(5/7) I ♥ Typographic Symbols: Tilde and Swung Dash

Continuing on with my series of typographic symbols…two glyphs, seemingly identical, known by several names, and having even more purposes, the TILDE and SWUNG DASH.

This fun little glyph has evolved quite a bit over the centuries (yes, it’s that old). A Tilde’s correct placement is over the top of some letters as an accent mark. Once this mark is moved in line the the text it becomes something entirely different! Over the decades this squiggly line has moved to the lower position it takes when typed on a standard keyboard, known technically as a “Swung Dash”. The Swung Dash or sometime referred to a Twiddle or Squiggle, has uses in linguistics, math, economics, electronics, physics, and computer programming. A Swung Dash is commonly used in the English language as an expression for ‘approximately’ or ‘roughly’. As to say there were ~40 people at the party.

tilde-swungdash

“Typography needs to be audible. Typography needs to be felt. Typography needs to be experienced.”
— Helmut Schmid

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