Talk:Section sign

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Typography (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Typography, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles related to Typography on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the importance scale.

Czech keyboard dedicated entry[edit]

Czech keyboard has a dedicated paragraph button. Should be added, but I can't edit the page...

Czech: § (key between ů and ↵ Enter on ANSI layout and ů and ¨ on most ISO layouts) (talk) 13:14, 24 June 2020 (UTC)

Kalahari Bushmen[edit]

I removed this paragraph:

In the written language of the Kalahari Bushmen, the section sign is used to warn of nearby snakes, owing to its striking visual similarity to a pair of snakes intertwined. Snakes in Kalahari culture are associated with strong superstitious beliefs; many believe that simply reading about a snake can be fatal. Accordingly, the section sign can either indicate real snakes, or a written paragraph which mentions them.

It was unsourced, written by an anonymous user who was already warned for vandalism and it looks like nonsense. --Amir E. Aharoni 10:18, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

The Origin[edit]

I removed this sentence:

For an effect comparable to the contemporary use of bold type, early scribes would double stroke letters, hence the sign was developed from a double stroked letter S.[citation needed]

Apart from being unsourced, it is only one (and a rather uncommon) of the possible explanations for the origin of the sign. other theories include a double S referring to the latin "signum sectionis", a derivation from the letter C referring to the latin "caput", as well as various combinations of egyptian, greek and roman signs. It is an ongoing debate, and cannot be finally answered at this point. The various explanations can surely be integrated into the article, but preferably in a special section and with citation.

Meaning in Poland[edit]

In Poland, this sign means "paragraph," not "section." The Polish penal code, in turn, is organised in paragraphs. Thus, this sign shows up on the covers of books about law and on law enforcement officers' badges.

Description in this stub does not do a good job explaining that.

Yes and no. Indeed in Poland this sign is called "paragraph", but it is used nevertheless as a sign denoting sections. Basic unit in Polish laws is an article, not section (or paragraph). For instance the crime of ordinary homicide is in an article 148 § 1 in criminal code while homicide with the firearm in an article 148 § 2. Only very important laws use § signs (like criminal code, civil code, code of civil/administrative/criminal proceedings etc.) Other laws use so called "ustęps" instead of sections (§). IAAL. Przepla 20:38, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
That's not entirely true. Paragraph is actually used as a basic unit of legal text in government's regulations ("rozporządzenie", "zarządzenie", "uchwała" etc.) which are, by theirs nature, placed hierarchically lower than parliament's acts, either codes and ordinary acts, and as such could be regarded as "less important" (but in fact are the significant part of polish legal system). In the case the prevalent denoting pattern is e.g. "§ 1 ust. 1. ......." (section 1 subsection 1). Moreover, the paragraph sign is also used as an universal sign of independent piece of legal text in all kinds of written contracts, by-laws, organisational regulations and alike. Mroq (talk) 14:55, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

In Germany, Legal Codes are also organised in what is called "Paragraphs" in German. The §-sign is used. However, I can assure you that the widley accepted English translation for the German "Paragraph" is indeed section. I guess, it will be the same for the Polish word for §. (talk) 10:43, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Also in Slovak, this sign means paragraf, which is correctly translated as section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:48, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

The instructions for typing § on MS Windows is incorrect[edit]

At least when you are using a Swedish keyboard. Nopedia 14:57, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

They're also incorrect for macOS[edit]

At least as of the latest version 10.14.6. It's now Option-5. jen729w 10:00, 21 August 2019 (Australia)

Deleted Spore from list[edit]

"Many Maxis games, from SimCity 3000 onwards, including The Sims, The Sims Online, The Sims 2 and Spore, use this symbol (with a very round loop) to represent the unit of currency in the SimNation, the simoleon." There is no reference for Spore using Simoleans as any type of currency, in fact it has been suggested that 'evolution/eco points' or something similar will be a 'currency' in said game, I am removing Spore from this list, at least until someone turns up real proof. —Preceding unsigned comment added by KitsuneDragonRA (talkcontribs) 12:43, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

What happened to the references to Maxis games? If they were removed for good reason, can someone link to change that led to their removal for the benefit of future editors? InsertGenericMemeHere (talk) 17:38, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
Apparently, in the Maxis game, Spore, the in-game currency denoted by the symbol is a "Sporebuck", in use during the Civilization and Space stages of development. Also, the sign continues in use in The Sims franchise. The question arises, however, as to whether such usage is sufficiently noteworthy to merit re-inclusion in the article. As The Sims is undeniably a prominent game series with an international audience, it may. 2600:2B00:9214:4800:248D:F65:7219:B6A5 (talk) 02:15, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
I agree; I think its use to stand for Simoleons count as a use of the section sign "in pop culture", and merits inclusion. (talk) 08:45, 3 January 2020 (UTC)

Isn't this symbol called the scilicet?[edit]

Isn't the "section sign" actually called the scilicet? Calling it a "section sign" or "section symbol" is like calling the ampersand an "and sign," or the interpunct a "middle dot," or the tilda a "squiggly line." Shouldn't this entry be called the scilicet with a redirect from "Section sign"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by CShippee (talkcontribs) 02:57, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

-->I agree, I was taught in law school § was the symbol for scilicet, meaning "to wit", directing a persons attention to a particular section. --Noahsachs (talk) 13:58, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

As I remember from my law school this character is derived from the abbreviation "SS" and in handwriting should be written as two connected "S" one over another. In middle ages it meant something like "it is given", "it is announced". I cannot provide the proper source though (but Viz. seems to corroborate it). Mroq (talk) 15:36, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Could scilicet be considered a special use of the symbol rather than its generic name? None of the following entries for scilicet mention a symbol or "§" specifically, although they do list the abbreviations "ss." and "sc."
Contrast this with ampersand, which is defined as "a character typically & ..." [emphasis added]. Pslide (talk) 18:10, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

I thought this was called the "stephanus symbol". anyone heard it called that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:40, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

No in the USA it is § used for designating a Part like DOT 49 CFR §172.101 [1][2] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:22, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Why do I remember the symbol also being known as "hurricane"? (In addition to its other names.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

It is called the "silcrow." See below. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

This is not the name of the symbol but means “it is permitted to know” derivation Middle English then Latin. It is a lot like viz. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:6C50:407F:FF66:BC65:BC9E:C203:4069 (talk) 15:48, 30 September 2018 (UTC)

Ubuntu instructions redundant[edit]

Under the heading Typing character there are instructions listed for Ubuntu and for the X Window System. The instructions are the same because Ubuntu uses the X Window System (as do most other dekstop GNU/Linux distributions). The instructions for Ubuntu should be removed because they are redundant and putting the instructions under X Window System is more general (i.e. people using the X Window System on Debian or Fedora can follow the instructions too, not just Ubuntu users). If it there is any concern that Ubuntu users might not be able to find the instructions unless the word Ubuntu is used, then maybe a note can be included to say that these instructions also apply to Ubuntu because it uses the X Window System. If nobody responds to this for a few weeks I will do it myself. --sinisterstuf (talk) 19:51, 23 July 2013 (UTC) §§§

There may be some truth in this, but it'd be more of a GTK issue instead of a specifically Ubuntu issue since GTK has its own built-in compose table that is sometimes different than the system XCompose file.
Compose+!+S renders "Ṣ" for me under KDE. Since I have GTK set to use the system compose table, could someone verify that sequence?
Compose+s+o and Compose+o+s both work.
Dhraakellian (talk) 15:08, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
I found this, which shows that it is indeed mapped that way for GTK if not overridden with XIM. I'll clarify that in the article. Dhraakellian (talk) 17:13, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Is this also a letter in an alphabet?[edit]

On 14 Nov 2013, the article Sahoyúé-§ehdacho appeared on the main page, in the "Did you know?" section. That article says that "§ehdacho" is a word in the Slavey language. In turn, the Slavey language article explains that Slavey "is written using Canadian Aboriginal syllabics or the Latin script." This symbol does not look anything like any of the Canadian Aboriginal syllabics, so I have to presume that it is some form of Slavey/Latin script. Anyone know any more about this letter, such as what it is called or how it is pronounced? --Keeves (talk) 14:01, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

I came here with the same query: how it is pronounced when used in writing First Nation languages. Yngvadottir (talk) 14:10, 14 November 2013 (UTC)


The proper name of this character is the "silcrow" though it is now known popularly as the section sign. The article should reflect that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

Untrue. That's an informal nickname, rarely used, a sort of pun on pilcrow. It's not the name in Unicode and it does not appear in a Google Books search. (talk) 12:33, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
I am a professional type designer, and I have never encountered the term "silcrow". Citation needed. Devanatha (talk) 14:15, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Because it serves a similar function, somewhere it started to be used as a similar to pilcrow. The first part sil- is Latin for compare. The second part -crow goes back to 1500 in pilcrow which it theorized to be a corruption in Middle English of the Latin paragraphus. and

“ Walter W. Skeat, Notes on English Etymology: Chiefly Reprinted from the Transactions of the Philological Society (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1901), pp. 215-216, describes in detail the phonetic development of the word pilcrow: First of all, the Lat. paragraphus became F. paragraphe. This is given by Cotgrave, who has: 'paragraphe, a Paragraffe, or Pillcrow; ... as much as is comprehended in one sentence or section.' The next form is paragraffe, just cited as an E. word from Cotgrave. After this, the middle a was dropped, and an excrescent t added at the end. This is quoted by Way from the Ortus Vocabulorum: 'Paragraphus, Anglice, a pargrafte in writing.' The next step is the corruption from pargrafte to the form pylcrafte in the Promptorium. This is rather violent, but we must remember that the change of r to l is the commonest of all changes in every Aryan language, that the prefixes par- and per- were convertible, and that the change from per- to pil- occurs in the common English word pilgrim, in which per- passes into pil- through the Ital. pell- in pellegrino. This shows the precise process; pargrafte became *pergrafte, then *pelgrafte, then *pilgrafte, and finally pilcrafte, with c for g. The change from g to c easily took place when the original form had become entirely obscured. After this, a further corruption took place, from pilcrafte to pilcrow. This was due to mere laziness. The excrescent t was again dropped, giving pilcraf, and then the -craf became -crow. Hence we get the full order of successive forms, viz. paragraphe, paragraffe, *pargraf, pargrafte, *pergrafte, *pelgrafte, *pilgrafte, pilcrafte, *pilcraf, pilcrow. Not all of these forms are found, but a sufficient number of them appear to enable us to trace the complete process; at the same time, it is highly probable that some of these steps were passed over by a sudden leap. We may assume, as sufficiently proved, that pilcrow and paragraph, words used with precisely the same meaning, are mere doublets.” 2600:6C50:407F:FF66:BC65:BC9E:C203:4069 (talk) 16:02, 30 September 2018 (UTC)

Lantern symbol[edit]

In Unix terminfo descriptions and used in ncurses, this symbol is called the "lantern symbol", but the origins of that elude me. Google books cite to Programmer's Guide to nCurses by Dan Gookin. -Elijah (talk) 04:15, 19 July 2017 (UTC)


The "Scilicet" link is merely a link to the page itself. I think we should remove this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Guyy8fh (talkcontribs) 03:22, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

Silcrow re-visited[edit]

The previous discussion asked for a source for the term "silcrow", but it still seems to not be present in the article (though there is a redirect from silcrow, which is inconsistent if nothing else). There's plenty more evidence of the term's usage in a Google search of the web and images, including the source I cited when adding it back into the article. Here's a sampling: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]. These are by no means official – they just demonstrate that the term is in use out there (understandably, as it's cleaner to say than the Unicode name, "section sign"). —[AlanM1(talk)]— 00:03, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

Usage on Wikipedia[edit]

This isn't mentioned. At the very least a link, and a mention of the slink template used to produce it? CapnZapp (talk) 20:45, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

@CapnZapp: Done with h§tnote. Acceptable?--~Sıgehelmus♗(Tøk) 00:41, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. Maybe begin with a less-technical "For the usage of § on Wikipedia, see ..." We do have several instances where we link from general article space into "wiki help space" (for lack of the formal term). Cheers CapnZapp (talk) 08:42, 22 December 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 November 2019[edit]

Add in Uses that it is used almost unanimously to represent Parseltongue in Harry Potter Fanfictions. Justjustin2300 (talk) 01:44, 25 November 2019 (UTC)

Not done. No source given. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 02:05, 25 November 2019 (UTC)