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What you call it (#) depends on whether you are identifing or
defining the symbol. According to Merriam Webster's Collegiate
Dictionary, tenth edition, the name for the # symbol is octothorp
(I didn't know this word; thanks for educating me). Its meaning,
however, is another issue.
# = pounds (business and finance)
# = number (business and finance)
# = insert space (proofreader's mark)
# = (How many other meanings are there?)
So, is your reference to the name of the symbol, or to its meaning?
Argonne National Laboratory
dtimmerman -at- anl -dot- gov
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Author: Misti Delaney <mdelaney -at- SOFTWARE-SERVICES -dot- COM> at Internet-Mail
Date: 8/15/96 10:11 AM
I'm forwarding this is a message for a friend:
In some documentation I'm doing (aimed at librarians), I referred to
octothorp (#). My boss loves the word, but never heard it before, and
it's not in the abridged dictionaries we have here. I meant to look it
up in my OED or Random House dictionary, but didn't have time
yesterday. So - do any of you know the origin of the word octothorp?
I have a vague suspicion that it's an old printer's term (used only by
old printers, no doubt... folks under 45 are forbidden to use it, and
therefore must call it a hash mark or pound sign <g>)
I get to keep the word, but just for my own curiosity if you were
referring to #, would you call it a hash mark, a pound sign, or an
and, when was the last time (other than buying nails) that you saw #
mean pound? Usually, I see lb. And why is lb. the abbreviation for
pound, which has neither letter in it? (oh: lb. is an abbreviation for
libra, the Latin word for scale, and maybe for pound too... ok, that
WA! I miss my OED! (it's at home somewhere, but I'm at work)
Technical Consultant/ Communication Specialist
Software Services Corporation
Ann Arbor, Michigan
My opinions do not in any way represent those of my employer.
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