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@

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:02 pm
by Bobinwales
If & is an ampersand, what is @?

It must have a name surely. I admit that it is only going to be of use to sad sods like me who don't need to open a dictionary to know what an aglet is, but even so...

@

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:32 pm
by gdwdwrkr
For Pete's sake, it's "an A with a little circle around it". This is how old people say it while exchanging email addresses.
We savvy youngsters say "AT.", which included brief pause expresses the full stop/period in a vehement, knowing way, and which is never silently heard as a "dot".
Of course, the aglet is an external link.

@

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:55 pm
by Shelley
Oh. My. Gosh. THAT'S what you call that piece of plastic at the end of a shoelace?! All my life, and I never knew . . .

I was always under the impression (coming from some job I had involving bookkeeping and costing out stuff) that the @ symbol meant "at the cost of". The A stood for "at" and the circle around it signified the C in "cost". So, you'd have, say:

12 widgits @ 1.80 = $21.60

Now, because of the internet, I see that it simply means "at", which still works with the formula above. Although it annoyed me in the beginning when I was sticking to the "at the cost of" meaning. I thought the grand designers of the net were playing fast and loose with our sacred symbols!

@

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:19 pm
by JANE DOErell
A site calling itself 'Using special characters from Windows Glyph List 4 (WGL4) in HTML' (http://www.alanwood.net/demos/wgl4.html) calls @ "commercial at"

Dictionary.com says "@". ASCII code 64. Common names: at sign, at, strudel. Rare: each, vortex, whorl, INTERCAL: whirlpool, cyclone, snail, ape, cat, rose, cabbage, amphora. ITU-T: commercial at.

Why did they mention 64 and not 40?

@

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:25 pm
by gdwdwrkr
Now go look at your pickle jar. See if it has the U-in-an-O symbol. write to your pickle company and ask them what that is, and tell them how much you like their pickles. You will not only be informed, you will most likely receive free-pickle coupons.

@

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:55 pm
by zmjezhd
According to Professor Federigo Melis (1972) in Documenti per la storia economica dei secoli XIII-XVI, the first use of the @ in a commercial document was in 1536. Here's a scan of the page, an enlargement, and a transcription in modern letters. The meaning of the @ was anfora (or bottle).

@

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:20 pm
by Meirav Micklem
In Israel we call it a strudel, or sometimes a snail. I do like Jane's "cabbage" though - let's see if we can get it to catch on.

@

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:29 pm
by Erik_Kowal
The Danes have a term for it that I rather like, "snabel-a" or "[elephant-]trunk A".

@

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:34 pm
by Meirav Micklem
That sure is one very small elephant!

@

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:38 pm
by Erik_Kowal
Denmark is a very small country. No room for big elephants.

@

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:18 am
by Bobinwales
If it was "anfora" in 1536, I reckon it should be an anfora in 2007, well done Zmjezhd.

@

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:23 pm
by etymosgirl
Everyone here knows that@ in internet language means"at the rate of".

@

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:29 pm
by gdwdwrkr
So our email eddresses are "so-and-so at the rate of such-and-such-an ISP dot whatever"?

@

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:18 pm
by Meirav Micklem
How do you get two elephants into a Mini?

@

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:36 pm
by Shelley
I don't know, Meirav -- how DO you get two elephants into a Mini?