Paamayim Nekudotayim, or, why the double colon?

A couple of people have asked about the double colon. It’s mostly a small joke. In PHP, the double colon is a scope resolution operatorHere’s an example from the PHP manual:

class MyClass {
const CONST_VALUE = 'A constant value';

echo MyClass::CONST_VALUE;

The result would be A constant value.

So in this case, global outlook::digital humanities means “whatever the value of ‘digital humanities’ is in the scope of a ‘global outlook’.” The fact that the operator has a non-english name, even in English programming contexts, seemed pretty neat too (As the wikipedia explains: “The name “Paamayim Nekudotayim” was introduced in the Israeli-developed Zend Engine 0.5 used in PHP 3.” In Hebrew, it means “double dot twice” and is spelled פעמיים נקודתיים).

Daniel O'Donnell

I am a professor of English and the Digital Humanities at the University of Lethbridge.