Symbols are increasingly used in our everyday messages. We must have a mutually agreed-upon set of names for symbols so we can understand each other exactly.

We define the following standard symbol names. As you will see, we use the common name for symbols, which should make speaking and copying symbols very straight-forward.

Some symbols have multiple common names:

  • For symbols that have context sensitive names, we use the commonly used, context sensitive name
    • Examples: “.” (period, decimal, dot) and “-” (minus-sign, hyphen, dash)
  • For symbols that have multiple names that are not context sensitive, we pick one name and stick with it

    • Examples: “#” (pound-sign instead of hash) and “/” (slash instead of stroke)

.periodWhen at the end of a sentence
.decimalWhen in numbers
.dotWhen used in email, packet and internet addresses
-minus-signWhen in numbers
-hyphenWhen in words
'apostropheWhen within words