In what language did the semicolon first appear as a terminator?

Likewise a similar question about generics . What was its first appearance and how did it spread to C?

edit: corrected question based on Jon Skeet's answer (; is a terminator, not a delimiter)


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4 answers

Definitely ALGOL.

Hmm, someone changed the question. It's not really cricket.

Regarding how it spreads, skeletal points spread well Algol 60 → Simula → C. K + R said that Pascal had no effect on them, IIRC, although some have disputed this claim.

Operator terms (other than newline) are spread from COBOL → Jovial → C. Although each has a different character as a temp.



It's not a delimiter in C - it's a terminator.

However, I believe ALGOL may have been the first to use a semicolon this way.



Pascal had semicolons as terminators before C did; not sure if this was the first language to have them.



ALGOL is also my guess.

What matters is that it freed the user from the fixed, punch-card-style format.

If you need to use Fortran 77, you know what that means.



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