The at sign, , normally read aloud as "at", also commonly called the at symbol or commercial at , was originally an accounting and commercial invoice abbreviation meaning "at a rate of" e. In contemporary use, the at sign is most commonly used in email addresses and social media platform handles. It was not included on the keyboard of the earliest commercially successful typewriters, but was on at least one model  and the very successful Underwood models from the "Underwood No.
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It is now universally included on computer keyboards. The fact that there is no single word in English for the symbol has prompted some writers to use the French arobase  or Spanish and Portuguese arroba , or to coin new words such as asperand ,  ampersat  and strudel,  but none of these has achieved wide usage.
The earliest yet discovered reference to the symbol is a religious one; it features in a Bulgarian translation of a Greek chronicle written by Constantinos Manasses in See Figure left. Held today in the Vatican Apostolic Library,  it features the symbol in place of the capital letter alpha 'A' in the word Amen. Why it was used in this context is still a mystery. In terms of the commercial character of the at sign, there are several theories pending verification.
Whatever the origin of the symbol, the history of its usage is more well-known: In Italian, the symbol was interpreted to mean amphora anfora. Currently, the word arroba means both the at-symbol and a unit of weight. In Italian, the symbol represents one amphora, a unit of weight and volume based upon the capacity of the standard amphora jar, and entered modern meaning and use as "at the rate of" or "at price of" in northern Europe.
Until now the first historical document containing a symbol resembling a as a commercial one is the Spanish "Taula de Ariza", a registry to denote a wheat shipment from Castile to Aragon in Even though the oldest fully developed modern sign is the one found on the above-mentioned Florentine letter. In contemporary English usage, is a commercial symbol, called at site or at rate meaning at and at the rate of. It has rarely been used in financial documents [ clarification needed ] or grocers' price tags, and is not used in standard typography.
Since 23 October , the At-sign is registered as a trade mark by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office—DPMA registration number for T. While company promoters have claimed that it may from now on be illegal for other commercial interests to use the At-sign, [ citation needed ] this only applies to identical or confusingly similar goods  and no court, German or otherwise, has yet ruled on this purported illegality.
A cancellation request was filed in A common contemporary use of is in email addresses using the SMTP system , as in jdoe example.
At - definition of at by The Free Dictionary
BBN Technologies ' Ray Tomlinson is credited with introducing this usage in On web pages, organizations often obscure email addresses of their members or employees by omitting the. This practice, known as address munging , makes the email addresses less vulnerable to spam programs that scan the internet for them. On some online forums without threaded discussions , is used to denote a reply; for instance: Similarly, in some cases, is used for "attention" in email messages originally sent to someone else.
For example, if an email was sent from Catherine to Steve, but in the body of the email, Catherine wants to make Keirsten aware of something, Catherine will start the line " Keirsten" to indicate to Keirsten that the following sentence concerns her.
This also helps with mobile email users who cannot see bold or color in email. In microblogging such as Twitter and GNU social -based microblogs , before the user name is used to send publicly readable replies e.
The blog and client software can automatically interpret these as links to the user in question. When included as part of a person's or company's contact details, an symbol followed by a name is normally understood to refer to a Twitter ID. A similar use of the symbol was also made available to Facebook users on September 15, In American English the can be used to add information about a sporting event.
Where opposing sports teams have their names separated by a "v" for versus , the away team can be written first - and the normal "v" replaced with to convey at which team's home field the game will be played. In some communities, is, against current trends, appended to the end of the nick, e.
In Portuguese and Spanish , as well in other West Iberian languages where many words end in '-o' when in the masculine gender and end '-a' in the feminine, is sometimes used as a gender-neutral substitute for the default 'o' ending,  which some advocates of gender-neutral language-modification feel indicates implicit linguistic disregard for women. These languages do not possess a neutral gender and the masculine forms are also used traditionally when referring to groups of mixed or unknown sex.
The at-sign is intended to replace the desinence '-o', including its plural form '-os', due to the resemblance to a digraph of an inner letter 'a' and an outer letter 'o'. The Spanish and Portuguese word amigos is an example of the being used for gender-inclusive purposes.. When the word represents not only male friends, but also female ones, the proponents of a gender-inclusive language replace it with amig s.
In this sense, amigos would be used only when the writer is sure the group referred to is all-male. Usage of amigas is the same in traditional and such new forms of communication. For more about this, see Satiric misspelling.
Lately, though, it's becoming more and more common since slashes and parentheses put first the masculine form and the other two are seen as "an 'a' inside an 'o'", meaning, in their eyes, that the feminine is supedited to the masculine to use the ' x ' letter instead, a use that is the choice of advocates of gender-inclusive language, but strongly frowned upon by people not adhered to said movement but not necessarily against it.
In many languages other than English, although most typewriters included the symbol, the use of was less common before email became widespread in the mids. Consequently, it is often perceived in those languages as denoting "the Internet", computerization, or modernization in general.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the emoticon, see List of emoticons. For the letter A within a circle, see Enclosed A. For the album by John Zorn and Thurston Moore, see " " album. For technical reasons , "!
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