Do the two words mean the same thing?
1. underline = a line directly under letters,
words, etc.?
2. underscore = a line underneath between
letters? between___words
Thank you.
1 2 3
Yes, as far as putting lines under letters, words or phrases, they are synonymous. Between words would not be undescoring/underlining, however, since there is nothing above. I can't think of a specific word, myself. I suppose I'd call it 'making a blank', or in English teaching, it's called 'creating a gap' for a gapping activity.
I think the only difference between to underline and to underscore is that the latter is more often used in AmE.


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For what it's worth, I don't recall ever using "underscore" in (British) English.
May be etymologically underline and underscore mean same. But, as for as I know people treat them seperately.

Underline: drawing a line below letter(s)/words/sentence (any lenght)

Underscore: a short line used between two words to keep continuity. For example, english_forum , air_india, etc.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Main Entry: 2underscore
Function: noun
1 : a line drawn under a word or line especially for emphasis or to indicate intent to italicize

The term "Underscore" is usually used when referring to the line that connects names or words in an e-mail address. It may not exactly be grammatical, but many understand what it means. However, I'm not sure if there's a more grammatical term for it.

A: Hey Billy, what's your e-mail?

B: It's billy_willy @ go.com (It's billy underscore willy at go dot com.)
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
It's billy_willy @ go.com (It's billy underscore willy at go dot com.)

Well, that explains my confusion-- I have never actually heard anyone say this, but when I mentally say it to myself, I have always said 'Mister underline Micawber at-mark yahoo dot com'.
It is very natural for me to use the word 'underscore' as equivalent to 'emphasize'. But I would never use 'underline' that way. I save underlining for writing.
[url=http://www.answers.com/underscore&r=67 ] Answers.Com[/url] says:

  • underscore (computer technology)

  • The underscore character (_) is often used to make file, field and variable names more readable when blank spaces are not allowed. For example, NOVEL_1A.DOC, FIRST_NAME and Start_Routine.

  • Many Japanese call (_) as an underbar. I often see Japanese women drinking and writing an underbar into their e-mail at an underbar in Tokyo.

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