It's all squiggles on the screen that I have to learn to interpret in the correct context.

This is true. All letters are symbols, and all symbols require a context in order to interpret. Somebody above pointed out that > is universally understood in mathematics, and thus its universality seems to make it preferable to GT, which is based on English. But this can be misleading. In the long run, > is just as arbitrary as GT, and although the symbol is widely used in mathematics, that is no guarantee that it will retain a clear meaning forever. A context will always be necessary, and although mathematics provides a kind of easily-accessible and widely-dispersed context, the specific system of mathematics that we utilize today is still a culturally-developed system of symbolization, and hence it is neither truly universal nor immortal.

At the same time, even the mathematical context may not adequately guarantee that the meaning of > is understood. In fact, it is questionable whether the strictly *mathematical* meaning of > is strictly at play in computer programming. The Perl gt operator already shows that the sphere of the meaning of "greater than" within programming can be wider than that which belongs to ordinary mathematics. In other words, the symbol > is borrowed from the context of mathematics, but this originary context is not the only context that determines the usage of this symbol within programming. It is always possible for this symbol to carry additional meanings not strictly intended by mathematical logic.

The strength of C++, for example, is that you can define your own operators and how they operate upon particular data structures, such that > can mean anything you want it to mean. Of course it would be silly to use > to mean "less than," but one might use it to mean "greater than" in a way that is only *analogous* to the scalar numerical calculation; hence for example one could conceive of a "greater than" with regard to GPS coordinates that does not measure which coordinates are greater in sheer magnitude, but rather determines which are farther north.

In short, *no* symbol is guaranteed in its meaning by an external relationship to another, distinct usage of the same symbol. It does not matter whether the symbol comes from written or spoken language, academic usage or common dialect, science or superstition; all symbols are determined in their meaning by context.