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I was reading an article on TBS about increasing in electrical bill, and it used ▽ in several places:

このほか、▽北海道電力で67円、▽東北電力で114円

and so on for several other electrical companies; I tried loking about that symbols meaning and found some questions about symbols (like this and this), but nothing that seems fitting this instance. Here's the whole article.

Initially I was wondering if it could mean a decrease, but the article is about price increase and it states clearly all of those are increases, so that's not the case.

What does ▽ mean in this case?

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  • 2
    It looks like in-line bullet points to me listing exceptions to the statement in the previous paragraph of an increase of 146 yen.
    – A.Ellett
    Aug 29 at 18:59
  • The previous line, as far as I understand it, says that 146 ¥ is the higher increase, not a general one, so the following ones don't really sound as exceptions to me; am I missing something?
    – Mauro
    Aug 29 at 19:49
  • 1
    Indeed, I skimmed the text too quickly. Your point is well taken. Nevertheless, this still appears to be a listing showing other increases from various other locals.
    – A.Ellett
    Aug 29 at 23:24
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As A.Ellett says, ▽ in this context is used as (in-line) bullet points. Although ・(中黒 {なかぐろ})is the most commonly used for this purpose, the ▽ symbole ("down-pointing triangle") is sometimes used in news articles. I think that it is common only in news articles, and feel that it's more often used to list things from which the reader wants to find one item, rather than read through all the information.

For example:

I wasn't able to find out why and when this symbol is preferred. My speculations are: (1) bullet-point is also used for separate words (e.g. ダ・ヴィンチ da Vinci / 月・水・金曜日) so maybe confusing depending on the context (2) ▽ stands out more, so it let the reader skim through the text quickly to find the information relevant to them.

I also noticed that some of the usages lack the first bullet (the 3rd and 4th listed above), but the meaning stays the same. Think of it as <ul><li></li></ul>.

Edit: ▽ and ▼ is interchangeable. @sundowner provided an answer from レファ協 that sufficiently answers this question (see the comment below). For completeness, the「新聞や雑誌の縦組コラム」 they refer to in the answer looks like this or this.

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    Although it is ▼, I found this. 『句読点、記号・符号活用辞典。』 小学館/4-09-504176-6/p74、p185(中略) ▼(逆黒三角) ①目印や装飾として、見出し・箇条・記事・注記・段落などの頭に付ける。※新聞や雑誌の縦組コラムで、いくつかの文からなる小段落を改行せず追い込む場合に、小段落の冒頭においてくぎりとする。
    – sundowner
    Aug 30 at 9:11
  • @sundowner Thank you, I forgot to check the reference database! It's among the most trustworthy source: I have added the information to the answer.
    – Yosh
    Aug 31 at 3:09

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