[Taxacom] The 'X' factor

Robert Mill R.Mill at rbge.ac.uk
Thu May 20 11:10:42 CDT 2010

> yeah, yeah... we know the rools... but there is no multiplication
thingy on the keyboard.

Maybe - but you can put one there. I have my keyboard set up so that ALT followed by / gives ×, ALT followed by ' (apostrophe) gives ′ (minutes or prime sign), ALT followed by # gives ± and ALT followed by m gives μ. 

To assign these yourself when using Word (I use 2003), when in the Insert  Symbol dialogue box, click on the Shortcut Keys button on the box and when the next dialogue box comes up, type in the keyboard shortcut you wish for your character and then click Assign. Next time you press that keyboard combination you will get that character coming up when you type, e.g. if you type ALT followed by m after doing what I suggest, you will get μ. 

If you've got a good memory you can also use the numeric keypad and type ALT 241 to get ±, ALT 248 to get ° , ALT 0215 to get × , ALT 138 to get è and so on where the three or four digit number is the ASCII or Unicode code for the character.

Best wishes, Robert

Dr Robert Mill
Gymnosperm Systematist
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
20A Inverleith Row
Scotland, U.K.
Tel. + 44 (0) 131 248 2935 (direct)
Fax + 44 (0) 131 248 2901
-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Jim Croft
Sent: 19 May 2010 22:25
To: dipteryx at freeler.nl
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] The 'X' factor

yeah, yeah... we know the rools... but there is no multiplication
thingy on the keyboard.

This 'rool' had its origin in the day when lead type was king and it
was as much of a pain to set the multiplication thingy as it was to
set an 'X'.

but the world has moved on, babies are issued with iThings at birth
and if something is not on an ascii keyboard it just does not
happen... no-one knows how to search on a multiplication thingy or
even enter it.  Heck, even the act of multiplication itself is done
with a '*'  :)

c'mon,.. admit it... we have all used the 'X', at least once, in our lives...

I have been watching this for years and have not seen a single example
where using an 'X' as the hybrid tag, in a database or a printed page,
is ambiguous. It just offends traditionalists. Shoot the lot of 'em!
It is the is the information content and communication that is

A tweak of the code would make everyone's lives a lot easier...

but hey, rools are for wimps... :)


On Thu, May 20, 2010 at 3:10 AM,  <dipteryx at freeler.nl> wrote:

> It is extremely silly to use a "x" (small letter x)
> where a "×" (multiplication sign) is prescribed.

Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499 ~
'A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point
of doubtful sanity.'
 - Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)


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