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I seem to remember that it appeared on cheques at one time. After all, why would anyone want to abbreviate a two letter word? I remember it on signs in shop windows when I was a child in the early 60s e.g. We Catalans call the symbol "arrova" from "rova" meaning 1/4 (25%), originally a weight measure, as in Spanish. but I personally find it heavy going to find the right key to type it.
Looking at most email addresses (my own, for instance, it´s certainly 1 out of 4 items! Most people from Portuguese and Spanish-speaking countries answered that the name given to @ is "arroba" (and similars, like "arova"), the same name of a old weight measure unit.
If it wasn't just the "at" symbol I'm sure somebody would have told us by now.
My favourite from the foreign versions is the Czech one meaning a rolled pickled herring.
Thus, for this simple and arbitrary decision, people from many countries started to call @ "arroba".
In Jamaica it's known as the block, the swirl depicting the feeling of nausia and dizziness having spent far too much time passing the rizla and herb.
In Dutch it is apestaartje (little tail), in German affenschwanz (ape tail). In Spain and Portugal it denotes a weight of about 25 pounds called arroba and the Italians call it chiocciola (snail). Retrieved April 25, 2008, from website: at Never mind what foreigners call it, to we Brits it's simply 'at', although its use for any other purpose than to punctuate an e-mail address or to indicate per-unit pricing is the mark of laziness or of a foolish desire to seem 'modern'. It is derived from the Latin preposition "ad" (at). It has been traced back to the Italian Renaissance in a Roman merchantile document signed by Francesco Lapi.
I wrote a book about the history of the @ sign (in Dutch). But without any real connection, that is to say that there's no prove that the at sign originate from the Italian use.
It is derived from the latin preposition "ad" (at).
It has been traced back to the Italian Renaissance in a Roman merchantile document signed by Francesco Lapi on 1536-05-04. This information is from The Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing.
There's an awful lot of opinion on this subject floating about, but nobody seems to be citing any references.
The best I can find anywhere online is at Wikipedia (but it's Wikipedia so take it with a pinch of salt! According to whoever wrote the article, it's formal name is "commercial at". Common names: at sign, strudel, rare, each, vortex, whorl, intercal, whirlpool, cyclone, snail, ape, cat, rose, cabbage, amphora. Ray Tomlinson was designing the first email program.
If pilots and the police can have special terminologies for clear communication, then I would like to propose an easy, relevant and linguistically distinguishable subtitute for the confusing 'at' naming. This makes my email address, read over the phone, into "cassidys nerd cix dot compulink dot co dot uck". I can't find it in the dictionary but it does seem to have gained widespread acceptance.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating