The Flash Number Sign

One thing that I find mildly irritating and frequently confusing is the US habit of calling the # symbol, the pound symbol. The £ is the pound symbol.

I call # a hash symbol, or if you are of a musical bent maybe a sharp. Microsoft created a programming language called C# and it is pronounced C sharp, so maybe this is better name for programmers to standardize on. I have also seen the # called tictactoe and today I learnt it is also called an octothorpe.

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Published in: on 12 June, 2008 at 7:00  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. In the US we most frequent call it the pound sign and not the pound symbol.

    And according to our friend at Coding Horror, pound sign is perfectly acceptable.

    (I ought to be wiser than to stick my toe in this turbulent pool, but I was compelled by my Inner OCD Child to add this clarification.)

  2. To be fair to the Americans, it does come from the Anglo-Saxons, who had 240 silver pennies weighing in at one pound, ending with the Brits with a measurement of money and a measurement of weight called the same thing.

    The # symbol for weight and the £ for sterling kinda makes sense.

  3. And Coding Horror doesn’t list @ as the asperand. I’ve mailed him/her.

  4. I was hoping to get the @ renamed as the “ammonyte symbol”


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