[New-bugs-announce] [issue39402] Consistent use of terms

Raymond Leiter report at bugs.python.org
Mon Jan 20 21:57:42 EST 2020

New submission from Raymond Leiter <rayrleiter at gmail.com>:

This is my idea of an improvement to the documentation, but I doubt anyone would agree with me.
Nevertheless, here it is:
There are at least 4 commonly used characters used to group other constructs to clearly call attention to their meaning.
1. [] Brackets
2. {} Braces
3. () Parentheses
4. <> Less than/Greater than 

The problem I have with the way these symbols are spoken of (in writing as well as oral discourse) is the lack of consistent names for them.
Brackets are often referred to as square Brackets, even though there is apparently no alternative such as rectangular Brackets, etc.
Braces are often referred to as curly Braces or some times curly Brackets.
Parentheses are usually called, correctly, Parentheses, but also referred to as round Brackets. I've never encountered 'round Braces', but I'm hopeful.
Less then and Greater then symbols are referred to correctly when they are used in mathematics speak.
However, when they are used as a 'grouping' mechanism, they are usually called Angle Brackets -- not Angle Braces.
My proposal is this:
The most consistent way I can think of for referring to these 4 symbols when used as a 'grouping' mechanism is:
There will be no more Braces, since that term is apparently quite unpopular with most programmers today.
The 'shape' modifiers (SQUARE, CURLY, ROUND, ANGLE), applied to the 
common term BRACKETS, would appear to be much more consistent than current usage.
I'm well aware of the difficulty in garnering support for this kind of an 'improvement', but I felt it needed said.

assignee: docs at python
components: Documentation
messages: 360349
nosy: Raymond Leiter, docs at python
priority: normal
severity: normal
status: open
title: Consistent use of terms
type: enhancement
versions: Python 3.8

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