and", but it's got a specific name                                     :

  4. This series of marks is used in writing or printing to indicate an omission, especially of letters or words.  It has a one-word name (and it's not "dots", or "periods", or "points"):                                                                                                                                                      

  5. This mark of punctuation is about as ubiquitous as any you'll ever find, and anyone who uses a phone is quite familiar with it.   It's often called a "pound" or "number" sign, or a "tic-tac-toe" board, but do you know its OFFICIAL name?                                                                         

  6. This sickle-shaped diacritical mark is found quite often under the letter "C" in the French language, usually to denote a "soft" C (which sounds like an "S") as opposed to a "hard" C (which sounds like a "k").  Speaking of French, Comment s'appelle? (What is it called?)                                

 

Answers will follow after I get a few responses!

MisterC MisterC
46-50, M
3 Responses Mar 1, 2010

OK...<br />
<br />
Time for the answers (most of which were already provided by the 2 who answered...thank you both!):<br />
<br />
1. umlaut<br />
<br />
2. tilde<br />
<br />
3. ampersand<br />
<br />
4. ellipsis<br />
<br />
5. octothorpe (one of the weirdest names for a symbol I've ever heard of)<br />
<br />
6. cedilla<br />
<br />
:-)

1. umlout.<br />
2. tilde<br />
above comment for most of the rest

3. ampersand<br />
4. ellipsis<br />
5. hash or pound sign<br />
<br />
That's all I know.