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Hugh Wyn Griffith
10-30-2005, 05:13 PM
Here's a delightful website written up in our local paper recently but probably syndicated:

http://www.herodios.com/atsign.htm (http://www.herodios.com/atsign.htm)

A Natural History of the @ Sign
Part One: The many names of @

Michael Rowley
10-31-2005, 07:40 AM
Hugh:

Although the change from at meaning "for a given amount per" to at meaning "in a specified (electronic) location" comes fairly naturally to English speakers

This English speaker would find it strange to say for a given amount per instead of saying the English 'at' or the Latin 'ad': I suppose that that long-winded version comes from the same stable as 'at this moment in time'.

Hugh Wyn Griffith
10-31-2005, 11:40 AM
I think you missed the word "meaning" -- explanations usually are longer than the symbol, word or phrase being explained.
eg:

ad
An advertisement; advertising.
small ad: see SMALL adjective.

Comb.: name="1"adman a person who produces advertisements commercially; name="2"admass the section of the community regarded as readily influenced by advertising etc.

Michael Rowley
10-31-2005, 12:14 PM
Hugh:

Sorry, I meant to say that in English, '@' means 'at', although it is probably a form of 'ad'. Similarly, '&' means 'and', although it is certainly a form of 'et' (and is described in some languages as the 'et-sign'. I don't think either @ or & needs a longer explanation than 'at' or 'and'.

Hugh Wyn Griffith
10-31-2005, 02:15 PM
Test post

Hugh Wyn Griffith
10-31-2005, 02:16 PM
OK that Test Post fixed it and I can see the thread tree.

Hugh Wyn Griffith
10-31-2005, 02:18 PM
I know what you meant <g>

The point is that not everyone knows what @ means -- or that # is the hash mark and not a pound sign <g>

jrabold
10-31-2005, 05:26 PM
... # is the hash mark and not a pound sign ...

Hash mark? Oh, you mean the octothorpe!

Hugh Wyn Griffith
10-31-2005, 05:36 PM
Despite its intriguing history

http://www.sigtel.com/tel_tech_octothorpe.html

I have to go back to my signal corps days and stick with hash mark -- I see Europe wants to call it a square ......

ktinkel
11-01-2005, 06:43 AM
The point is that not everyone knows what @ means -- or that # is the hash mark and not a pound sign <g>It is not the pound sign, of course, but # is a shortcut way of indicating pound/pounds.

Automated phone systems call it the pound sign — but what else can they call it? Tic-tac-toe? Cross-hatch? Octothorpe? I rather doubt it.

They also call the asterisk a star, which it certainly is not!

Hugh Wyn Griffith
11-01-2005, 07:25 AM
<< I see Europe wants to call it a square ...... >> ISO I believe ......

don Arnoldy
11-01-2005, 07:41 AM
It is not the pound sign, of course, but # is a shortcut way of indicating pound/pounds.I remember reading somewhere that the # has more meanings than any other symbol.

It means pounds as in 20# paper
It means space when used in proof reading
It means number as in #6
It means break in othopedics
It means a sharp in musical notation
and a whole raft of other meanings that I can't remember

ktinkel
11-01-2005, 08:44 AM
I remember reading somewhere that the # has more meanings than any other symbol.

It means pounds as in 20# paper
It means space when used in proof reading
It means number as in #6
It means break in othopedics
It means a sharp in musical notation
and a whole raft of other meanings that I can't rememberMakes sense to me.

And of course it signifies an ID in CSS . . .

Michael Rowley
11-01-2005, 09:33 AM
KT:

They also call the asterisk a star, which it certainly is not!

Here is the COD's definition of 'asterisk':

asterisk
noun a symbol (*) used in text as a pointer to an annotation or footnote.
verb mark with an asterisk.
ORIGIN
Middle English: via late Latin from Greek asteriskos 'small star', diminutive of aster.

ktinkel
11-01-2005, 10:42 AM
Here is the COD's definition of 'asterisk':

Middle English: via late Latin from Greek asteriskos 'small star', diminutive of aster.
Interesting. But star now means something quite different (several things, actually). Usually a 5- or 6-pointed thingie.