XKCD Comics about Unicode

Here are some XKCD comics with a topic related to Unicode:

XKCD 2606: Weird Unicode Math Symbols proposes joke explanations for various unicode symbols with obscure or no known uses.

  • ⧍ (U+29CD TRIANGLE WITH SERIFS AT BOTTOM): "Shark" - May look like a shark fin sticking out of the water.
  • ⏧ (U+23E7 ELECTRICAL INTERSECTION): "Traffic circle" - Looks like a diagram of a roundabout as might be shown on a minimap beside a routing direction.
  • ⨳ (U+2A33 SMASH PRODUCT): "Hashtag (slanted)" - Looks somewhat like the hash symbol (#) - commonly used for indicating tags called hashtags in social media - turned by 45 degrees.
  • ⩼ (U+2A7C GREATER-THAN WITH QUESTION MARK ABOVE): "Confused alligator" - One metaphor used when teaching inequality signs in primary school is that the sign looks like an alligator mouth "eating" the larger number. Question marks are commonly used in cartoons to indicate confusion on the part of a character.
  • ⦞ (U+299E ANGLE WITH S INSIDE): "Snack" - May look like a mouth eating an S, where the S symbolizes some snack food.
  • ⨄ (U+2A04 N-ARY UNION OPERATOR WITH PLUS): "Drink refill" - Looks like a cup with a plus to indicate adding drink to the cup.
  • ⭈ (U+2B48 RIGHTWARDS ARROW ABOVE REVERSE ALMOST EQUAL TO): "Snakes over there" - Looks like two squiggles to represent snakes and an arrow indicating the direction where they may be found.
  • ≝ (U+225D EQUAL TO BY DEFINITION): "Definitely, for sure" - "Def" is a contraction of "definitely" used in slang; the equal sign looks like a double underline, indicating heavy emphasis.
  • ⍼ (U+237C RIGHT ANGLE WITH DOWNWARDS ZIGZAG ARROW): "Larry Potter" - Looks like the letter "L" and a lightning bolt. Harry Potter is known for having a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead. The character Larry Potter figured in a fraudulent legal claim against J.K. Rowling.
  • ⩐ (U+2A50 CLOSED UNION WITH SERIFS AND SMASH PRODUCT): "Spider caught with a cup and index card" - Spiders or other bugs found within someone's house or workspace may be caught with a glass and something flat, often a card or a magazine, to be released outside. The eight projecting lines of the smash product symbol resemble the eight legs of a spider.
  • ⩩ (U+2A69 TRIPLE HORIZONTAL BAR WITH TRIPLE VERTICAL STROKE): "Hashtag (double)" - Hash symbol with one extra vertical and horizontal line, or perhaps a hash symbol which has been accidentally double-struck or overprinted.
  • ⍨ (U+2368 APL FUNCTIONAL SYMBOL TILDE DIAERESIS): ":/" - Looks like a confused or disappointed face. The use of this character as an emoji is in fact common among APL programmers.
  • ℘ (U+2118 SCRIPT CAPITAL P): "Snake" - This symbol coils around like a long snake, with a tapering-off tail on one end and a small "head" on the other.
  • ⫁ (U+2AC1 SUBSET WITH MULTIPLICATION SIGN BELOW): "User experience (rotated)" - Looks like the letters "Ux" sideways; UX is a common abbreviation for user experience.
  • ⌭ (U+232D CYLINDRICITY): "Rolling dough between your hands to shape it into a ball" - Looks like two flat hands (perhaps like stick-figure arms) rolling a ball between them. Rolling dough between one's hands to make it into a ball is an important step in making many kinds of pastry and bread.
  • ⨓ (U+2A13 LINE INTEGRATION WITH SEMICIRCULAR PATH AROUND POLE): "Integral that avoids a bee on the whiteboard" - Looks like an integral symbol with a bump that goes around a dot, as if a professor was drawing an integral on a whiteboard but did not want to disturb a bee that had landed right in the path of their marker.
  • ⨋ (U+2A0B SUMMATION WITH INTEGRAL): "Mathematicians need to calm down" - Each of the two symbols is specifically used to represent a kind of summation that is calculated completely differently from the other. Combining them could produce frustration for people unfamiliar with the usage. The comment given may make fun of mathematicians' tendency to form increasingly complex expressions in their work. It may as well be a pun on the pronounciation of the letter Esh (Shhhh).