Why is the "<" symbol named the "less-than sign"?

philip chastney philip_chastney at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 22 03:52:35 CDT 2020

 there was a consultancy -- Accenture, I think -- who put a "greater-than" mark above one of the characters in their name

I struck me as odd that they should mark their name with a diminuendo

lack of ambition, perhaps?   . . .   /phil

    On Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 18:11:59 GMT, James Tauber via Unicode <unicode at unicode.org> wrote:  
 On Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 10:17 PM John W Kennedy via Unicode <unicode at unicode.org> wrote:

: was changed to <, e (for “end”) was changed to /, and . was changed to >. The characters used, of course, had to be available in ASCII. I dare say early publications on SGML include a rationale. 

Had to be available in ASCII, less likely to occur in character content, and the < > pair visually suggests the open/close of markup (and alludes to the older written convention of circling markup to distinguish it from content).
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://corp.unicode.org/pipermail/unicode/attachments/20200922/e49b0f69/attachment.htm>

More information about the Unicode mailing list