That @ symbol
highbob at MINDSPRING.COM
Wed Jun 28 20:40:05 UTC 2000
I learned that "@" means "at . . . apiece." This was in a typing class that
I was forced to take because I didn't get industrial arts, so I didn't get
to make that tooled saddle that I wanted. I therefore had no choice but to
become a writer and word mechanic, instead of the cowboy that I think I was
meant to be. Sigh.
But back to the topic at hand, I've never heard of the "approximate" sense
of "@." It's incorrect as far as I'm concerned, the result of a wrongheaded
notion that it's better to never ask anyone what something means. I know
that sounds terribly prescriptivist, but I'm feeling a little testy today.
This wouldn't happen if I were out on the range.
BTW, how widespread is that wrongheaded "approximate" usage for "a"? Jiminy
Cricket, that symbol really DOES need a name! Whirlpool is good, so is
whorl. But I think we need to refer to its usage. How about at-thingy?
At-whirl? At-stop? At-ma? Atem? At'em? At-point? At-taché? A-pool?
A-hole? (The kids would love that one.) At-twitter? Ats-a-good-one!
Someone keep it going.
> From: "Lyons, Jennifer M" <jlyons at NETMARKETGROUP.COM>
> Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 12:24:48 -0400
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: That @ symbol
> Interesting! I only remember being taught that it was a merged way to write
> "ad" (like the ampersand is for "et"). We learned circa as either a c. or a
> ~. I grew up in Pittsburgh, and never saw anyone use @ to mean
> "approximately"; here in Ohio, I have run across a few instances of that
> usage. (If it counts for anything, I was born in 1979.)
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