°Qué es la banda ancha?

I've come across quite a few cases of the degree symbol (°) being used in cases where I would have expected inverted question and exclamation marks. Is this a stylistic choice? A case of bad/corrupted data? A workaround for older computer systems that don't support the "¿" and "¡" characters?

If it's broken, it should be fixed, but if this is a valid syntax then I will leave it alone.

  • 2
    What?! Where did you see this... this... heresy!
    – Jose Luis
    Apr 7, 2015 at 9:47
  • It's most likely a typo. There is no way someone would replace "¡" on purpose by "°". On the other hand the Latin American keyboard has "°" exactly one key to the left of "!". Some people don't know the difference between "¡" and "!". !Latin American keyboard I had no idea why anyone would replace "¿" by "°", until I found the OLPC Spanish keyboard: !OLPC Spanish keyboard You can see that the key with "¿" and "¡"
    – user8891
    Apr 23, 2015 at 18:01

2 Answers 2


No, the question and exclamation marks have no replacement.

It is the first time in my life I see the sign º with that use (I'm native Spanish user). Apart from the meaning of "degrees", the sign can be used to say

male gender: Vº means "vuestro", Vª means "vuestra".

position: 1º first, 2º second

but in this cases it is not strictly a degree sign but one superscript 'o'.

Surely, yours is a coding error or corrupt data.

  • 1
    Thanks! I had the idea that it might be an internet "cute" syntax, or some other deliberate syntax. I will look into getting these fixed in my office's records.
    – frances
    Mar 30, 2015 at 21:59
  • +1 Yep... they have NO replacement. Whatsoever.
    – Jose Luis
    Apr 30, 2015 at 11:37

As a native Spanish speaker, I have never seen the degree sign used as a symbol either. However, I have often seen symbols, including the letter "ñ" being displayed incorrectly on some websites. It may have something to do with GSM, ANSI and UNICODE. In SMS (phone text messages), you have to use UNICODE to display the Spanish accented vowels and other symbols properly, if you use GSM it will turn to some weird symbol.

I tried to just make a comment but I don't have enough reputation.

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