From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Typography (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This 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.

use as "range" symobol - Russian and Italian.[edit]

Just a comment. Obelus is still often used in Russian Language typography to denote a range (anon., no date)

As documented in Italian wikipedia, obelus is commonly used in Italian to denote a numeric range/interval, e.g. in datasheets and engineering books.

Unfortunately, no Italian wikipedians to date can find a reference that mandates this use, though examples are easy to find. It would be interesting to know where/which culture this usage originated from. As noted by one editor, wikipedia (in another language) is not an authoritative reference for itself, even though translation is encouraged. --Ziounclesi (talk) 19:44, 6 January 2016 (UTC)


Obelus is commonly seen today representing minus in Norway, for example in advertisements proclaiming "Opptil 30% på salgsvare" (Up to 30% reduction on goods in sale). Modern Norwegian is closely related to Danish and most norwegians regard this usage as old-fashioned but comprehensible.Cuddlyable3 09:30, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

change "division sign" and "obelus" articles?[edit]

From the point made above, and from the fact that there is no article called "division sign", but one for "multiplication sign", how about changing the way this is organised? Really there should be one short article for the symbol (obelus), nothing much more than a redirect telling you what it represents in Russia, Norway and English-speaking countries, and another article "division sign" which would include all ways of indicating division, ÷ / _ and:. Saint|swithin 11:02, 13 March 2008 (UTC)


The obelus is often coloquially referred to as a "gazenta"; the equation 12 ÷ 3 = 4 would be read "3 gazenta 12 four times."

If it were indeed the obelus being referred to as a "gazenta", it would be read "12 gazenta 3 four times". Gazenta is just poor pronunciation of "goes into". I therefore recommend the above line be removed.

I agree it should be removed, and have removed it. -R. S. Shaw (talk) 21:25, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Plus Sign[edit]

What about the plus sign (+)? Does it have a name other than plus sign? Ileanadu (talk) 00:31, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Obelus is also the 'dagger' sign[edit]

Obelus is also the name for the "dagger" symbol (&dag;) -- should be mentioned in the article? Or perhaps merge with Dagger (typography)?

Oxford Dictionary mentions Obelisk as 'another term for obelus'.

quota (talk) 09:36, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Daggers are more commonly known as obelisk though. That said, I have restored the previous {{Main|Dagger (typography)}} in the History section and added Obelism in the See also section. The previous placement and description in the See also section was inadequate, as the dagger was a variant of the obelus only in the sense that it was an alternate way of writing it. The wording implies that the mathematical symbol was the original usage, which is incorrect.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 22:41, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't think {{main}} is appropriate — that's for something that expands on the same topic as a section in more detail, rather than (as in this case) something that is closely related and derived from it. I changed it into a sentence within the article. The alternative would be to have one article for both topics, but I think nowadays the obelus and dagger are really two separate symbols even though they have a shared history. —David Eppstein (talk) 23:53, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
The history in this article is a summary. Having a shared history is exactly why I used {{Main}} . Dagger (typography) contains the bulk of the symbol's history. The current form in which dagger is only mentioned offhand makes it seem like the content here is the complete history of it, when that is not the case. As a reader, I would read the section and it wouldn't even cross my mind that there's more. As evidenced by how User:Quota is even bringing this to attention in the first place.
It should be clear that the topic (the symbol's history) is expanded more in another article. Linking those in the body as WP:Easter egg links is simply not enough.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 00:50, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
The main template is for when the other article is a *subtopic* of this one that treats one aspect of the topic in more detail. The dagger is not a subtopic of the division sign. If we had an article history of the obelus the main template would be warranted. As it is, it is the wrong way to link to the other article. Link to the other article because it covers the history better, certainly, yes. Link to it in a way that makes the dagger look like a subtopic of the division sign, no. I have used instead the {{details}} template, which I think more accurately reflects the relation between the two articles. —David Eppstein (talk) 01:12, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Ok, I agree. That's a much better template (I didn't even know we had that, LOL).-- OBSIDIANSOUL 01:22, 28 October 2013 (UTC)