New York Times (May 17) reported Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The New York Times decided to fire its executive editor, Jill Abramson, under the headline, “Times publisher denies gender figured in top editor’s dismissal." While citing “a pattern of Abramson’s behavior including “arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring colleagues with her, inadequate communication and the public mistreatment of colleagues” as the reasons behind Sulzberger’s decision, the article says;

“Ms. Abramson has not responded to messages seeking comment since her ouster. But a message appeared this week on the Instagram account of her daughter, Cornelia Griggs. “Big thank you to all the #pushy #bossy #polarizing women and men who get it,” Dr. Griggs wrote. “The story isn’t over, not even close.”


What does # before 'pushy, bossy, polarizing women and men' account for? Is it just for the purpose of putting emphasis? To me, it doesn't seem to be necessary at all in the above context.

  • 2
    They're Instagram hashtags
    – rgdigi
    May 17, 2014 at 22:47
  • 1
    Some info on the history and meaning of the hashtag on ELU.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 18, 2014 at 0:07

2 Answers 2


They're Instagram hashtags. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media sites such as Twitter to identify messages on a specific topic.

Instagram hashtags -https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/351460621611097

  • Thanks. For an 81 year-old old timer, both Instagram and hashtag are Greek to me (though I know Facebook, twitter and Amazon). It’s a valuable addition to my English vocabulary. May 17, 2014 at 23:10
  • @Elberich Schneider. I was 81- May 17, 2014 at 23:54
  • Cont. I was 81 minus 3 three years ago, still keeping interest in learning Englsih. My contemporaries say I'm an oddball. May 18, 2014 at 0:03

Dr. Griggs was also being sarcastic. Sulzberger is known for not getting along with the very people he selects for high editorial positions, then blaming them for the problem. He has implied that she was fired for her "bossy, pushy, polarizing style". Meanwhile, it was discovered that she was being paid significantly less that the man whose position she was hired to fill (a touchy subject with women - professionals and non-professionals alike). Many speculate that that, along with Sulzberger's difficulty in working with his editors, was the reason Abramson left.

The incident took to the internet like wildfire. Media uses hashtags before topics.

The daughter was basically saying “Big thank you to all the "pushy" "bossy" "polarizing" women and men who get it,” Dr. Griggs wrote. “The story isn’t over, not even close.”

In other words, "thanks for the support, all you women and men who have seen through this labeling. The truth will be known."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.