Section sign

The section sign (§; Unicode U+00A7, HTML entity §) is a typographical character used mainly to refer to a particular section of a document, such as a legal code. It is frequently used along with the pilcrow (¶), or paragraph sign. When duplicated, as §§, it is read as the plural "sections" (§§ 13–21), much as "pp." (pages) is the plural of "p." (page) or "SS" for "saints". For an effect comparable to the contemporary use of bold type, early scribes would double stroke letters, hence the sign was developed from a double stroked letter S.

Like the dagger (†) and double dagger (‡), it is also sometimes used to link to a footnote where the asterisk (*) is already in use on a given page; however, these usages are declining in favor of numbered footnotes, usually linked by a superscripted (or, decreasingly, square bracketed) number. Fact|date=January 2008

Usage

*It is also used to represent a type specimen in animals.

*A section in the United States Code............

*In many 19th Century science and mathematics textbooks, the section symbol is used to refer a reader to a previous or later section. One particular example is the [http://books.google.com/books?id=X4QTK9mkTaAC&printsec=toc#PPA136,M1 Treatise on Natural Philosophy] by Sir William Thompson and Peter Guthrie Tait.

*Many Maxis games, from 'SimCity 3000' onwards, including 'The Sims', 'The Sims Online', and 'The Sims 2' use this symbol (with a very round loop) to represent the unit of currency in the SimNation, the simoleon.

*The IRC, Text based game All-Out-War uses this symbol to represent the unit of currency in the game

*John Cook uses this symbol as a decoration or design element in many of his Sev Wide Web comics.

*In Poland (and other West Slavic countries), the section sign is commonly associated with concept of law and justice. It is commonly displayed on covers of legal books, especially those concerning criminal law. The section sign is also shown on badges of the crime investigation specialty of the Polish police.

*Similarly, in Danish, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Norwegian, and Swedish, the section sign is used nearly exclusively to refer to articles of legal codes, and hence associated likewise with law and legal matters. (In this usage, it is typically read "paragraph" rather than "section".)

*In some online communities, such as the forums on Craigslist, the section sign in the subject of a forum posting indicates that the subject line comprises the entirety of the posting, and the body is empty.

*Used in various names to replace the letter S, such as the video games War§ow and .

*UK horse racing form publication Timeform use the sign to denote an unreliable horse; as few people know the name of the sign, it is called the "Timeform Squiggle". A very unreliable horse is given a double squiggle - the ultimate black mark a horse can obtain.

Typing the section sign

* Many keyboard layouts have a dedicated key for the section sign.
* Mac OS U.S. Keyboard layout: Option + 6.
* X Window System, with a Compose Key, Compose + s + o, or Compose + ! + s
* TeX: S
* Vim in insert mode: Ctrl + K, SE; Ctrl + V, 167
* Windows Alt code: Alt + 0167; Alt + 21; Alt + 333333; Alt + 789; (on numeric keypad)
* US-International keyboard layout: AltGr + Shift + S


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