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This usually happens when I'm writing to developers or other IT professionals.

The context would be something along the lines of ". . . measured at 100 MB/s (and is increasing)."

On paper or a whiteboard, I've always drawn a bold up/down arrow.

This situation mostly shows up when I type comments in email, code or revisions. I didn't not know if there was a symbol or shorthand in Unicode that could help out.

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I am afraid this forum isn't the best place for your question, although I am puzzled as to where it would belong... SuperUser? English.SE? Anyone has a better idea? –  Péter Török Sep 21 '11 at 10:42
If anything Péter I'd migrate to English.SE to see if anyone knows a symbol, then some google-fu on unicode will find it. I doubt there is a common symbol though. –  StuperUser Sep 21 '11 at 10:49
My coworkers also doubted there was an easy to read symbol as well. But so far, I'm liking the diagonal arrows. . . –  surfasb Sep 21 '11 at 11:32
@PéterTörök: I had debated that as well, but the audience I'm targetting the symbol to are IT, Devs, and a few other Finance folks who know the difference between MB/s and Mb/s. –  surfasb Sep 21 '11 at 11:47
@Spoike: Nothing. At times it is verbose, so I was exploring other possibilities. Just like writing @$100 instead of unit price of 100USD. –  surfasb Sep 21 '11 at 11:57

8 Answers 8

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I guess you could use the unicode arrows for this. For instance:

↓, ↑ , ↖ , ↗ , ↘ , ↙

For a more complete reference.

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The problem with using them is they aren't common shorthand and you'd have to spend time explaining what you meant rather than adding 3 words: and is increasing –  StuperUser Sep 21 '11 at 10:52
Yeah, that's true. I still considered it however, seeing as that was the way the OP used to describe it on a whiteboard. –  Andreas Johansson Sep 21 '11 at 10:54
+1. I've actually seen ↗ and ↘ in use for expressing future tendencies and ↓ and ↑ in use for past development. More specifically, it was in school. However that use might be restricted to Germany or even further. OTOH I do think it's quite self-explanatory. –  back2dos Sep 21 '11 at 11:34

In documentation used by my company the terms Δ+ and Δ- are used regularly and are widely understood. Delta obviously signalling a change in quantity.

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This is also a great suggestion! Even my little cousins would understand this! –  surfasb Sep 21 '11 at 11:50
Delta is typically used to denote change, or difference. If your three ordered samples are 900, 800, 200, delta is increasing even though the samples are decreasing. –  oosterwal Sep 21 '11 at 15:11
@oosterwal, I guess that depends on whether you interpret the +/- relative to the magnitude of the change or to the direction. Most people I know would probably call "900, 800, 200" a negative change, or perhaps an increasingly negative change. –  William Shakespeare Sep 21 '11 at 15:23
@oosterwal: Yeah, I also forsee a few of the devs joking about whether it is decreasing or increasing, –  surfasb Sep 21 '11 at 21:23

There's nothing that is a shorthand symbol to describe this that is in general use that wouldn't require an explanation.

Adding "and is increasing" is terse and clear.

You can use measured at <100MB/s, but this doesn't take into account the change over time, so you will spend more time explaining its use than saying "and is increasing"

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I agree with Andiaz. Also in our documentation about Banking Software we use the same notation to indicate that a certain value will increase/decrease.

Furthermore thanks to the different angolation you can also provide the idea of how much this vallue will change, as example "↗" means (at least in our context) "it increases moderately".

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I use the bold up/down arrows because it is similar to a stock ticker. Coworkers would joke that we are discussing our 401Ks when they look through the glass wall and the whiteboard is filled with a bunch of numbers with up/down arrows. –  surfasb Sep 21 '11 at 11:36

I think the common appendices are textual "and growing" and "and falling"/"and dropping". No shorthand symbols that I ever knew of - and since probably few people would know them, they won't serve their purpose of being shorthand if they need to be explained to every newcomer.

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I've seen people writing something like:

Our system has to handle traffic of 100+ MBit/s

which means 100 MBit/s and more.

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Everyone I know will read this as " greater than 100MB/s." Now I have written 100++ and the devs understood this. My boss on the other hand . . . –  surfasb Sep 21 '11 at 11:40
BTW, bits is a lowercase b, while an uppercase B is bytes. So it would be Mbit/s or Mb/s. –  surfasb Sep 21 '11 at 11:49
Yeah, you're right about the bits, Surfasb. –  Raku Sep 22 '11 at 8:01

I like the syntax used in the financial industry: you specify a value in green or red, along with an up/down arrow.

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Too bad you can't type that in a text file. . . –  surfasb Sep 21 '11 at 21:05
My workplace uses HTML comments in code and HTML email as the standard, so for us it's allowed... –  Uri Sep 27 '11 at 15:05

For shorthand, I might use > for decreasing, and < for increasing.

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This is already used for greater than and less than. –  surfasb Sep 21 '11 at 21:05

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