2012 Word of the Year: "hashtag"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 6 04:10:45 UTC 2013

On Sat, Jan 5, 2013 at 6:47 AM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> "octothorpe"

The only word that I know for this symbol is "crosshatch," for which
the OED has only one sorta-relevant cite:

"1860   G. A. Sala Hogarth ii, in Cornhill Mag. Mar. 271   With the
engravers, the ‘_cross-hatch_’ and the ‘double cypher’...were

It's a word that I've "always" known. So, I have no recall whatever of
when, where, why, or how I learned it. Bizarre, since the word is
almost *never* used a noun..

OTOH, I recall learning "pound-sign" circa 1972, because I had to ask
people WTF they were talking about, when they used the term. And it's
only in the past year that I've finally gotten a clue as to *why* the
symbol has its usual name. I'll probably die without ever having
occasion to speak the term.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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