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How to Pronounce ‘#’

Have you ever wondered how to say #? For most of my life I either called it ‘the number sign’ or ‘the pound sign’, but once Twitter culture took over the collective consciousness, I’ve found myself unwillingly slipping into saying ‘hashtag’. I’ve recently decided to rebel by using the archaic pronunciation, ‘octothorpe‘.

Confusion isn’t limited to the #, though. For instance, how do you say !, and what do you call that symbol that looks like an ‘a’ with a circle around it, you know, the @ symbol? Different cultures have different words, but the Internet (that great crash site of cultures) is leading to a standardized nomenclature. Jeff Atwood discusses the issue over at Coding Horror.