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Re: from henceforth...

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 4:52 pm
by Art Hovey
When (and How) did the sharp sign # become a "pound" sign?
I thought a pound sign was the british version of a dollar sign ($), sort of a script capital "L" with a slash through it.

Re: from henceforth...

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 6:16 pm
by windshieldbug
#= An ligatured abbreviation for pounds avoirdupois (having been derived from the now-rare ℔).

Re: from henceforth...

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 6:30 pm
by Donn
Good point - how many # avoirdupois in a £ sterling?

I believe to find the root of the "hash" denotation, you'd go back through computer programming, some decades ago, and maybe from there to some other engineering type discipline. By the time i was occupied with such things, I guess we'd sort passed by the more colorful "bang", "splat" terminology and they were "exclamation point", "star" or "asterisk" ... and I believe "pound sign". I understand the English were calling it "octothorpe".

Re: from henceforth...

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:11 pm
by MikeW
Recent origin theory:
The pound sign got confused with the hash mark because of a mismatch between the national variant of International Alphabet number 2 used on British Teleprinters, and the US Teletype Alphabet used on American Tele
types: pressing the hash key on a Teletype would transmit a code that would be rendered by a Teleprinter as a pound (currency) sign. This mismatch does exist, but I believe the hash mark was used as an abbreviation for "pounds weight" long before these machines were invented.

Ancient origin theory (more likely):
At one time it was usual to write abbreviations with a ligand (a horizontal stroke across the letters). The Latin abbreviation lb (for libra pondo, or "scale weight"), when written with a ligand, soon degenerated into an illegible scribble, from which it re-emerged as the hash mark.

Re: from henceforth...

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:18 pm
by Ken Crawford
windshieldbug wrote:Anybody that plays tuba knows that hencefifth is usable in more situations than hencefourth ... :tuba:


Unless it's a dependent hencefifth.

Re: from henceforth...

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:22 pm
by bloke
Ƀ :shock: