Chicago Style Workout 69: Name That Symbol

What’s in a Symbol?

Most editors encounter at least the occasional symbol in the documents they edit, so it’s good to know a little bit about them. Thanks to Unicode, it’s easy to find out a symbol’s name—which can help you figure out whether it’s the right one in the right context.

Each question in the quiz below features a description of a symbol (also called a sign) followed by the symbol itself. Choose the name that matches the symbol. (We’ve used the standard Unicode names.) Then submit your answers to find out if you were right. The answers reveal the Unicode numbers and related info. Take the quiz to learn more.

CMOS introduces Unicode in paragraph 11.2. But only some of the symbols in this quiz can be found in the Manual—for example, in tables 11.4 (Greek) and 12.1 (math). So we went right to the source and based our information on the Unicode character code charts. On that page you can enter a Unicode number from the answer to find the corresponding chart and learn more—including information about related symbols.

For tips on using Unicode symbols in MS Word and Google Docs, see the Shop Talk post “Word vs. Docs for Editors” (under the section “Insert Unicode Characters”).

Note: If any of the symbols in this quiz don’t show up on your screen, it could mean your operating system is missing the required fonts. Updating your OS may resolve the problem.

Subscribers to The Chicago Manual of Style Online may click through to the linked sections of the Manual (cited above). (We also offer a 30-day free trial of CMOS Online.)

Chicago Style Workout 69: Name That Symbol

1. It looks like a horseshoe: Ω
2. It’s a combination question mark and exclamation point: ‽
3. It’s a capital B but with a pair of vertical lines hiding behind it: ₿
4. It’s a capital Y but with a horizontal line running through it (or two lines in some fonts): ¥
5. It looks like a lowercase b but isn’t: ♭
6. It looks like a check mark with a little bend on the first stroke: √
7. It looks like three dots in the form of a triangle:
8. It looks like the letter U but lying on its side: ⊂
9. It looks like a horizontal number 8 inside a circle: ♾
10. It looks like a partial moon: ☽


Top image: Microsoft’s Segoe UI Emoji font rendering of first quarter moon and last quarter moon.

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