I had an idea for a nerdy tattoo a few years ago. It would represent myself as a software engineer and I thought it was quite clever. I seriously considered having it done but decided against it in the end, despite its cleverness.
This is my idea, the “end comment” symbol in many programming languages:
In C, and other languages that can trace their lineage to C, comments start with a /* and end with a */. Anything inside is ignored by the language, allowing the programmer to describe what’s going on. This is tremendously useful when reading other people’s code or even your own code from the past.
/* This is a comment. */
/* This is another comment. */
Another way of looking at it is that these /* and */ symbols mark the change of state between comments and code. /* says “After this is comment” while */ says “After this is code.”
Or to put it another way, */ means “Enough talk, time for action.”
(This is where you exclaim to yourself how clever I am to have thought of that.)
I didn’t have the tattoo done in the end. Describing what it meant would have taken too much explanation. Even if a fellow programmer recognized the symbol, they would probably first think it looked like I’ve been “commented out”, as they wonder if I had the /* on the other side.
Also, rotated a little, it looks a bit like a squinting cyclops.
Picture Credit: Moomin Tattoo by Tiffany Terry.