ASCII

ASCII

[as-kee]
noun
a standard code, consisting of 128 7-bit combinations, for characters stored in a computer or to be transmitted between computers.

Origin:
A(merican) S(tandard) C(ode for) I(nformation) I(nterchange)

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World English Dictionary
ASCII (ˈæskiː)
 
n acronym for
American standard code for information interchange: a computer code for representing alphanumeric characters

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

ASCII
1963, acronym from "American Standard Code for Information Interchange."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
ASCII   (ās'kē)  Pronunciation Key 
A code that assigns the numbers 0 through 127 to the letters of the alphabet, the digits 0 through 9, punctuation marks, and certain other characters. For example, the capital letter A is coded as 65 (binary 1000001). By standardizing the values used to represent written text, ASCII enables computers to exchange information. Basic, or standard, ASCII uses seven bits for each character code, giving it 27, or 128, unique symbols. Various larger character sets, called extended ASCII, use eight bits for each character, yielding 128 additional codes numbered 128 to 255. Compare Unicode.
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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Cultural Dictionary

ASCII definition


An acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Computers use this code to standardize communication between different machines.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang Dictionary

ASCII

/as'kee/ n. [originally an acronym (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) but now merely conventional] The predominant character set encoding of present-day computers. The standard version uses 7 bits for each character, whereas most earlier codes (including early drafts of of ASCII prior to June 1961) used fewer. This change allowed the inclusion of lowercase letters -- a major win -- but it did not provide for accented letters or any other letterforms not used in English (such as the German sharp-S or the ae-ligature which is a letter in, for example, Norwegian). It could be worse, though. It could be much worse. See EBCDIC to understand how. A history of ASCII and its ancestors is at `http://www.wps.com/texts/codes/index.html'.

Computers are much pickier and less flexible about spelling than humans; thus, hackers need to be very precise when talking about characters, and have developed a considerable amount of verbal shorthand for them. Every character has one or more names -- some formal, some concise, some silly. Common jargon names for ASCII characters are collected here. See also individual entries for bang, excl, open, ques, semi, shriek, splat, twiddle, and Yu-Shiang Whole Fish.

This list derives from revision 2.3 of the Usenet ASCII pronunciation guide. Single characters are listed in ASCII order; character pairs are sorted in by first member. For each character, common names are given in rough order of popularity, followed by names that are reported but rarely seen; official ANSI/CCITT names are surrounded by brokets: . Square brackets mark the particularly silly names introduced by INTERCAL. The abbreviations "l/r" and "o/c" stand for left/right and "open/close" respectively. Ordinary parentheticals provide some usage information. ! Common: bang; pling; excl; shriek; . Rare: factorial; exclam; smash; cuss; boing; yell; wow; hey; wham; eureka; [spark-spot]; soldier, control. " Common: double quote; quote. Rare: literal mark; double-glitch; ; ; dirk; [rabbit-ears]; double prime. # Common: number sign; pound; pound sign; hash; sharp; crunch; hex; [mesh]. Rare: grid; crosshatch; octothorpe; flash; , pig-pen; tictactoe; scratchmark; thud; thump; splat. $ Common: dollar; . Rare: currency symbol; buck; cash; string (from BASIC); escape (when used as the echo of ASCII ESC); ding; cache; [big money]. % Common: percent; ; mod; grapes. Rare: [double-oh-seven]. & Common: ; amper; and. Rare: address (from C); reference (from C++); andpersand; bitand; background (from `sh(1)'); pretzel; amp. [INTERCAL called this `ampersand'; what could be sillier?] ' Common: single quote; quote; . Rare: prime; glitch; tick; irk; pop; [spark]; ; . ( ) Common: l/r paren; l/r parenthesis; left/right; open/close; paren/thesis; o/c paren; o/c parenthesis; l/r parenthesis; l/r banana. Rare: so/already; lparen/rparen; ; o/c round bracket, l/r round bracket, [wax/wane]; parenthisey/unparenthisey; l/r ear. * Common: star; [splat]; . Rare: wildcard; gear; dingle; mult; spider; aster; times; twinkle; glob (see glob); Nathan Hale. + Common: ; add. Rare: cross; [intersection]. , Common: . Rare: ; [tail]. - Common: dash; ; . Rare: [worm]; option; dak; bithorpe. . Common: dot; point; ; . Rare: radix point; full stop; [spot]. / Common: slash; stroke; ; forward slash. Rare: diagonal; solidus; over; slak; virgule; [slat]. : Common: . Rare: dots; [two-spot]. ; Common: ; semi. Rare: weenie; [hybrid], pit-thwong. Common: ; bra/ket; l/r angle; l/r angle bracket; l/r broket. Rare: from/into, towards; read from/write to; suck/blow; comes-from/gozinta; in/out; crunch/zap (all from UNIX); [angle/right angle]. = Common: ; gets; takes. Rare: quadrathorpe; [half-mesh]. ? Common: query; ; ques. Rare: whatmark; [what]; wildchar; huh; hook; buttonhook; hunchback. @ Common: at sign; at; strudel. Rare: each; vortex; whorl; [whirlpool]; cyclone; snail; ape; cat; rose; cabbage; . V Rare: [book]. [ ] Common: l/r square bracket; l/r bracket; ; bracket/unbracket. Rare: square/unsquare; [U turn/U turn back]. \ Common: backslash, hack, whack; escape (from C/UNIX); reverse slash; slosh; backslant; backwhack. Rare: bash; ; reversed virgule; [backslat]. ^ Common: hat; control; uparrow; caret; . Rare: chevron; [shark (or shark-fin)]; to the (`to the power of'); fang; pointer (in Pascal). _ Common: ; underscore; underbar; under. Rare: score; backarrow; skid; [flatworm]. ` Common: backquote; left quote; left single quote; open quote; ; grave. Rare: backprime; [backspark]; unapostrophe; birk; blugle; back tick; back glitch; push; ; quasiquote. Common: o/c brace; l/r brace; l/r squiggly; l/r squiggly bracket/brace; l/r curly bracket/brace; . Rare: brace/unbrace; curly/uncurly; leftit/rytit; l/r squirrelly; [embrace/bracelet]. | Common: bar; or; or-bar; v-bar; pipe; vertical bar. Rare: ; gozinta; thru; pipesinta (last three from UNIX); [spike]. ~ Common: ; squiggle; twiddle; not. Rare: approx; wiggle; swung dash; enyay; [sqiggle (sic)]. The pronunciation of `#' as `pound' is common in the U.S. but a bad idea; Commonwealth Hackish has its own, rather more apposite use of `pound sign' (confusingly, on British keyboards the pound graphic happens to replace `#'; thus Britishers sometimes call `#' on a U.S.-ASCII keyboard `pound', compounding the American error). The U.S. usage derives from an old-fashioned commercial practice of using a `#' suffix to tag pound weights on bills of lading. The character is usually pronounced `hash' outside the U.S. There are more culture wars over the correct pronunciation of this character than any other, which has led to the ha ha only serious suggestion that it be pronounced `shibboleth' (see Judges 12.6 in an Old Testament or Torah).

The `uparrow' name for circumflex and `leftarrow' name for underline are historical relics from archaic ASCII (the 1963 version), which had these graphics in those character positions rather than the modern punctuation characters.

The `swung dash' or `approximation' sign is not quite the same as tilde in typeset material but the ASCII tilde serves for both (compare angle brackets).

Some other common usages cause odd overlaps. The `#', `$', `>', and `&' characters, for example, are all pronounced "hex" in different communities because various assemblers use them as a prefix tag for hexadecimal constants (in particular, `#' in many assembler-programming cultures, `$' in the 6502 world, `>' at Texas Instruments, and `&' on the BBC Micro, Sinclair, and some Z80 machines). See also splat.

The inability of ASCII text to correctly represent any of the world's other major languages makes the designers' choice of 7 bits look more and more like a serious misfeature as the use of international networks continues to increase (see software rot). Hardware and software from the U.S. still tends to embody the assumption that ASCII is the universal character set and that characters have 7 bits; this is a major irritant to people who want to use a character set suited to their own languages. Perversely, though, efforts to solve this problem by proliferating `national' character sets produce an evolutionary pressure to use a _smaller_ subset common to all those in use.
FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

ASCII definition


American Standard Code for Information Interchange

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Abbreviations & Acronyms
ASCII
American Standard Code for Information Interchange
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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