Monday, March 9, 2015


With all of the different symbols available to us, why did # become designated as hash-tag? # already had a job. Remember the computer voice on the phone? She still does it, “enter your account number, then hit pound.” So now # has two jobs, what about using a symbol that didn't have a job already? Maybe even invent a new symbol. Why should # have to do the work of two symbols?
Speaking of symbols, if you look at your keyboard at number 6, what symbol is that? What do we use ^ for? Is that the insert symbol, like when you are proofreading a handwritten paper and realize that you missed a word or forgot something? I've used that symbol before, but never typing. With the modern computer, we don't need that symbol, you just go back and insert what you forgot to type, it's not written on a piece of paper. Maybe ^ could have been used as hash-tag, instead of sitting around on its lazy ass doing nothing. has a list of all the symbols, on a computer keyboard, and their names/ meanings. It is actually pretty interesting. I think it is anyway. Also, when did we lose the double space after a period? A lot of blogs only allow a single space now, or it doesn't appear correctly.
& Ampersand is a fun word, I've always liked that one. It is fun to look at too, with all its curves. It is like the sexy woman of the symbol family.

There is also a symbol listed for degrees. That would be useful. Why isn't that on the keyboard? I know you can hit ALT - series of numbers, to get some symbols, such as €, but I don't know the code for degrees. I wonder if, in Europe, they can use ALT-0128 for the dollar sign, assuming they have a € where our $ is (above the 4). This is all so crazy.
Alright, so back to ^. It is the Caret or Circumflex. The caret is another name for cursor. Unless you are writing computer manuals, when would you ever use this? It is also circumflex, which represents an exponent (square, cube, or other power). So, you could write 6^3 or 6 to the 3rd power, or 6*6*6. I vaguely remember this from math class, now that I see it. But again, when are you using this, while typing on a keyboard?
I also remember the ^ being used in the French language as an accent. There is accent grave, accent aigu, accent trema, and accent circonflexe (circumflex). You can use the CTRL key to make some of these marks, but I wonder if French keyboards have an easy way to type them. I would think they must, since they are used frequently. I just Googled it, they are all on there. Nice!
Alright, one more symbol, then I will wrap this up. * is listed as meaning asterisk and sometimes referred to as star. Only children refer to an asterisk as a star. Children or idiots. Come on people! Asterisk can be a difficult word to pronounce. Try doing it with a mouthful of crackers.
In conclusion, the # is known as Octothorpe (as well as the other meanings mentioned earlier). The octothorpe can also be found in music, meaning sharp. This symbol is very diverse. I wonder if it gets upset because it has to perform so many jobs?
There are many debates as to the origin of #. The one I like best, is that it was used in cartography to mean eight fields. A traditional symbol for village, octo- (meaning eight) and thorpe (meaning field, hamlet, or small village).
What is your favorite symbol? Are there symbols that you do not like? Which symbol do you use most often? If you could create a new symbol, what would it be, and what would it mean?

Click to see a list of some useful keyboard symbol shortcuts, such as the ones listed here:
° (degree symbol) ALT + 248
€ (Euro) ALT + 0128
10² (2nd power) ALT + 0178
ä (a with trema) ALT + 132
ê (e with circumflex) ALT + 136
© (Copyright symbol) ALT + 0169
¶ (Pilcrow (paragraph symbol)) ALT + 0182

Here is my new symbol.  

This could be used for the hash-tag symbol. It could also be used to represent a fallen tree, if you were writing a manual on forestry, lumber mills, logging, etc. Great. Now my new symbol has two jobs. Way to go, Wayne. Jerk.

No comments:

Post a Comment