13

In the symbolic sense, not the dramatic sense. And I'm talking about function rather than design (although that's an interesting question, too).

53

As it turns out, you can search Charmap by name to find some of these odder / cooler characters! Joel showed this to me:

Notice the "search for" at the bottom, if you turn on Advanced View -- I searched for "snowman".

46

I like the space because it is the final frontier.

41 accepted

My favourite characters is " " Non-breaking space symbol

It looks like whitespace and is good for username and company name in Windows "registered to" fields

You can type it like ALT+255 (in number block of keyboard) or like ALT+0160

32

Definitely, ?, because I can do this:

?_?

29

NUL (ASCII zero)

Who doesn't like The Terminator?

23

$ of course :-)

23

Snowman: ? (U+2603)

I like Airplane too ? (U+2708)

18

From a UNIX perspective, it's hard to beat the good old 'pipe' character (|) for connecting one program's output to another's input.

15

} -- I like closure.

15

?

U+2620 Skull and Crossbones

?

U+2623 Biohazard Sign would be a close second.

14

The semicolon (;)

Not only does it end lines, but it's almost a colon!

14
 ?
? ?

Only winrars can triforce.

14

? because it makes the world go round.

10

I like ¤ and ¬ because they make great non-standard delimiters to use for text fields :)

E.g. if you have to pack multiple name/value pairs in a single db field:

foo=bar
foo2=bar2
foo3=bar3

can become:

foo¬bar¤foo2¬bar2¤foo3¬bar3¤

which can be very useful sometimes, especially if the value can contain '=' or any other text characters normally used for delimiters.

9

ü (Alt-0252)

Because it makes "über" so much... more so.

7

? is essential to write French but is unloved: it has been "forgotten" in ISO-8859-1 although you can find it in Windows-1252.

Should I be functional programmer, I would have answered ? of course.
Should I be poet, I would have answered ?

These are not programming characters (arguably with ?), but it wasn't specifically asked in the original question...

7

I like that unicode promotes racial harmony by offering both white smiling face (?) and black (?) smiling face. But I can only find a white version of frowning face (?). What?s up with that?

5

EOF

It's so...definitive!

5

Postal Mark Face (U+3020/?), because WTF.

5

Hammer and sickle U+262D ?

3

I like ampersands, because each font has the ability to make it look different and unique while still retaining the same meaning.

See: http://www.simplebits.com/notebook/2008/08/14/ampersands.html

3

Can't beat the good old Simoleon: §

2

V, because it looks a bit like the SO down-voting arrow button.

2

The @

Because I like monkeys

1

The exclamation point, !, I am a contrarian.

1

It has got to be .

I'm loving all the fluent interface style stuff like Ayende's Rhino Mocks.

1

0

I always like to start at the beginning.

1

My favourite is good ol' pipe '|'. Can't beat a great 1-char Unix tool :)

1

My personal favorites are # and ! often used in conjunction in scripting to tell which interpreter to use:

#!/bin/bash

I love how you say 'sha-bang-bin-bash': and anything that lets me say sha-bang in a technical environment ... is just plain awesome!

1

I love the star (*). It means everything except something :)

1

? (lambda). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambda%5Fcalculus

1

I'd have to go with ?, aka interrobang. A combination of ! and ?

Once for an art/english combo project at uni I got permission from the faculty to do a reverse stencil graffiti of ? at various place around our university, due to absolutely none of the staff or student body knowing what it was. That was a fun week.

0

Mine is a . (DOT), coz it gives u lot in while programming with objects :)

0

I love semicolon mixed with {}

And I love making this ;)

Lovely!

0

~

I like the Squiggle!

0

I can't decide between ® and ©. -- I authorize the above for anyone to use it for any purpose including unrestricted redistribution, commercial use, and modification.

0

The down tack ? (U +2351) you can use it to A? people!

0

? (Unicode FDFA)

Unicode put a four-word long phrase (??? ???? ???? ????) inside one character!

0

I tend to like "¤", which is a generical currency sign you can type easily on almost any keyboard (in the French one, it's AtlGr + $, like "?", "}" or "#").

I tend to use it in regular expressions in order to replace .* with [^¤]* when speed matters.

When in doubt, I use non-printable characters for the same purpose. I especially like the ring bell character you can get using chr(7) which is unlikely to be typed by mistake and pretty silent as long as you don't output it :-)

0

?

ALT+236

Back in the Windows 95/98 days, folders with certain extended characters couldn't be opened by Windows. So you could go into a command prompt and rename a folder to something like c:\secret? which windows would display as c:\secret_ but when you went to open the folder in Windows it would display an error message. Change the name to something without unicode in the command prompt and you could open it again.

:)

0

??

Because it overlaps.

?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?

0

☃ Snowman!