# A shy person in a queue

I'm so shy when between people.
When in a queue, I'd like to be the last.
That's the only time when I'm not shy.
When consuming food, I'd take one or two, or even four, depending on the context.
What am I?

You are...

The soft hyphen character (a.k.a. &shy;)

A soft hyphen denotes a place in a block of text where a renderer should preferably insert a line-break, instead of doing so at the line's original endpoint.

I'm so shy when between people.

If a single line contains multiple soft hyphens, only the last one is rendered. Soft hyphens located in the middle of a line are invisible and have no effect on the text.

When in a queue, I'd like to be the last. That's the only time when I'm not shy.

When a soft hyphen appears to be the best location for a line to wrap, it is rendered as a hyphen followed by a line-break, causing it to become the last character on that line.

When consuming food, I'd take one or two, or even four, depending on the context.

The soft hyphen is a Unicode character. Unicode can represent characters in one, two, or four bytes, hence the food reference.
The character was also updated in Unicode versions 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0, but I believe this is a coincidence.

• Actually... rot13(Havpbqr qbrfa'g ercerfrag punenpgref va NAL olgrf. Gung'f jung gur HGSf ner sbe. HGS8 pna hfr orgjrra bar naq sbhe olgrf (ohg nyfb guerr olgrf!) cre punenpgref; HGS16 hfrf gjb be sbhe olgrf; naq HGS32 nyjnlf hfrf sbhe. Fb gung cneg vf n ovg zvfyrnqvat, V guvax.) Sep 12 '19 at 10:25
• Yeah, thanks for the clarification. rot13(V guvax vg pbhyq rvgure ersre gb gur anzrf bs gur qvssrerag HGS rapbqvatf pbairegrq sebz ovgf (rvtug, fvkgrra, naq guvegl-gjb), be gb gur zvavzhz fvmr sbe rnpu rapbqvat glcr va olgrf.) Sep 12 '19 at 13:34
• I'd really like to know how "one" makes sense. Sep 12 '19 at 19:25
• @Joshua rot13(Fvapr fbsg ulcura vf jvgura H+0000 - H+00SS, VFB8859-1 rapbqvat jvgu ercerfrag vg va 1 olgr.) Sep 12 '19 at 20:14
• How did you even figure this out? Sep 13 '19 at 0:06

You are ...

the NULL character

I'm so shy when between people.

when sent to a printer or terminal, it is not displayed

When in a queue, I'd like to be the last. That's the only time when I'm not shy.

in the C family of programming languages, it is used to signify the end of a string of characters

When consuming food, I'd take one or two, or even four, depending on the context.

depending on the encoding it can take one, two, or four bytes of space

line break character the ENTER key

• Close. Very close. Sep 11 '19 at 8:26
• @DannyuNDos edited my answer. this has got to be it or it's the end of the line for me :P Sep 11 '19 at 8:32
• Nah, it's further now. Sep 11 '19 at 8:36
• seriously? just to make sure, it's none of the synonyms for my first answer, right? like newline or line feed? Sep 11 '19 at 8:38
• I found an error in my puzzle and corrected it. Give it a try! Sep 11 '19 at 8:38

Is it:

Caret (^)

I'm so shy when between people.

It can represent an exponent so it is wedged between numbers (for example, 2^3 = 8)

When in a queue, I'd like to be the last.

A person can refer to the message above using the caret character

That's the only time when I'm not shy.

The above usage is used when texting other people

When consuming food, I'd take one or two, or even four, depending on the context.

Caret sounds a lot like carrot. Also, one, two, and four are all powers of two (2^0 = 1, 2^1 = 2, 2^2 = 4)