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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (1)

1. (computer science) a code for information exchange between computers made by different companies; a string of 7 binary digits represents each character; used in most microcomputers;
[syn: American Standard Code for Information Interchange, ASCII]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

ASCII \ASCII\ n. [Acronym: American Standard Code for Information Interchange.](Computers) 1. the American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a code consisting of a set of 128 7-bit combinations used in digital computers internally, for display purposes, and for exchanging data between computers. It is very widely used, but because of the limited number of characters encoded must be supplemented or replaced by other codes for encoding special symbols or words in languages other than English. Also used attributively; -- as, an ASCII file. Syn: American Standard Code for Information Interchange. [PJC]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Ascii \As"ci*i\, Ascians \As"cians\, n. pl. [L. ascii, pl. of ascius, Gr. ? without shadow; 'a priv. + ? shadow.] Persons who, at certain times of the year, have no shadow at noon; -- applied to the inhabitants of the torrid zone, who have, twice a year, a vertical sun. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

ASCII n 1: (computer science) a code for information exchange between computers made by different companies; a string of 7 binary digits represents each character; used in most microcomputers [syn: American Standard Code for Information Interchange, ASCII]
V.E.R.A. -- Virtual Entity of Relevant Acronyms (September 2014):

ASCII American Standard Code of Information Interchange
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):

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 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; not; shriek; ball-bat; . Rare: factorial; exclam; smash; cuss; boing; yell; wow; hey; | | |wham; eureka; [spark-spot]; soldier, control. | |-+-----------------------------------------------------------------------| | |Common: double quote; quote. Rare: literal mark; double-glitch; | |"|snakebite; ; ; dirk; [rabbit-ears]; double | | |prime. | |-+-----------------------------------------------------------------------| | |Common: number sign; pound; pound sign; hash; sharp; crunch ; hex; | |#|[mesh]. Rare: grid; cross?hatch; oc?to?thorpe; flash; , | | |pig-pen; tic?tac?toe; scratchmark; thud; thump; splat . | |-+-----------------------------------------------------------------------| | |Common: dollar; . Rare: currency symbol; buck; cash; | |$|bling; 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: ; amp; amper; and, and sign. Rare: address (from C);| |&|reference (from C++); andpersand; bitand; background (from sh(1) ); | | |pretzel. [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; o?pen?/?close; par?en/ | |(|the?sis; o/c paren; o/c par?en?the?sis; l/r paren?the?sis; l/r | |)|ba?na?na. Rare: so/al?ready; lparen/rparen; ; o/c round bracket, l/r round bracket, [wax/wane]; | | |par?en?this?ey/un?par?en?this?ey; 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); tic/tac; [angle| | |/right angle]. | |-+-----------------------------------------------------------------------| |=|Common: ; gets; takes. Rare: quadrathorpe; [half-mesh]. | |-+-----------------------------------------------------------------------| |?|Common: query; ; ques . Rare: quiz; 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; ; | |]|brack?et/un?brack?et. Rare: square?/?un?square; [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: xor sign, | |^|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/un?curly; leftit/rytit; l/r squirrelly; [embrace/bracelet]. A | | |balanced pair of these may be called curlies . | |-+-----------------------------------------------------------------------| |||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 ? 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 Tanakh). 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.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):

American Standard Code for Information Interchange ASCII The basis of character sets used in almost all present-day computers. US-ASCII uses only the lower seven bits (character points 0 to 127) to convey some control codes, space, numbers, most basic punctuation, and unaccented letters a-z and A-Z. More modern coded character sets (e.g., Latin-1, Unicode) define extensions to ASCII for values above 127 for conveying special Latin characters (like accented characters, or German ess-tsett), characters from non-Latin writing systems (e.g., Cyrillic, or Han characters), and such desirable glyphs as distinct open- and close-quotation marks. ASCII replaced earlier systems such as EBCDIC and Baudot, which used fewer bytes, but were each broken in their own way. Computers are much pickier 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. Individual characters are listed in this dictionary with alternative names from revision 2.3 of the Usenet ASCII pronunciation guide in rough order of popularity, including their official ITU-T names and the particularly silly names introduced by INTERCAL. See V ampersand, asterisk, back quote, backslash, caret, colon, comma, commercial at, control-C, dollar, dot, double quote, equals, exclamation mark, greater than, hash, left bracket, left parenthesis, less than, minus, parentheses, oblique stroke, percent, plus, question mark, right brace, right brace, right bracket, right parenthesis, semicolon, single quote, space, tilde, underscore, vertical bar, zero. Some other common usages cause odd overlaps. The "#", "$", ">", and "&" characters, for example, were all pronounced "hex" in different communities because various assemblers use them as a prefix tag for hexadecimal constants (in particular, "#" in many assembler-programming cultures, "$" in the 6502 world, ">" at Texas Instruments, and "&" on the BBC Micro, Acorn Archimedes, Sinclair, and some Zilog Z80 machines). See also splat. The inability of US-ASCII to correctly represent nearly any language other than English became an obvious and intolerable misfeature as computer use outside the US and UK became the rule rather than the exception (see software rot). And so national extensions to US-ASCII were developed, such as Latin-1. Hardware and software from the US continued for some time to embody the assumption that US-ASCII is the universal character set and that words of text consist entirely of byte values 65-90 and 97-122 (A-Z and a-z); 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 sets of national characters produced an evolutionary pressure (especially in protocol design, e.g., the URL standard) to stick to US-ASCII as a subset common to all those in use, and therefore to stick to English as the language encodable with the common subset of all the ASCII dialects. This basic problem with having a multiplicity of national character sets ended up being a prime justification for Unicode, which was designed, ostensibly, to be the *one* ASCII extension anyone will need. A system is described as "eight-bit clean" if it doesn't mangle text with byte values above 127, as some older systems did. See also ASCII character table, Yu-Shiang Whole Fish. (2014-10-05)