Characters & Symbols

Would An Octothorp By Any Other Name Still Look As Sweet?

Known by many names over the years, this sym­bol has gained much noto­ri­ety late­ly because of its use in social net­work­ing:

#

Yes, the hash­tag, A.K.A. pound sign, A.K.A. numer­al sym­bol. Typog­ra­phers know it as the octothorp. Its name was derived from its use by car­tog­ra­phers as a sym­bol for vil­lage – eight fields around the cen­tral square. It also bears some resem­blance to the sharp sym­bol in music – but they are not inter­change­able!

So next time you’re tag­ging your tweet, give some thought to that low­ly octothorp!