Who pronounces the datatype "char" as in "charbroiled" or as in "character"?

count as of 2009-01-01 12:38 EST:

charbroiled 12

character 8

car 2

both - 1

+26  A: 

As in "character".

meaning you pronouce it "care"?
Andrew G. Johnson
That's non-obvious, you know. It depends on your accent.
Not 'care', like character but you only say upto 'char'...
Click Upvote
...yes, and if you only say up to 'char', you're saying "care". I don't know how you pronounce that word ;) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/En-us-character.ogg
Mr. Stroustrup says: "How do you pronounce "char"?"char" is usually pronounced "tchar", not "kar". This may seem illogical because "character" is pronounced "ka-rak-ter", but nobody ever accused English pronunciation (not "pronounciation" :-) and spelling of being logical. " - http://www2.research.att.com/~bs/bs_faq2.html#char
+83  A: 

As in charbroiled. Closer to Portuguese :)

Otávio Décio
Ditto. I am a Spanish speaker, though.
Adriano Varoli Piazza
Same. I'm an English speaker.
Thomas Owens
Sorry, I meant that in Spanish, ch is _always_ pronounced as in 'charred'.
Adriano Varoli Piazza
+1, I hate it when people pronounce it as "car" or "care"
Never heard anyone pronounce is that way. Everyone I have heard says "car"
I know it's wrong, but it sounds much better that way :P (german)
Crazy Americans! You've ruined everything!!
Mike Robinson
Being almost completely self taught in programming up until now I had all sorts of weird pronunciations for words that I had only read(and rarely said out loud) like I thought syntax was pronounced Sine-tax...
IPA pronunciation: 't∫ɑr http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA_chart_for_English_dialects
+12  A: 

I've never heard anyone pronounce it like "care". I have, however, heard someone pronounce it like "car". In my experience "char" (like an overdone steak) is the most common.

I have heard it pronounced like 'car'. I had to double-take!
I pronounce it like 'car' as do most of the developers I work with. I imagine the pronunciation depends on several factors including how they first heard 'char' pronounced.
Ryan Taylor
+11  A: 

The answer to your question, is "no." That is, people pronounce it different ways. Not everyone pronounces it one way or the other.

As for me, I don't "char" how you pronounce it. :-)

As long as we know what we're both talking about when we work on a project together, it doesn't matter.

Bill Karwin
I don't pair programm by design, but I have been in some "look over my shoulder" debugging sessions with individual who use that other pronunciation. We each use are own and don't complain...
ba dum tis! hehe... "char"...
Funny! You are really "charizmatic"
David Robbins
+1  A: 

I rarely pronounce keywords (most of my collaboration is done online) but in classes I usually say char like care except with a shorter a if that makes sense.

+12  A: 

I pronounce it as "char"broiled, and for trivia, so does Stroustrup :-) Not sure how Dennis Ritchie pronounces it though.

+21  A: 

I pronounce it like a car

+1 - I also pronounce it like 'car' as do most of the developers I work with.
Ryan Taylor
same - char as in charbroiled sounds weird to me
+4  A: 

Ironically I use the charbroiled pronunciation, despite the 'character' base of the derivative. I think it's due to the var*char* pronunciation, I just can't hear it being pronounced as var*car*

I've heard the var-car many times.
Interesting point... even wierder - I say var"char"(broiled) but I say "care" when it's by itself..
Michael Bray

In short, no. Everyone doesn't pronounce it "char" and everyone doesn't pronounce it "care". But some of us pronounce it "char" and some of us pronounce it "care".

For a really good time, ask how people pronounce "*", "!", and "~".

Charlie Martin
star, bang, tilde. Easy. Or 'asterisco', 'signo de exclamación', 'tilde'.
Adriano Varoli Piazza
You might enjoy this http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/rcrumbaker/archive/2006/11/14/a-programmers-poem.aspx
Bill the Lizard
That's a great poem Bill.
Lawrence Johnston
I have a weird habit of pronouncing there meanings in C... so I would pronounce them 'pointer', 'not', 'not' ;)
Joe D
Charlie Martin
+8  A: 

Im squarely in the Charbroiled camp. If i wasn't, not sure how I would handle the SQL Type

I pronounce that "vare-care". It is short for variable-length character.
Skip Head
I pronounce that as 'varcar'.
Ryan Taylor
Yep-Var Char - Var (like arr for pirates) and char (like charbroiled)
+1 for pirates!
+4  A: 

Char as in character.

Norman Ramsey
+3  A: 

Wow, I just realized I pronounce it both ways:

 char c; // care see

 Create table foo (
     name varchar(30), -- name var char(broiled) thirty

I revel in my inconsistency!


In my head I've always pronounced it like car. I've never actually heard anyone pronounce it though. Most people seem to say "character".

+3  A: 

I always pronounced it as "care" in my mind without thinking about it until after I started taking classes and heard somebody pronounce it as "char"(broiled), which actually kind of took me aback until I figure out what they were talking about. Nowadays I still pronounce it as "care", I just think about it more;).

Lawrence Johnston
+1  A: 

*: star - splat - asterisk

Among the first two, the choice is usually which sounds best or easiest to say in context.

Asterisk is usually uttered only by PHMs.

\: back slash - whack - slash

Whack is usually the choice between techies.

Back slash is used (spoken very slowly) when the new guy asks for the syntax of net use.

Slash is used bt PHMs who can't see the difference.

!: bang Huh? There's another way?

tilldie - common

tilduh - if you feign intellectualosity

squiggle - if you're being silly

(the thing over the 3) : I'm not going there, it's far too divisive.

One highly recommends Victor Borge's "Phonetic Punctuation" for those of you under 50.


Cute, but completely irrelevant
+8  A: 

I pronounce it char as in character :-).

+3  A: 

I pronounce it "care" because char is short for character.

Mr Fooz

"Care" sounds silly to Brits and Australians (among others), because we pronounce "character" differently to Americans.

We don't have our own version of "char as in character", because it yields a syllable that is rather difficult to pronounce on its own. So I've only ever heard people say "char" as in "charcoal".

I think it's important to add that char is not really a character type. You can't (portably) use a char to store wide characters so IMO it's actually better to think of chars and characters as different things, and so pronouncing them differently is perfectly acceptable.

Lastly, I direct you all to the excellent answer this question received in the Infrequently Asked Questions.

+3  A: 

"Char" as in "charbroiled", because it rolls off the tongue nicely when saying "char star" (as in char *).

great answer.....
+3  A: 

I just say "character", three syllables. Pronouncing it "car" would be confusing because car is already the name for a function that takes the first element of a list. ;)


Adding my data: Char like charbroiled.

Chad Okere
+5  A: 

Looks like I am different here.

Char as in Chart ;)


Now you've got me confused.

+3  A: 

Being Australian, no matter how I think I pronounce it, it probably sounds like a nasal whinge to most. I'm so Aussie that I had to double check with wikipedia that charbroiling was like barbecuing or chargrilling (we don't seem to use that term here).

Anyway, I think I say "char" as in chargrilling.

Daniel Paull
So you'd find this 'care' thing as baffling as me? If not char then car!
sure did until I thought about a few different accents. I can see (hear) where "care" comes from.
Daniel Paull

Being derived from Character, I pronounce it "care".

John T

Personally I pronounce it as in "charbroiled", but I think "care" would be more appropriate as it's derived from the word character

Igor Pozgaj

For me and my colleagues its Char as in Charcoal (soft R) nothing like how it's said in Character (hard R)

+2  A: 

I am not sure if am pronouncing correctly(B'cause I am not native speaker) but I usually pronounce as in charcoal.


character ++

+1  A: 

char as in charred/charbroiled for me.

+7  A: 

Who chars?

exactly: Charity begins at home after all...

As "character" (the full three syllables). Or something in Dutch. ;-)

Just because the programming language / compile abbreviates the type doesn't mean that I should pronounce it that way. You don't actually call the type known as bool with that name, do you? As the word "fool", but starting with a B? If you want to know, I call that a "boolean" or maybe a "flag".

I actually do call it a bool, rhyming with fool. :D
me also. Also when I say 'boolean' in full - I would still rhyme the 'bool' bit with 'fool': but some people seem to say it closer to 'bullion'.
+2  A: 

I think the answer depends on you age and programming background. Older programmers who started with languages that required you to spell out all keywords will typically pronounce this "care" because they're thinking "character" when they say it. Younger programmers who grew up primarily on terse, cryptic languages typically pronounce it as in "char-broiled". I'm in the first group.

Then there's the SQL factor. If you actually read SQL a lot, you tend to say "vare-care" or "var-kar", but not "vare-char" (as in "char-broiled").

As others have said, the most important factor is that the listeners understand the speaker.

Once we've mastered telepathy, many such issues disappear. :-)

Ken Paul
Good observation. It makes me wonder about how much background they have in computing if they don't know that.

char as in character.

I'm still baffled as to why people learn that "char" is short for "character" and then decide to pronounce it differently.

because saying it like "care" looks weird
Care is the correct pronunciation and don't see how it can be otherwise.
+3  A: 

char as in CHART

Now i realise that normally i should say char as in character, but this way will NOT sound good at all.


I say byte.

:-) Its like Unicode never happened ;-)
Not until C++0X :D Then I'll say symbol XD

I pronounce it like "car".


I pronounce it like 'car', too.

But then again, I pronounce 'varchar' like charred.

Go figure. Consistency be damned.


char as in character

so you say "care"? Never heard anyone call it that.. usually char like charbroiled or car
I do not pronounce character as "care"... it sounds like "car" when I pronounce character.

If you pronounce it car, then how would you distinguish between char and car?


Something like [t͡ʃaɐ], though I’m not sure if the [aɐ] diphthong is always there.

+1  A: 

I am on the charbroiled side of things.


I usually go with the 'charbroiled' (probably because of the 'varchar' thing - sounds better)...but I'm now more confused about how people pronounce 'care' and 'character' ??? [Care-ik-tar?]

Where I'm from 'care' rhymes with 'hair', 'fair', 'Tony Blair' and 'au pair'. And 'car' rhymes with 'far', 'blah' and 'lpar'.


Be fluid, like water. Bruce Lee said that once. "Char" as in church with alone, but "car" when using SQL speak for varchar. "Shard" as in cheese from the Swiss but really it's spinach and you call Swiss Chard.

David Robbins

Since I'm German, I pronounce it as in Chart. Because that's how a "ch" is normally pronounced over here.

Ivo Wetzel