The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

24 September 2005

Where it's @

We're so used to reading @ as "at" that we assume the whole world does the same, and, well, they don't: I noted some time ago that in France this character is called "arobase," which is presumably related to the Spanish "arroba," which has Arabic antecedents, and the Germans apparently refer to it as "Affenschwanz," which supports the comic-book truism that monkeys are always funny.

A whole list of such variations (found via Tinkerty Tonk) is here.

Posted at 10:35 AM to PEBKAC


Who's this "we," kemosabe? I've always known that different languages had their own names for diacritical marks and other symbols, the same way they have their own names for other objects, their own verbs, their own adjectives...

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 1:15 PM on 24 September 2005

Okay, how about "people as self-absorbed and as indifferent to pronoun protocol as I"? :)

Posted by: CGHill at 1:22 PM on 24 September 2005

I think the "we" is a societal we. Just because something doesn't pertain to you doesn't necessarily make it a falsehood.

Posted by: Vickie at 4:37 PM on 24 September 2005