TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:More on the Octothorp! From:Williams Diane <Williams_Diane -at- DOTE -dot- OSD -dot- MIL> Date:Fri, 27 Sep 1996 09:13:44 -0400
More on the pound sign from the _NY Public Library Writer's Guide to
Style and Usage_ (1994), p. 449:
"Signs from the Past"
The pound sign (#) is derived from the abbreviation lb., which can
be traced back to the Italian word _libbra_, which came from the Latin
_libra_ meaning "balance" and was a weight just about equal to the
avoirdupois pound in England. An early form of the abbreviation included
aline drawn under _lb_, which later moved toward the top of the
abbreviation and eventually became the hatchmark we use for both pound
and number today.
[No mention of the word "octothorp" in this text, however.]