Article of the Day: The Octothorpe

Article of the Day:
The Octothorpe

In the US, it is most frequently called a pound or number sign. In the UK, it is called a hash. Elsewhere, it is referred to as a hex. Desiring an unambiguous name for the now-ubiquitous key, phone engineers coined the word “octothorpe” in the 1960s, but it never gained wide usage. “Octo” refers to the symbol’s eight arms, but the origin of “thorpe” is less clear. One theory is that it is a reference to the symbol’s resemblance to a village surrounded by fields. Why is it called a pound sign? More…:

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