what # really is

There is no other word for ampersand. There is no other term for parenthesis. $ is just called dollar. β is only read as beta. The same goes with colon, apostrophe, percent and the other symbol that only has one terminology. However, there are these symbols that we weren’t sure what word we are going to name for it like – which can be read as hyphen or dash or minus. It really depends on its usage but if we just see a single – without any clues what it is, then we’re doomed. But aside from -, there’s this popular symbol which we call nowadays as hashtag. I wonder if the kids this generation know what # really is called before hashtag. If they don’t, I hope they’ll take time reading this.

 

Hashtag

ktcdigital.com

© ktcdigital.com

Let’s start this article with today’s #’s famous name – hashtag. There is no need for an explanation on what hashtag is. Every single person in this world knows what hashtag is and where it is being used. But here’s a trivia for you. Did you know that hash refers to the stripes on the military jacket during 1910 until it is recognized as the # symbol?

 

Number Sign

number sign

© really-learn-english.com

Aside from the trends coming from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, the first thing that comes to our mind whenever we see a # is a number. Is it because it is called the number sign or is it the reason why it is called the number sign? I don’t know. All I know is that it is the most widely used term when the symbol is pronounced before a number.

 

Sharp

© essential-music-theory.com

© essential-music-theory.com

Perhaps, this is the favorite # of all the musicians out there for they identify it as sharp, a note higher in pitch. We always thought that the number sign or the hash tag has the same symbol as the sharp, but they are not exactly the same. As you will notice, the sharp sign’s two parallel lines are slanted in order to avoid being obscured by the horizontal musical staff lines.

 

Pound

© cyberdefinitions.com

© cyberdefinitions.com

I’ve been playing tic-tac-toe for quite some time so I’m familiar with the pound sign though it wasn’t the term we use in calling the # on phones. Well, originally and until now, pound is the unit we apply when we’re looking for the weight of an object. Arbitrarily, Latin writes the letters lb almost the same as # so through the years, the pound became #.

 

Octotorphe

© en.wiktionary.org

© en.wiktionary.org

If it wasn’t for the famous fun fact tweet, I wouldn’t know that octotorphe is the original name of #. Yes, you heard it right! Among all the terms used to call #, it’s the rarely heard octotorphe that claims the real name of #. History tells that the scientists who added # to telephones were the ones who made the word. How is it formed? It wasn’t clearly stated.