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hash # and #hashtag
Posted: 14 November 2012 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Wikipedia:

Hashtags are words or phrases prefixed with the symbol #,[1][2] a form of metadata tag. Also, short messages on microblogging social networking services such as Twitter, Tout, identi.ca or Google+ may be tagged by including one or more with multiple words concatenated, e.g.:
#Wikipedia is an #encyclopedia

Number sign is a name for the symbol #, which is used for a variety of purposes, including the designation of a number (for example, “#1” stands for “number one"). The symbol is defined in Unicode as U+0023 # number sign (HTML: #); it is also present in ASCII with the same value.

In Commonwealth English, the symbol is usually called the hash and the corresponding telephone key is called the hash key. In American English, the symbol is usually called the pound sign (outside the US, this term often describes instead the British currency symbol “£") and the telephone key is called the pound key.[1] In Canadian English, this key is most frequently called the pound key, in reference to telephone buttons,[citation needed] but in technology is always referred to as hash.

In many parts of the world, including most of the Commonwealth nations, Russia, and most of Europe, number sign refers to the numero sign (№).

The symbol is easily confused with the musical symbol called sharp (♯). In both symbols, there are two pairs of parallel lines. The key difference is that the number sign has true horizontal strokes while the sharp sign has two slanted parallel lines which must rise from left to right, in order to avoid being confused with the musical staff lines. Both signs may have true vertical lines; however, they are compulsory in the sharp sign, but optional in the number sign (#) depending on typeface or handwriting style.

Urban Dictionary:

Hashtags believed to have originated on Twitter but, interestingly enough, it is not a Twitter function.


Can anyone say when and by whom both “hash” and “hashtag” were coined?
Can the # symbol be called both hash and hashtag, or is hashtag only used by twitterers and the like, of which I’m not one?  This is a generational thing, obviously, so bear with me.
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Posted: 14 November 2012 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The OED has “hash sign” (for the # mark) from 1984; in discussing the origin they compare it to “hash mark”, an indicator of length of service on the uniforms of enlisted US military personnel, but say it probably comes from “hatch” (as in cross-hatch), altered by “popular etymology”.

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Posted: 14 November 2012 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Properly, the hashtag is the # symbol plus the textual tag. #trending or #electionresults are hashtags; # is just a hash mark.

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Posted: 14 November 2012 07:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Can the # symbol be called both hash and hashtag, or is hashtag only used by twitterers and the like, of which I’m not one?

# is a hash.

#elizadisawesome is a hashtag.

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Posted: 14 November 2012 07:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Excellent example, OPT.

According to Wikipedia, the use of hashtags originated in internet relay chat forums, pre-Twitter.

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Posted: 14 November 2012 07:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Back in the ‘70s in computer contexts we called # hatch.  At least that is the way I heard it.  Can’t say as I ever saw it in print.

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Posted: 14 November 2012 10:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Not to forget that the sign is also known as an ‘octothorpe.’ http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-oct1.htm

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Posted: 15 November 2012 01:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Back in the ‘70s in computer contexts we called # hatch.


Now that you come to mention it, before everyone in the company I was working at came to their senses, I was given some training “in computers”, (ie programming) and yes, in South Africa, we also called it a “hatch”. I thought that was because it looked a bit like hatching, though because it was all so new, clever and trendy, it wasn’t for me to question (let alone understand) it.  I’d never seen “hatch” written, either.  We were learning as we went along and eventually the whole of the computing thing, to everyone’s relief, was given to an outside company. 

Pity, though.  I might have been the first Bill Gates.  Or not.

Hatch has been used since the 15th century to refer to the practice of inlaying parallel strips of contrasting metals into a surface as a means of decoration--similar to what is done on a military uniform’s sleeve. In engraving, if you hatch a surface, you etch parallel lines to create shading; sometimes these lines cross each other, creating a pattern like #, the hash mark. Hatching is also a common technique used to rough up a surface such as brick before applying a layer of plaster.

In American football, the place where a yard line intersects with an inbounds line came to be called a hash mark or a hash line, either because of its resemblance to the # symbol, or because “hatch mark” is a fairly common way to describe a short mark that crosses another line--rulers have hatch marks to indicate length. We don’t know for sure, but I think we know it wasn’t from food stripes on the grass--or worse.

http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20010108

OPTipping, a very agreeable post.

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Posted: 15 November 2012 09:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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What was # called on old typewriters?

I think maybe I learned it as “pound sign’’.

And the game of Tic-tac-toe starts with markings rather like #.  I
don’t recall ever hearing a word for that.

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Posted: 15 November 2012 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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In my recollection (which includes the use of typewriters through my college years) it was, as you say, called the “pound sign” or sometimes the “number sign”.  My experience is in the US; I’m sure that if it appeared on the standard British typewriter keyboard, it was called something else (probably “hatch").

Where is the pound Sterling (£) sign on standard British keyboards?  Shift-4, where we have the $?

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Posted: 15 November 2012 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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On my standard UK keyboard, top row, left to right, numerals without the shift key:
` - ¬
1 - !
2 - “
3 - £
4 - $
5 - %
6 - ^
7 - &
8 - *
9 - (
0 - )
- - _ - dash and underscore
= - +

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Posted: 15 November 2012 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Ah, so the British pound sign (£) replaces the US pound sign (#) as shift-3.

What is ¬ used for?  It’s not standard on American keyboards, and though Unicode calls it the “not sign”, I don’t recall seeing it in actual use.

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Posted: 15 November 2012 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Apparently it’s a mathematical symbol for logical negation, whatever that is. Sorry I can’t put the following into columns as it appears in the text, but take a look at the wikipedia page for clarification.

¬

˜

logical negation

not

propositional logic

The statement ¬A is true if and only if A is false.

A slash placed through another operator is the same as “¬” placed in front.

(The symbol ~ has many other uses, so ¬ or the slash notation is preferred. Computer scientists will often use ! but this is avoided in mathematical texts.)

¬(¬A) ⇔ A
x ≠ y ⇔ ¬(x = y)

edited typo

[ Edited: 16 November 2012 12:41 AM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 15 November 2012 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Actually, now that you show me, I think I may have seen that in Boolean algebra, but I find it hard to believe that there’s enough call for it in that context* to justify putting it on the standard keyboard.  The ~ symbol is in that spot on my (and I believe, most) US keyboards.

*to clarify, it’s hard to believe that enough people are using it in that function to justify making it a character on the standard keyboard, when more frequently used symbols like the degree sign (°) or bullet (•) are not shown on the keycaps and require alt- combinations to access.

[ Edited: 16 November 2012 08:08 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 16 November 2012 04:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Then there’s |, which shows up on the keyboard as a broken line but prints as a solid line.  That one I know is used in computer programming, so it would make sense for it to be on a keyboard.  I think ¬ might be, too, but I can’t cite a specific example, nor can I explain why it wouldn’t be on a US keyboard.

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Posted: 16 November 2012 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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The | (pipe) is used all the time especially in Unix commands.  I’ve never seen the ¬ in any programming languages or operating systems I’ve used and therefore I’m not surprised it’s not on my U.S. QWERTY keyboard.  The ~ (tilda or squiggle) that sits in the place of ¬ is also used frequently.

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