The Ubiquitous @

March 7, 2016

Aside from its obvious email application, how many of us have ever really considered the “at” symbol – @? It’s been around for centuries, yet it was largely ignored by all but those in the math or accounting arenas much of that time. For years, this unassuming character languished above the 2 on our typewriter keyboards, snubbed by virtually all except folks who included it in their grawlixes.

With the advent of electronic communication surfaced the ingenuity of one Ray Tomlinson, an American computer engineer (who, incidentally, passed away over the weekend at the age of 74). In 1971, Tomlinson drew the humble @ into the spotlight as a central figure of his recently developed “electronic mail” system.

Of course, you can also use the @ symbol to send electronic roses to your sweetheart… —-^–^-<@ – but you’ll have to kind of squint and look sideways to make it look like a long-stemmed rose with thorns.

As for what the ubiquitous @ is called in other languages, check out this article. Personally, I prefer the Armenian ishnik and the Danish snabela. What about you? What’s your favorite other-language moniker for @?

Advertisements

How Cold Was It?

January 25, 2011

I love the internet. From the comfort of my home or office, I can readily access information that in years past was stored only in the library (if it was there at all); I can chat in real time with far-away friends and relatives… I can even listen to radio broadcasts from all the way at the other end of the country (and, I might add, send snarky comments to the on-air announcer with just the click of a mouse).

Yesterday, Jeffrey T. Mason from KOOL-FM (94.5) was commenting that while they were enjoying perfectly lovely weather out in Phoenix, it was far colder on the East Coast. I’ll say it was!

So, how cold was it? Funny you should ask. Read his post [in which he reprints the email I sent him] here and find out. I particularly enjoyed the title of his post – and even emailed a screen shot to several friends with the subject, “In case there was any doubt…”

Now, who’s ready for another 6-12″ of snow Wednesday night into Thursday? Yeah, me neither. Happy writing!