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The tilde character.


(To make) a small or insignificant change. E.g. twiddling a program often fixes one bug and generates several new ones (see also shotgun debugging). Bits are often twiddled. Twiddling a switch or knob implies much less sense of purpose than toggling or tweaking it; see frobnicate. Bit twiddling connotes aimlessness, and at best doesn't specify what you're doing to the bit; to "toggle a bit" has a more specific meaning.
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(1) In mathematics, the tilde (~) stands for equivalence; for example, a ~ b means "a is equivalent to b" (not equal, but comparable). It also stands for approximation. Officially written as two tildes, one over the other, the single tilde has become acceptable; for example, ~100 means "approximately 100."

(2) In the Unix world, the popular Unix shells, except for the Bourne shell, support a home directory name substitution using the tilde (~). Also called a "squiggle" or "twiddle," the symbol is a prefix. For example, ~ jackson would refer to the "jackson" home directory. See shell and home directory.

(3) In Windows 95/98, the tilde (~) was used to maintain a short version of a long file or folder name for compatibility with Windows 3.1 and DOS. See Win Short file names.

(4) In Spanish, the tilde (~) turns the letter "n" into a "nyeh" sound such as in mañana; pronounced "mah-nyah-nah," which means "tomorrow" and "morning" (tomorrow morning is "mañana por la mañana"). In Portuguese, the tilde over the letters "a" and "o" adds a slight nasal sound to the syllable.
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References in periodicals archive ?
MY friends at Stick Twiddlers will try to break four gaming world records next Friday.
It's a fine reminder that in today's world, knob twiddlers rank alongside string pluckers or velum strikers.
The album is co-produced by Craig Leon, who worked on their very first single X Offender, while Good Boys comes complete with a raft of remixes from legendary twiddlers like Giorgio Moroder and Arthur Baker and such modern hot-shots as Scissor Sisters, A1 People and Easy.
Collectively, knob twiddlers Trevor Horn, Lol Creme, Stephen Lipson and superstar session drummer Ash Soan, have been responsible for more than 200 hit singles.
They want gamers to join their bid to set several world records, including the Stick Twiddlers team's attempt to play Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption for 50 hours.
In this consumer-obsessed world it seems there's nothing safe from professional twiddlers set on improving or adding extras.