**Punctuated Numbers**

I recently purchased a Tandy 1000SX computer. I have been working in BASIC, and I've noticed that when I list my program, any six-digit number has an exclamation point after it (123456!), and any eight-digit number has a pound sign after it (12345678#). To make the matter worse, these signs are also printed out when I make a hard copy listing of my program.

Could you please explain the reason for these punctuation marks?

Philip G. Crompton

*Modern BASICs often have several ways to store variables. Numbers with few significant digits can be represented more compactly than numbers with more significant digits. When you type in a number, BASIC decides how much space it will need to store the number. It then places a suffix after the number to indicate which format it has used. The following table shows the types of numeric variables available in BAS1CA, GW-BAS1C, and Amiga Basic, and the number of bytes each format requires for storage:*

% | integer (two bytes) |

! | single-precision floating point (four bytes) |

# | double-precision floating point (eight bytes) |

*These punctuation marks can be helpful. If you store a double-precision number in a single-precision variable, your calculations are likely to be less accurate than they would be if you used a double-precision variable.*