Say What?

Ever wonder why we use the @ sign?  Most of us know it from using e-mail, but it used to mean “at the rate of” as in you can get 5 apples @ 5 cents.   When calculators were invented people stopped using the @ sign.  But, in 1971 a computer programmer named Ray Tomlinson sent the world’s first e-mail, plugging in the @ sign to separate the name of the person sending the e-mail from the computer they were using.

In America we call it “the at sign” but other cultures have different phrases.  In Polish it is called “the monkey,” the Danes call it “the elephant’s trunk,” and in Sweden it is called “the pretzel.”

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