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The names list is far, far too concise. The wave dash looks rather like a tilde. The wavy dash is extended a bit and looks like a W. The wavy line is the vertical form, and looks vaguely like a 3. But apparently, the wave dash is changing to the fullwidth tilde (why don't they just call them equal?).

@+              * This character as encoded to match JIS C 6226-1978 1-33 "wave dash". Subsequent revisions of the
 JIS standard and industry practice have settled on JIS 1-33 as being the fullwidth tilde character.
        x (wavy dash - 3030)
        x (fullwidth tilde - FF5E)

3030    WAVY DASH
        x (wavy line - 2307)
        x (wave dash - 301C)

2307    WAVY LINE
        x (wavy dash - 3030)

Elektron 18:20, 2004 Nov 1 (UTC)

Tilde in Portuguese[edit]

The entry claimed that Port. "ão" was pronounced as "ow" in [English] "cow". This is not the case, at least in standard Portuguese (both European and Brazilian). The "ow" in "cow" is more like a Portuguese "au", which it isn't even a nasal diphthong. Even if we disregard nasalization, the vowel in "cow" is an "á", not an "â", as it should be. 16 Nov. 2005.

I've deleted the following: "The diphtongs "ãe", "ão" and "õe" are completely nasal - "ão" is pronounced like the english word "own"." I'm not sure what the phrase 'completely nasal' means, and it seems superfluous, in any case. This article is not about the phonology of Portuguese. It's about the use of a particular diacritic.

The second statement, that '"ão" is pronounced like the english word own', is only (approximately) true if one disregards nasalization, which is the whole point of the tilde in Portuguese, and the fact that there is no n sound at the end of Portuguese ão. It can mislead foreigners learning Portuguese into thinking that 'ão' is pronounced just like 'own', which is not true. 22 Dec. 2005.


There is a 404 on references #3 and #1. Can someone who know how to fix it, erm... fix it please? --Habstinator (talk) 02:37, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

I was able to fix #3. No luck with #1. When you find links that don't work and you can't fix, the best thing to do is add a {{dead link|date=...}} tag to them (filling in the month and day for the date). rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 02:44, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

No Citation Needed[edit]

In the following paragraph it says that a citation is needed. If you try it in your web browser on any Linux web account, it works. No citation needed.

"In URLs, the characters %7E (or %7e) may substitute for tilde if an input device lacks a tilde key.[citation needed] Thus, and will behave in the same manner."

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:31, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Technically, "just try it!" amounts to WP:OR. —Tamfang (talk) 01:41, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Nevertheless, it's a trivial instance of percent encoding. The authoritative WP:RS is RFC3986.—Emil J. 11:38, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
At what point does it get silly?!? In the statement "California gets twice as much snow as Colorado because California is next to the Pacific Ocean" I can understand the need to cite the fact that California does indeed get twice as much snow or the scientific reason why being close to a large body of water effects the amount of snow you get, but do you have to cite that California is next to an ocean or the fact that the name of that ocean is named the Pacific Ocean? I read the WP:OR article and did not see where it says how much citation is just being silly. It might be argued that because only X% or users are on a Unix based machine you have to cite it, but in the Windows_key article it does not cite the fact that you can use the CTRL+ESC combination instead of using the windows key. --Billy Nair (talk) 01:15, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Complex Numbers?[edit]

A diacritical tilde is sometimes used to denote a variable which takes on complex values. I would add that to the article myself, but I suspect it is tied up with its use to identify a Fourier transform, since the Fourier transform of a real-valued quantity is complex. But I'm not sure whether the Fourier transform sense grew out of the complex sense, or vice versa. SarahLawrence Scott (talk) 16:21, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Approximation - contradiction[edit]

The article contradicts itself (between Common use and Mathematics) on the use of tilde as an approximation - both regarding "x ~ y" as meaning "of the same order of magnitude" and something like "~30 minutes" meaning "approximately 30 minutes". It also contradicts the article List of mathematical symbols. Citations as to what's correct, please? Thanks! Allens (talk) 14:16, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

The symbol means different things in different contexts. It's not a "contradiction", it's just that there isn't a unique meaning. Both can be correct. Jowa fan (talk) 00:24, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Oops, the previous comment was based only on a reading of the "Mathematics" section (which I've now reorganised so that the issue is irrelevant). I've just looked at the "common use" section. Personally I'd advocate the deletion of that section. It's certainly the case that people do use ~ to represent approximation, even if someone out there says they shouldn't be doing it! Jowa fan (talk) 00:51, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Understand; thanks for the reorg! I wouldn't advocate deleting the information that people use "~30", for example, to mean "about 30". Allens (talk) 02:26, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Mac keyboards[edit]

The table for typing ~ seems to be MS Windows orientated, on Mac OSX keyboards it's often simpler: in the UK and Greek keyboard it's shift ` (the key next to the LH shift key), in the German keyboard it's Alt shift 8 (or option shift 8 if you prefer). Haven't set my mac up to US keyboard so don't know that one offhand. . dave souza, talk 21:00, 9 January 2012 (UTC) tweaked 21:09, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Informal terminology[edit]

I would argue for CitationNeeded [citation needed] for "twiddle" and "wiggle". I was a maths major for my B.Sc. and I don't recall either term being used when reading equations. (Admittedly New Zealand English is a minority dialect.) This usage is not mentioned for either term in Mirriam Webster, and Wolfram notes it as "informal" which is a formal way of saying "slang". 17:50, 11 November 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Martin Kealey (talkcontribs)

Sounds like Wolfram has just verified them for you. Terms don't have to meet some definition of "formal" to be worth noting. —me_and 22:39, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
More precisely, Wolfram notes "twiddle" as «... In informal usage, "tilde" is often instead voiced as "twiddle" (Derbyshire 2004, p. 45)» However that is in the context of suffix-tilde, not superposition-tilde; and it makes no note of "wiggle" at all.

01:53, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

tilde in logic notation[edit]

what about the role of tilda as a negation sign in logical notation? for example, formalizing the expression "notp" as "~p"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:44, 25 March 2015 (UTC)


I've seen ~ used in what are unquestionably telephone numbers. Is it a mistake or a version of a dash? (talk) 18:47, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Inverted wave dash issue has been fixed in Unicode 8.0[edit]

I don't have spare time enough to update this article part, this is just informative if somebody wants to amend this section. (talk) 14:43, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Organization needs attention[edit]

This article reads like it was written by a committee, and in a sense it was: somebody worked on the mathematics part, someone else on the Unicode questions, another on linguistics, and so on. The article as a whole is not well organized. deisenbe (talk) 11:47, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

History section unreferenced / tilde standing for Spanish[edit]

As far as I can tell, the initial parts of the section make valid and interesting points, but it fails to cite any sources, other than by linking to other Wikipedia pages. This is not enough but I'd rather let an expert handle it.

The subsection on the Spanish use of tilde, however, is rather lacking: often repetitive, with content unrelated to the article, and making strong claims with no citations. E.g.:

The "ñ" is only found on Spanish language keyboards. It is uniquely Spanish. How to alphabetize it (whether to treat it as an "n") is a uniquely Spanish problem. (In practice it has been abandoned, as we moved from looking words up in books to computer queries. Alphabetization is today - 2016 - a concern only of programmers, and they are not particularly interested in the philosophy of languages. The English of the original 128-character ASCII rules, under a veneer of Unicode inplementation.) Of the visible part of languages - their character sets - the "ñ" and only the "ñ" is uniquely Spanish.

I am therefore heavily editing that part and separating it from history, as it is not strictly a historical question.

MiG-25 (talk) 12:42, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

Disagree with deletion regarding Spanish connection[edit]

The following has been deleted or heavily rewritten. I copied this from an earlier version of this page. The wikilinks and Italic have vanished.

The tilde becomes a patriotic icon/glyph in Spain

The tilde has historically been associated with Spanish in popular consciousness, especially in the pre-digital (pre-computer) era. By far, the only way a lay reader would see the tilde used is over the n in common Spanish words such as mañana (tomorrow or morning), which has become a word in English, always tolerant of new words.

The Spanish alphabet presented some unique characteristics to challenge early computer designers. The Spanish language has, since the eighteenth century, been governed by a quasi-governmental agency, the Royal Spanish Academy, sometimes called the Academy of the Spanish Language. Made up of writers, professors, and the like, it is highly respected and without challenge to its authority, at least in Spain.

This learned body made decisions for linguistic and sometimes philosophical reasons. In an era in which all indexing was done (very slowly, and by today's standards very incompletely) by humans, it was not a conceptual challenge to declare that the "ch" constituted a single character (they called it "letter"), which came after "c" and before "d". In the same way, the "ll" came after "l" and before "m". The body decided something by no means obvious in its context: that the "ñ" was a distinct letter from the "n", which it followed. With the arrival of digital technology this quickly collapsed; the fiction that the ch and the "ll" are each one letter has been officially abandoned with little controversy. The case was different with the "ñ". Since it was a key on mechanical Spanish keyboards, the decision was made to assign it a position in early character sets. Alphabetization was not addressed at the time, and remains an unresolved issue in Spain.

The "ñ" is only found on Spanish language keyboards. It is uniquely Spanish. How to alphabetize it (whether to treat it as an "n") is a uniquely Spanish problem. (In practice it has been abandoned, as we moved from looking words up in books to computer queries. Alphabetization is today - 2016 - a concern only of programmers, and they are not particularly interested in the philosophy of languages. The English of the original 128-character ASCII rules, under a veneer of Unicode inplementation.) Of the visible part of languages - their character sets - the "ñ" and only the "ñ" is uniquely Spanish. Therefore - and questions like this are taken seriously in Spain - it was a uniquely Spanish visible symbol. The Instituto Cervantes, another quasi-governmental body, chose it as its icon. The "n" and "ñ" differ only in the tilde, and Spanish writers are clear that it is the tilde, not the "ñ" of itself, that is being celebrated. The tilde is now discussed in newspaper articles, which us where Spain's thinkers communicate, and it is (newly) part of the nation's heritage. For further details see ñ.

I wrote the above and believe it is accurate and important, even though it gets a little tangential in places. Yes, it doesn't have references (though the whole section on mechanical typewriters, which I also wrote and has even fewer references, was left intact). Thanks to whoever came up with the excellent illustrations.

I have better things to do with my time than search for references for things I know to be true. I have a Ph.D. in Spanish. I'll send you a photo of my diploma if you want; Brown currently charges $17.50 for degree confirmation and will not do it over the phone. I taught the History of the Spanish Language many times, at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and Florida State University, at the latter of which I was Distinguished Research Professor (picture of certificate on request). I am a somewhat well-known American writer on Spanish topics. You can verify that by going to or and inputting my name ("Eisenberg, Daniel, 1946-"). I am aware that WP does not pay attention to credentials, and by WP policy with which I strongly disagree, original research is not wanted. Well over 50% of WP has no documentation. If we can't use a Wikipedia page as a source, why should anyone else use it, if it's that unreliable? We don't trust WP? Do you know it's easy to create fraudulent, unexposable references? I am not putting how here or anywhere else, nor have I done it. But I've thought about it. As David Letterman said, "bite me". deisenbe (talk) 20:39, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

I very much agree with the deletions. You added a lot of text, but it was almost all peripheral to the actual topic, and had the tone of a rant-essay not an encyclopedia. (In particular, anything to do with sorting 'ch' and 'll' has simply nothing to do with the tilde, and sorting 'n' and 'ñ' as separate letters is the default behaviour, since they have different character representations.) If anything I think the editing has not gone far enough. For example, the last edit changed the claim that ("the Ñ, and with it..."/) the tilde "has traditionally stood for" the Spanish language to "can be taken to stand for...". I still don't understand what this is supposed to mean: language codes, "es", for example "stand for languages"; flags stand for countries; and in lots of languages there are distinctive bits -- for example the 'ij' in Dutch, often written to look like a disjointed y-umlaut -- but I do not think it has a normal clear meaning in English to claim anything to do with "standing for". Imaginatorium (talk) 07:31, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
I can accept what you say about ch and ll. But the ñ is different. Yes, it is a separate code, in some character sets. But in no character set I know of is the code for the ñ in between the n and the o codes. It sorts after z, unless special programming is used with each application, and that won't happen, other than demonstration examples, because it's prohibitively expensive. (Recent versions of Unicode permit any "sorting order" to be specified; see Unicode collation algorithm.) And only Spaniards and to a lesser extent other Spanish speakers care about the question.
I stand on saying the ñ is a symbol for the Spanish language. It's totally different from .es. .es is not thought of by anybody as a national symbol. That's why the Instituto Cervantes, whose function is disseminating the Spanish language, chose the tilde as its insignia. The ij is never, to my knowledge since I don't read Dutch, discussed in the press as a question of of Dutch identity. It is true that any language with special characters (like Swedish) has sorting problems. But in no other language, with the possible exception of Chinese - Taiwan and China use different character sets - is it linked to national pride, nor is it so discussed in articles in the press. An entire alphabet, such as Cyrillic, can be. But on a single character, only Spanish. Part of the reason is that Spanish has only this one special character, whereas languages such as Swedish and Turkish have several. deisenbe (talk) 12:02, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
The Ñ has indeed been a "focus of pride" for (some?) Spanish speakers. As a result, just like flags and other such identity symbols, it has been used to stand for the language. The images in the article show that, in this usage, the ñ can be reduced to just the tilde. In addition to what I left/added to the article, Deisenbe has already mentioned a few reasons for all this, backed by considerable credentials, which I have no reason to doubt. I am a Spaniard myself (with a PhD but neither in Spanish nor on Spanish), if that counts for anything. The main point, however, is that this article is about the tilde and quite messy already. Most of the discussion about the 'ñ', while extremely interesting, is immaterial and detrimental to it. MiG-25 (talk) 17:44, 24 February 2016 (UTC)