Topics pertaining to the use or meaning of symbols other than punctuation in written English

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47
votes
11answers
70k views

What is the difference between 20$ and $20?

I am seeing both 20$ and $20 usages. (20 is nonessential to this question.) What is the difference between them?
11
votes
5answers
15k views

How does one pronounce the '@' symbol?

How can I pronounce @ symbol: At / At the rate? Can I use it in a sentence? Please explain with an example.
107
votes
7answers
49k views

What the #$@&%*! is that called?

Is there a name for the use of symbols in place of curse words, for example #$@&%*!?
16
votes
5answers
2k views

What Is the Real Name of the #?

I used to say "sharp sign" to refer to the # sign. Today a friend told me that the correct term is number sign or hash sign or even just hash. What is the difference between these options and ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Symbol, punctuation, or abbreviation that indicates a “paraphrase”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the proper use of [square brackets] in quotes? This question is born of practical necessity - one that I encountered while quoting a reference in "another" Stack ...
5
votes
2answers
992 views

What are these symbols called? ~ ` ^ [closed]

What can I call the following symbols? ~ ` ^
15
votes
2answers
11k views

Why is the word 'number' abbreviated to 'No.' in UK English and '#' in American English?

Why the disparity? And why use 'No.'? Is it from the French? And the hash or pound sign seems a weird choice too, is there a history or any reason involved?
3
votes
1answer
349 views

In the U.S., why is octothorp used to signal an apartment at a particular address?

In the book "Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers" it says: The octothorp ("8 fields" ) has been used in cartography as a symbol for "village "... . ...
86
votes
3answers
8k views

How did 7 come to be an abbreviation for 'and' in Old English?

According to A History of the English Language: Revised Edition by Elly van Gelderen, p.53, in Old English the numeral 7 was used as an abbreviation for the word and: Abbreviations are frequently ...
28
votes
5answers
19k views

Why are Greek letters pronounced incorrectly in scientific English?

In Greek, for example, the letter β is pronounced "veeta", but in science, people use "beta". Some other offenders are η "eeta", ι "yiota", μ "mee", ν "nee", π "pee", τ "taf", χ "hee", ψ "psee". I ...
21
votes
2answers
700 views

Is there a name for this method of writing that includes pictograms?

I've seen people write (usually in a humorous way) a 'code-like' message where parts of words are replaced with a pictogram that sounds like that word-part. E.G.: (eyeball) (tin can)(rope knot) ...
5
votes
3answers
17k views

What's the word Copyright and `(C)' mean?

In the lines: Copyright (C) 1994 Tom Copyright (C) 1995, 1996 Cruise Copyright (C) 1997, 1998 Louis Here, what's the original meaning of "Copyright"? And why the mark "(C)"? And, what is ...
3
votes
2answers
38k views

English notation for hour, minutes and seconds

I often see English notation about time using the " and ' symbols. I have always mistaken about the two, and even their meaning. I'm more used to "01:05:56", for example. Which is for the hour, ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is an ampersand formal?

I've noticed that there are many companies whose names contain an ampersand. A quick Google search for "& Sons, Inc", or something similar, should yield countless examples. Though it's not ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

Does the “@” symbol have a name? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to pronounce @ symbol? In Spanish, @ is called arroba. I saw this question, and it says it's called "commercial at" according to Wikipedia. A lot of languages have ...