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This question follows up on What is the exact purpose of \ftype@<TYPE>?. The LaTeX kernel source refers to a BANG float in the ltoutput.dtx, but there is no explanation for it. Anybody knows what it is?

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Fun Fact: If you google "bang float latex", the first hit is about balloons, the second the TeX UK-FAQ about floats (not mentioning BANG) and the third is already this question (9min old right now). – Martin Scharrer Oct 23 '11 at 17:22
bang float are floats with an "!" float option. I guess the name came from the same source as "shebang" and "hash-bang" for "#!". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shebang_(Unix) – Ulrike Fischer Oct 23 '11 at 17:28
@UlrikeFischer I believe using 'bang' for '!' is originally a printers term – Joseph Wright Oct 23 '11 at 17:45
@lockstep suggest latex-kernel tag for this sort of thing, will be easier to Google and more kid-proof:) – Yiannis Lazarides Oct 23 '11 at 18:16
@UlrikeFischer Will you please write your comment and a few words as an answer, so that I can accept it? I think Joseph's comment is also possibly a reasonable explanation but he is an officer and a gentleman!:) – Yiannis Lazarides Oct 23 '11 at 18:39
up vote 13 down vote accepted

bang float are floats with an "!" float option. I guess the name came from the same source as the bang in "shebang" and "hash-bang" for "#!". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shebang_(Unix).

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclamation_mark:

In the 1950's, secretarial dictation and typesetting manuals referred to the mark as "bang," most likely adapted from comic books where the ! appeared in dialogue balloons to represent a gun being fired, although the nickname probably emerged from letterpress printing. This bang usage is behind the titles of the interrobang, an uncommon typographic character, and a shebang line, a feature of unix computer systems.

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