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I was reading about the origin of the @ symbol. It came on the scene in 1531. It has always meant “at” for pricing. New usages have been assigned to it as well as using “at” as a preposition, e.g.

"person at mail server gmail in top level domain com".

And of course twitter has cemented @ as also meaning “person”.

@person thanks for the meatloaf.

So I was thinking @ in a commercial context seems like a replacement for multiply. Or “x”. So I tried it out and wrote equivalent expressions.

A) 5 apples at $3.99 each

B) 5 apples times $3.99 each

It struck me that in A) at sounds more like an adjective. And in B) times or multiply sounds more like a verb. It also sounds like a command as in “do multiply and tell me the answer” but that must be from schooling.

Is @ an adjective? What about 'times'?

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    Is 'so' consequential so or non-sequiturial so? // (A) 'at' introduces the prepositional phrase (at $3.99 each), which, as 'of the highest quality', is an adjectival post-modifier. (B) '5 apples @ $3.99 each = $19.95' uses @ [...each] in place of 'times', which is notoriously fickle as regards POS. Oct 21, 2019 at 16:02

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