Re: Technical name for the #?

Subject: Re: Technical name for the #?
From: Rahel Anne Bailie <rbailie -at- NEWBRIDGE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 08:36:27 -0800

> I can say nothing with certainty except what I know from direct
> experience (even that is sometimes questionable). All I can say from my
> part of the world is that the # symbol is commonly referred to as "hash",
> infrequently as "number" and not as "pound", and even that last one I
> have to qualify with "not that I've heard or read in my 12 years in NZ".
> Because I've lived in the US for 13 years, I can also say that "In the
> US, it appears to be called pound or number".

I'd just like to add/reiterate that "pound" key may be common in North America
to a certain crowd, but it's not particularly "plain language." The "everybody"
we assume knows these terms often turns out to be our social circle, peer
group, colleagues, or specific socio-economic group. I say this from watching
people with basic literacy skills (high school, no post-secondary education)
figure out that the pound key on the phone must be the # sign because it's not
the star key. This is a good reminder for me to really know my audience.

Rahel Bailie

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