I wonder why in assembly there are often included symbols as a language feature and what's the purpose of it?

  • 7
    Can you make your question more specific? I don't know what you mean by "symbols." Perhaps provide an example of what you mean? May 7, 2018 at 22:32
  • Symbols like identifiers, or symbols like punctuation?
    – user253751
    May 7, 2018 at 22:40
  • 2
    Because of humans. CPU's don't care. May 7, 2018 at 23:34
  • This question would be greatly improved with some examples.
    – John Wu
    May 8, 2018 at 3:31
  • 3
    @rwong: Before you declare a new policy, it might be a good idea to run it up the meta flag pole first. May 8, 2018 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


I suspect that you are confusing op codes and registers for symbols. What is boils down to is that assembly language is just mnemonics for machine language. There really are no weird symbols, however, it is important to understand the architecture of chip that you are coding for.

To get your head around it, consider an easy architecture like the 8085 (https://www.tutorialspoint.com/microprocessor/microprocessor_8085_instruction_sets.htm). The Architecture is not as complex as the x86 and the assembly instruction was meant to be hand coded.

The language I think of that has weird symbols is APL (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APL_(programming_language)). I will defer to the wikipedia article as there are some wonderful examples.

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