More on the Octothorp!

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.]


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