Working notes from the Scandinavian Institute for Computational Vandalism

ASCII vandalism

Mimic is a project that replaces characters in the ASCII character set with more obscure equivilents possible with the extended unicode set that happen to look very similar.

ASCII Code Chart-Quick ref card

ASCII (or American Standard Code for Information Interchange, see is the historically determined limited set of characters restricted to 127 characters (such as can be represented by 7 bits) and reflecting a mixture of “common symbols” such as would appear on a typewriter in the United States circa 1960 (along with various other unprintable “control” characters that might be used to control a teletype machine such as carriage return and “bell”). Programming languages generally have absorbed many of the constraints of ASCII tending to use symbols that happen to appear within this set for various purposes. For example the “curly braces” symbols (“{}”) which are used in C like languages to structure code in “blocks”, or the semi-color (“;”) to indicated the end of a code statement.

The Mimic project claims to be inspired by the following posting (source not known):

MT: Replace a semicolon (;) with a greek question mark (;) in your friend’s C# code and watch them pull their hair out over the syntax error
— Peter Ritchie (@peterritchie) November 16, 2014

The manual page for the code, includes the folowing example:


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