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Idaho State University

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Bang
  • n. Common spoken name for `!' (ASCII 0100001), especially when used in pronouncing a bang path in spoken hackish. In elder days this was considered a CMUish usage, with MIT and Stanford hackers preferring excl or shriek; but the spread of UNIX has carried `bang' with it (esp. via the term bang path) and it is now certainly the most common spoken name for `!'. Note that it is used exclusively for non-emphatic written `!'; one would not say "Congratulations bang" (except possibly for humorous purposes), but if one wanted to specify the exact characters `foo!' one would speak "Eff oh oh bang". See shriek, ASCII.
  • interj. An exclamation signifying roughly "I have achieved enlightenment!", or "The dynamite has cleared out my brain!" Often used to acknowledge that one has perpetrated a thinko immediately after one has been called on it.