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Terminology - Brace versus bracket

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A few of us kind of side tracked this topic by accident when we got discussing the use of the terms brace and bracket.
To be clear: linguistically ( { [ < are all different kinds of brackets. So you can legally say "curly bracket" to mean {
But many style guides used by publishers promote the term brace for {, so that's why you see it that way in most text books.
Context means a lot. When you say "gay" in the 1950's you mean happy. If you say "gay" in the 21st century, or at the annual parade you mean something else.

We all do certain things, whether right or wrong. I violate naming conventions in code so as to make my life easier with global find/replace.

I think as long as someone is specific they can communicate.
If you say "curly bracket" people will hear - {
If you say "square bracket" people will hear - [
You can even say "round bracket" and some people will hear - (

But if you just say "bracket" without a shape specification, I hear - [
... just say "brace" and I hear - {


If you really want to frak up the average Joe on the street then say "square parenthesis" to mean [ - It's linguistically legal but will screw people up.
Or say "left Guillemet" and see what they think you're talking about.

So to me and many developers I've seen argue this on many sites/forums, I will always mean and expect and argue for this use:

( - Parenthesis
[ - Bracket
{ - Brace
< - Less than
 - Left chevron


What you do is up to you. If you want to fly in the face of programming convention go for it. But if you choose to { when you say 'bracket' be sure to say the whole term of "curly bracket".

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tlhIn`toq Icon

20 October 2014 - 10:23 AM
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