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Waka Waka Bang Splat!
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The World’s First Internet Special-Characters Poem
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The following poem appeared in the May/June 1990 issue of Infocus magazine and has since been floating around the Internet. The original authors were Fred Bremmer and Steve Kroese of Calvin College & Seminary of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

A poll conducted among Infocus readers had established “waka” as the proper pronunciation for the angle-bracket characters < and >, though some readers held out resolutely for “norkies.”

< > ! * ' ' #
^ " ` $ $ -
! * = @ $ _
% * < > ~ # 4
& [ ] . . /
| { , ,
 SYSTEM HALTED


The poem can only be appreciated by reading it aloud, to wit:

    <  >  !   *  '  '  #
     Waka waka bang splat tick tick hash,

    ^  "    `    $   $  -
     Caret quote back-tick dollar dollar dash,

    !  *  =  @  $    _
     Bang splat equal at dollar under-score,

    %   *   <  >  ~   #   4
     Percent splat waka waka tilde number four,

     &     [    ]   . .  /
     Ampersand bracket bracket dot dot slash,

     |       {      ,    ,   SYSTEM HALTED
     Vertical-bar curly-bracket comma comma CRASH.



reprinted with permission from:

Lee J. Leitner, Ph.D.
leitnerl@acm.org


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