Don’t forget the ñ!

cindy vs piñata

There’s a lot of things that bug me in the blog and internet world. This is one of them:






See something wrong?

Yes, the tilde is missing over the n. I love the ñ and have always been a little jealous that some of my family members get to add it to their surname (Ureño).

Angeleño may look okay without the ñ, but it was originally written like that back in the day. The third phrase on the list makes me giggle. It’s the perfect example of how leaving the tilde off the n changes the meaning of the word. It’s no longer “new year,” it’s “new anus.” Yeah, people will probably know what you mean, but it’s still awkward.

k l ll m n ñ o p

For the most part, the people who read my blog are not guilty of leaving off tildes, so you can skip this and leave it to the people who search for the following phrase:

How to add a tilde over an n

On a PC: control-shift-tilde + n
Using the key pad: alt+164 (I’ve also seen 0209)

On a Mac: opt+n, a tilde will appear, press n again

iPhone/iPad: hold down on the n, three options should appear, choose ñ

In high school, I used the Word Perfect insert character option or just added the tilde after I’d printed my assignment. As a Spanish minor in college, learned the PC shortcuts lest my grade suffer. Switching from a PC to a Mac for my personal computer meant learning more shortcuts. Adding accents was one of the first things I looked up when I got the iPhone. If you rarely write in Spanish or other languages with accents, umlauts, tildes and other characters, it might be tough to remember these shortcuts. An easier shortcut might just be searching for the properly spelled word you need on Google and then copying and pasting it into your document. Example: if you google “pinata”, piñata comes up immediately.

¿Quieren más?

This Penn State tutorial on typing accents and special characters probably has everything you need.

Feliz Ano Nuevo with Michael Peña (via Mun2)

Spanish alphabet photo by Nathan Gibbs, used under Creative Commons license.


7 thoughts on “Don’t forget the ñ!

  1. I will just google a phrase in Spanish without any of the punctuation or ASCII values and I will find the phrase WITH them. I’ll just then cut and paste it.
    it’s soooo much easier to google it than to try and figure out what the ASCII codes are for the accented a or n tilde or upside down exclamation points.
    cut and pasted

  2. I have the Spanish keyboard turned on so I just press alt + shift and it changes to the Spanish keyboard.

    Así que me viene muy fácil escribir en español. Es un poco más difícil cuando uno tiene que usar alt + el número que sea.

    Hopefully I didn’t commit too many egregious grammatical mistakes in the previous paragraph.

  3. Martha Mascote says:

    Thank you mija for educating us! Tio Ivan had am awkward e-mail situation too! He did not know how to send a Feliz Ano Nuevo to a friend. I was “WHY”…(after 28 years) he just told me ano was anus…DUH stupid of me never knew. My Spanish not so good. I know now. We will use your tips and try to write Happy New Year in spanish correctly. This is why I have very smart educated nieces and nephews to correct me and tio. Love you

  4. Ernie Ureño says:

    I just commented on your Dad’s look alike to Chavez piece and I did not put the “ñ” in my name. However, you’ll be glad to see I’ve done it here, and I always sign my name with the “ñ.”

  5. Vane says:

    Cindy-lu…I have to tell you that you just saved me. I had to write an email to a teacher candidate whose last name included an ñ, and I remembered your post. You just helped me continue to advance professionally 🙂 ❤

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