The <pointy brackets> are an archetypal pair of characters in the world of computing. But if you’ve ever wondered how they became so pervasive, you’re in luck.

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In this video, Professor David Brailsford explains that the pointy bracket first arrived on the scene to make Noam Chomsky’s hierarchy—now a fundamental tenet of computer science—a little easier to read and understand. And like all good simplifying ideas, it took a hold. Watch to find out why.

[Computerphile]