Nonnumeric Literals

A nonnumeric literal is a character-string delimited at both ends by quotation marks

or apostrophes

and consisting of any allowable character in the computer's character set. Nonnumeric literals may be of 1 to 160 characters in length. Whether quotation marks

or apostrophes

are used as delimiters, the presence of that delimiter within a nonnumeric literal can be represented by two contiguous occurrences. The presence of the character that is not serving as the delimiter is represented by a single occurrence. The value of a nonnumeric literal in the run-time element is the string of characters itself, except:

  • The delimiting quotation marks are excluded, and
  • Each embedded pair of contiguous delimiter characters represents a single character.

All other punctuation characters are part of the value of the nonnumeric literal rather than separators; all nonnumeric literals are category alphanumeric. (See the topic The PICTURE Clause.)

In addition, hexadecimal binary values can be attributed to nonnumeric literals by expressing literals as: X"nn", where each n is a hexadecimal digit in the set 0 through 9, A through F; nn can be repeated up to 160 times, but the number of hexadecimal digits must be even.

The number of hexadecimal digits may be odd.

In addition, a nonnumeric literal can be null-terminated (i.e. have a null byte x"00" at the end of the lietral) by expressing it as: Z"string", where string is a non-numeric literal.