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A.Word.A.Day--tilde

Pronunciation: WAV or RealAudio

tilde (TIL-duh) noun

A diacritical mark (~) placed over the letter n in Spanish to indicate the palatal nasal sound (ny), as in canon, or over a vowel in Portuguese to indicate nasalization, as in la, pao.

[Spanish, alteration of obsolete Catalan title, from Latin titulus, superscription.]

"Old typewriters rarely had a tilde key. That dates to early personal computers. The tilde was put in the upper left corner. Its main use was as an accent mark for Spanish words, such as manana." Kevin Maney, Decoding what http://really.means.on.the.Internet, USA Today, 5 Sep 1996.

This week's theme: words about punctuation and diacritics.

X-Bonus

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. -Jonathan Kozol


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