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August 7, 2011

The @-symbol, part 2 of 2

ancient-symbol.jpg

Before its ascent to accidental stardom,
the @ went almost unremarked for centuries. Widely used to mean "at the rate of" -- for example, "€˜3 apples @ $1 each" -- the symbol lived out a useful but mundane existence in the world of commerce, rarely warranting a second glance from paleographers or philologists. Even now, when it has been propelled firmly into the limelight by the email's meteoric rise, credible accounts of the symbol's visual appearance and meaning remain surprisingly thin on the ground. -- Shady Characters

Posted by Vanderleun at August 7, 2011 3:44 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.