Why tuples use parentheses ()'s instead of something else like <>'s?

Alex Martelli aleaxit at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 30 18:17:36 CET 2004


Dan Sommers <me at privacy.net> wrote:
   ...
> > I was pretty sure that « and » were guillmots, but google sure
> > preferred the sea bird when I asked it.
> 
> They're guillemets (with an "e"); this is a [relatively] well-known
> Adobe SNAFU.  (A quick google search or two failed to find an
> authoritative reference, but I know that such references are out there
> somewhere.)

Ameritan Heritage dictionary:


SYLLABICATION:
guil·le·met

PRONUNCIATION:
  gl-mt, g--m

NOUN:
 Either of a pair of punctuation marks («) or (») used in some
languages, such as French and Russian, to mark the beginning and end of
a quotation.


SYLLABICATION:
guil·le·mot

PRONUNCIATION:
  gl-mt

NOUN:
 Any of several auks of the genus Cepphus, having black plumage with
white markings.


Both come from the French name "Guillaume" (William), but they happened
to pass into English with slightly different spellings.  (I find
American Heritage to be a very authoritative reference -- I just love
it!-).


Alex



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