The exclamation mark sometimes referred to as the exclamation point in American English, is a punctuation mark used after an interjection or exclamation to indicate strong feelings or high volume, or to show emphasis, marks the end of a sentence, for example: "Watch out!" A bare exclamation mark is used in warning signs. Other uses include: In mathematics it denotes the factorial operation. Several computer languages use "!" at the beginning of an expression to denote logical negation: e.g. "! A" means "the logical negation of A" called "not A"; some languages use "!" to denote a click consonant. Graphically the exclamation mark is represented as a full stop point with a vertical line above. One theory of its origin is; the modern graphical representation is believed to have been born in the Middle Ages. Medieval copyists wrote the Latin word io at the end of a sentence to indicate joy; the word io meant "hurray". Over time, the i moved above the o, the o became smaller, becoming a point; the exclamation mark was first introduced into English printing in the 15th century to show emphasis, was called the "sign of admiration or exclamation" or the "note of admiration" until the mid-17th century.
The exclamation mark did not have its own dedicated key on standard manual typewriters before the 1970s. Instead, one typed a period and typed an apostrophe. In the 1950s, secretarial dictation and typesetting manuals in America referred to the mark as "bang" from comic books where the! appeared in dialogue balloons to represent a gun being fired, although the nickname emerged from letterpress printing. This bang usage is behind the names of the interrobang, an unconventional typographic character, a shebang line, a feature of Unix computer systems. In the printing world, the exclamation mark can be called a screamer, a gasper, a slammer, or a startler. In hacker culture, the exclamation mark is called "bang", "shriek", or, in the British slang known as Commonwealth Hackish, "pling". For example, the password communicated in the spoken phrase "Your password is em-nought-pee-aitch-pling-en-three" is m0ph!n3. The exclamation mark is common to languages using the Latin alphabet, although usage varies between languages.
It has been adopted in languages written in other scripts, such as Greek, Arabic, Chinese, Korean and Devanagari. A sentence ending in an exclamation mark may be an exclamation, or an imperative, or may indicate astonishment or surprise: "They were the footprints of a gigantic hound!" Exclamation marks are placed mid-sentence with a function similar to a comma, for dramatic effect, although this usage is obsolete: "On the walk, oh! There was a frightful noise."Informally, exclamation marks may be repeated for additional emphasis, but this practice is considered unacceptable in formal prose. The exclamation mark is sometimes used in conjunction with the question mark; this can be in astonishment. Overly frequent use of the exclamation mark is considered poor writing, for it distracts the reader and devalues the mark's significance. Cut out all these exclamation points... An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke; some authors, most notably Tom Wolfe and Madison Acampora, are known for unashamedly liberal use of the exclamation mark.
In comic books, the frequent use of exclamation mark is common—see Comics, below. For information on the use of spaces after an exclamation mark, see the discussion of spacing after a full stop. Several studies have shown that women use exclamation marks more than men do, one study suggests that, in addition to other uses, exclamation marks may function as markers of friendly interaction, for example, by making "Hi!" or "Good luck!" Seem friendlier than "Hi." or "Good luck.". In English writing and subtitles, a symbol implies that a character has made an sarcastic comment e.g.: "Ooh, a sarcasm detector. That's a useful invention" It is used to indicate surprise at one's own experience or statement. In French, next to marking exclamations or indicating astonishment, the exclamation mark is commonly used to mark orders or requests: Viens ici!. A space is used between the last word and the exclamation mark in European French, but not in Canadian French. One can combine an exclamation mark with a question mark at the end of a sentence where appropriate.
German uses the exclamation mark for several things that English conveys with other punctuation: It is used at the end of imperative sentences when not emphatic: Ruf mich morgen an! A normal full stop, as in English, is common but is considered substandard. A related use is on signs that express a command or interdiction: Betreten verboten!. The exclamation mark may be used in the salutation line of a letter: Lieber Hans!. However, the use of a comma is correct and is more common. Cantonese has not used exclamation marks. Usage of exclamation marks is common in written Mandarin and in some Yue speaking regions; the Canton and Hong Kong regions, however refused to accept the exclamation mark as it was seen as carrying with it unneces
The dollar or peso sign is a symbol used to indicate the units of various currencies around the world, including the peso and the US dollar. The symbol can interchangeably have two vertical strokes. In common usage, the sign appears to the left of the amount specified, as in $1. A common hypothesis holds that the sign derives from the symbolic representation of the Pillars of Hercules; this representation can have either a banner separately around each pillar, or, as in the Spanish coat of arms, a banner curling between them. In 1492, Ferdinand II of Aragon adopted the symbol of the Pillars of Hercules and added the Latin warning Non plus ultra meaning "nothing further beyond", indicating "this is the end of the world", but when Christopher Columbus came to America, the legend was changed to Plus ultra, meaning "further beyond". The Pillars of Hercules wrapped in a banner thus became a symbol of the New World; the link between this symbol and the dollar sign is more seen in Spanish coins of the period, which show two pillars, each with a separate banner, rather than one banner spanning both pillars.
In this example the right-hand pillar resembles the dollar sign, additionally directly relates to the use of money. The symbol was adopted by Charles V and was part of his coat of arms representing Spain's American possessions; the symbol was stamped on coins minted in gold and silver. The coin known as Spanish dollar, was the first global currency used in the world since the Spanish Empire was the first global empire; these coins, depicting the pillars over two hemispheres and a small "S"-shaped ribbon around each, were spread throughout America and Asia. According to this, traders wrote signs that, instead of saying "Spanish dollar", had this symbol made by hand, this in turn evolved into a simple S with two vertical bars; when the United States gained their independence from Great Britain, they created the US dollar, but in its early decades they continued to use the Spanish dollar, more trusted in all markets. The United States after independence, was still using the pound sterling as currency.
This is attested in state legislation of the early 1780s, referring to pounds and pence, which predated the U. S. Constitution and federal legislation. Given the origin of this theory – related to Spanish colonisation of the Americas – it is that the cifrão or peso signs share the same origin, that the double stroke usage is a stylistic variant, rather than a distinct character; the sign is first attested in Spanish American, Canadian and other British business correspondence in the 1770s, referring to the Spanish American peso known as "Spanish dollar" or "piece of eight" in North America, which provided the model for the currency that the United States adopted in 1792 and the larger coins of the new Spanish American republics such as the Mexican peso, Peruvian eight-real and Bolivian eight-sol coins. This explanation holds that the sign evolved out of the Spanish and Spanish American scribal abbreviation "pˢ" for pesos. A study of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century manuscripts shows that the s came to be written over the p, developing into a close equivalent to the "$" mark.
A variation, though less plausible, of this hypothesis derives the sign from a combination of the Greek character "psi" and "S". There are a number of other hypotheses about the origin of the symbol, some with a measure of academic acceptance, others the symbolic equivalent of false etymologies. Among the various hypotheses, the simplest one is that the barred S is a typo modified 8, from its obvious link with the pieces of eight, the popular name of the Spanish dollar; the added bar should be the same used to distinguish a letter dedicated to a currency value, like £. Kingdom of Sicily deniers minted by Manfred of Hohenstaufen in the Kingdom of Sicily between 1258 and 1266 had what can be construed as an early dollar symbol; these coins were circulated outside Europe due to the Crusades, including the Crusade that targeted Tunis. Several alternative hypotheses relate to the dollar sign drawn with two vertical lines. A dollar sign with two vertical lines could have started off as a monogram of'USA', used on money bags issued by the United States Mint.
The letters U and S superimposed resemble the historical double-stroke dollar sign: the bottom of the'U' disappears into the bottom curve of the'S', leaving two vertical lines. It is postulated in the papers of Dr. James Alton James, a professor of history at Northwestern University from 1897 to 1935, that the symbol with two strokes was an adapted design of the patriot Robert Morris in 1778. Robert Morris was such a zealous patriot – known as the "Financier of the Revolution in the West" – that James came to believe that this hypothesis is viable. A similar idea claims that the letters U and S would stand for unit of silver, referencing pieces of eight again, but, unlikely since one would expect it to be in Spanish instead. Another hypothesis is. According to Ovason, on one type of thaler one side showed a crucifix while the other showed a serpent hanging from a cross, the letters NU near the serpent's head, on the other side of the cross the number 21; this refers to the Bible, Chapter 21.
A similar symbol, constructed by superposition of "S" and "I" or "J", was used to denote German Joachimsthaler. It was known in the English-speaking world by the 17th century, appearing in 1
Quotation marks known as quotes, quote marks, speech marks, inverted commas, or talking marks, are punctuation marks used in pairs in various writing systems to set off direct speech, a quotation, or a phrase. The pair consists of an opening quotation mark and a closing quotation mark, which may or may not be the same character. Quotation marks have a variety of forms in different media; the double quotation mark is older than the single. It derives from a marginal notation used in fifteenth-century manuscript annotations to indicate a passage of particular importance. By the middle sixteenth century, printers had developed a typographic form of this notation, resembling the modern double quotation mark pointing to the right. During the seventeenth century this treatment became specific to quoted material, it grew common in Britain, to print quotation marks at the beginning and end of the quotation as well as in the margin. In most other languages, including English, the marginal marks dropped out of use in the last years of the eighteenth century.
The usage of a pair of marks and closing, at the level of lower case letters was generalized. By the nineteenth century, the design and usage began to be specific within each region. In Western Europe the custom became to use the quotation mark pairs with the convexity pointing outward. In Britain those marks were elevated to the same height as the top of capital letters. In France, by the end of the nineteenth century, they were modified to an angular shape and were spaced out; some authors claim that the reason for this was a practical one, in order to get a character, distinguishable from the apostrophes, the commas and the parentheses. In other scripts, the angular quotation marks are distinguishable from other punctuation characters—the Greek breathing marks, the Armenian emphasis and apostrophe, the Arabic comma, decimal separator, thousands separator, etc. Other authors claim; the elevated quotation marks created an extra white space before and after the word, considered aesthetically unpleasing, while the in-line quotation marks helped to maintain the typographical color, since the quotation marks had the same height and were aligned with the lower case letters.
While other languages do not insert a space between the quotation marks and the word, the French usage does insert them if it is a narrow space. The curved quotation marks 66-99 usage was exported to some non-Latin scripts, notably where there was some English influence, for instance in Native American scripts and Indic scripts. On the other hand, Cyrillic and Ethiopic took over the angular quotation marks; the Far East angle bracket quotation marks are a development of the in-line angular quotation marks. In Central Europe, the practice was to use the quotation mark pairs with the convexity pointing inward; the German tradition preferred the curved quotation marks, the first one at the level of the commas, the second one at the level of the apostrophes. Alternatively, these marks could be angular and in-line with lower case letters, but still pointing inward; some neighboring regions adopted the German curved marks tradition with lower–upper alignment, while others made up a variant with the closing mark pointing rightward like the opening one.
Sweden choose a convention where both marks pointed to the right but lined up both at the top level. In Eastern Europe there was a hesitation between the German tradition; the French tradition prevailed in North-Eastern Europe, whereas the German tradition, or its modified version with the closing mark pointing rightward) has become dominant in South-Eastern Europe, i.e. the Balkan countries. The single quotation marks emerged around 1800 as a means of indicating a secondary level of quotation. One could expect that the logic of using the corresponding single mark would be applied everywhere, but it was not. In some languages using the angular quotation marks, the usage of single ones became obsolete, being replaced by double curved ones. In Eastern Europe, the curved quotation marks are used as a secondary level when the angular marks are used as a primary level. In English writing, quotation marks are placed in pairs around a word or phrase to indicate: Quotation or direct speech: Carol said "Go ahead" when I asked her if the launcher was ready.
Mention in another work of a title of a short or subsidiary work, like a chapter or episode: "Encounter at Farpoint" was the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Scare used to mean "so-called" or to express irony: The "fresh" apples were full of worms. In American writing, double quotes are used normally. If quote marks are used inside another pair of quote marks single quotes are used as the secondary style. For example: "Didn't she say'I like red best' when I asked her wine preferences?" he asked his guests. If another set of quotes is nested, double quotes are used again, they continue to alternate as necessary. British publishing is regarded as more flexible about whether double or single quotation marks should be used. A tendency to use single quotation marks in British writ
Esperanto is the most spoken constructed international auxiliary language. It was created in the late 19th century by a Polish-Jewish ophthalmologist. In 1887, he published a book detailing Unua Libro, under the pseudonym Dr. Esperanto. Esperanto translates to English as "one who hopes". Zamenhof's goal was to create an easy and flexible language that would serve as a universal second language to foster peace and international understanding, to build a community of speakers, as he inferred that one can’t have a language without a community of speakers, his original title for the language was the international language, but early speakers grew fond of the name Esperanto and began to use it as the name for the language in 1889. In 1905, Zamenhof published Fundamento de Esperanto as a definitive guide to the language; that year, he organized the first World Esperanto Congress, an ongoing annual conference, in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. The first congress ratified the Declaration of Boulogne, which established several foundational premises for the Esperanto movement.
One of its pronouncements is that Fundamento de Esperanto is the only obligatory authority over the language. Another is that the Esperanto movement is a linguistic movement and that no further meaning can be ascribed to it. Zamenhof proposed to the first congress that an independent body of linguistic scholars should steward the future evolution of Esperanto, foreshadowing the founding of the Akademio de Esperanto, in part modeled after the Académie française, established soon thereafter. Since 1905, congresses have been held in various countries every year, with the exceptions of years during the World Wars. In 1908, a group of young Esperanto speakers led by Hector Hodler established the Universal Esperanto Association, in order to provide a central organization for the global Esperanto community. Esperanto grew both as a language and as a linguistic community. Despite speakers facing persecution in regimes such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union under Stalin, Esperanto speakers continued to establish organizations and publish periodicals tailored to specific regions and interests.
In 1954, the United Nations granted official support to Esperanto as an international auxiliary language in the Montevideo Resolution. Several writers have contributed to the growing body of Esperanto literature, including William Auld, who received the first nomination for the Nobel Prize in Literature for a literary work in Esperanto in 1999, followed by two more in 2004 and 2006. Esperanto-language writers are officially represented in PEN International, the worldwide writers association, through Esperanto PEN Centro. Esperanto has continued to develop in the 21st century; the advent of the Internet has had a significant impact on the language, as learning it has become accessible on platforms such as Duolingo and as speakers have networked on platforms such as Amikumu. With two million speakers, a small portion of whom are native speakers, it is the most spoken constructed language in the world. Although no country has adopted Esperanto Esperantujo is the collective name given to places where it is spoken, the language is employed in world travel, cultural exchange, literature, language instruction and radio broadcasting.
While its advocates continue to hope for the day that Esperanto becomes recognized as the international auxiliary language, an increasing number have stopped focusing on this goal and instead view the Esperanto community as a "stateless diasporic linguistic minority" based on freedom of association, with a culture worthy of preservation based on its own merit. Some have chosen to learn Esperanto due to its purported help in third language acquisition. Zamenhof had three goals, as he wrote in Unua Libro: "To render the study of the language so easy as to make its acquisition mere play to the learner." "To enable the learner to make direct use of his knowledge with people of any nationality, whether the language be universally accepted or not. "To find some means of overcoming the natural indifference of mankind, disposing them, in the quickest manner possible, en masse, to learn and use the proposed language as a living one, not only in last extremities, with the key at hand."According to the database Ethnologue, up to two million people worldwide, to varying degrees, speak Esperanto, including about 1,000 to 2,000 native speakers who learned Esperanto from birth.
The Universal Esperanto Association has more than 5500 members in 120 countries. Its usage is highest in Europe, East Asia, South America. Lernu! is one of the most popular on-line learning platforms for Esperanto. In 2013, the "lernu.net" site reported 150,000 registered users and had between 150,000 and 200,000 visitors each month. Lernu has 274,800 registered users, who are able to view the site's interface in their choice of 21 languages — Catalan, Chinese Danish, Esperanto, French, German, Hungarian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovak and Ukrainian.
An asterisk. It is so called. Computer scientists and mathematicians vocalize it as star. In English, an asterisk is five-pointed in sans-serif typefaces, six-pointed in serif typefaces, six- or eight-pointed when handwritten, it is used to censor offensive words, on the Internet, to indicate a correction to a previous message. In computer science, the asterisk is used as a wildcard character, or to denote pointers, repetition, or multiplication; the asterisk derives from the two thousand year old character used by Aristarchus of Samothrace called the asteriskos, ※, which he used when proofreading Homeric poetry to mark lines that were duplicated. Origen is known to have used the asteriskos to mark missing Hebrew lines from his Hexapla; the asterisk evolved in shape over time, but its meaning as a symbol used to correct defects remained. In the Middle Ages, the asterisk was used to emphasize a particular part of text linking those parts of the text to a marginal comment. However, an asterisk was not always used.
One hypothesis to the origin of the asterisk is that it stems from the five thousand year old Sumerian character dingir, though this hypothesis seems to only be based on visual appearance. When toning down expletives, asterisks are used to replace letters. For example, the word'fuck' might become'f**k','f*ck' or even'****'. Vowels tend to be censored with an asterisk more than consonants, but the intelligibility of censored profanities with multiple syllables such as b*ll*cks or uncommon ones is higher if put in context with surrounding text. In colloquial usage, an asterisk is used to indicate that a record is somehow tainted by circumstances, which are putatively explained in a footnote referenced by the asterisk; the usage of the term in sports arose after the 1961 baseball season in which Roger Maris of the New York Yankees broke Babe Ruth's 34-year-old single-season home run record. Because Ruth had amassed 60 home runs in a season with only 154 games, compared to Maris's 61 over 162 games, baseball commissioner Ford Frick announced that Maris's accomplishment would be recorded in the record books with an explanation.
In fact, Major League Baseball had no official record book at the time, but the stigma remained with Maris for many years, the concept of a real or figurative asterisk denoting less-than-official records has become used in sports and other competitive endeavors. A 2001 TV movie about Maris's record-breaking season was called 61* in reference to the controversy; the controversy over season length in relation to home run records had somewhat subsided by the time Hank Aaron broke Ruth's career home run record in 1974. Maris's single season mark was broken in 1998 by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, who both broke it in under 154 games. McGwire's record of 70 home runs was eclipsed by Barry Bonds, who set the current mark of 73 home runs in the 2001 season. However, these players' accomplishments were soon questioned after evidence surfaced suggesting all three might have been taking advantage of MLB's then-lax policies related to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Fans were critical of Bonds and invoked the asterisk notion during the 2007 season, as he approached and broke Hank Aaron's career home run record.
Opposing fans would hold up signs bearing asterisks whenever Bonds came up to bat. After Bonds hit his record-breaking 756th home run on August 7, 2007, fashion designer and entrepreneur Marc Ecko purchased the home run ball from the fan who caught it, ran a poll on his website to determine its fate. On September 26, Ecko revealed on NBC's Today show that the ball will be branded with an asterisk and donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame; the ball, marked with a die-cut asterisk, was delivered to the hall on July 2, 2008 after Marc Ecko unconditionally donated the artifact rather than loaning it to the hall as intended. In recent years, the asterisk has come into use on baseball scorecards to denote a "great defensive play." By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the association of baseball and its records with doping had become so notorious that the term "asterisk" had become associated with doping in sport. In February 2011 the United States Olympic Committee and the Ad Council launched an anti-steroid campaign called "Play Asterisk Free" aimed at teens.
The campaign, whose logo uses a heavy asterisk, first launched in 2008 under the name Don't Be An Asterisk. In cricket, it signifies a total number of runs scored by a batsman without losing his wicket. Where only the scores of the two batsmen that are in are being shown, an asterisk following a batsman's score indicates that he is due to face the next ball to be delivered; when written before a player's name on a scorecard, it indicates the captain of the team. It is used on television when giving a career statistic during a match. For example, 47 * in a number of matches column means. In computer science, the asterisk is used in regular expressions to denote zero or more repetitions of a pattern. In the Unified Modeling Language, the asterisk is used to denote zero to many classes. In some command line interfaces, such as the Unix shell and Microso
The full point, full stop or period is a punctuation mark. It is used for several purposes, the most frequent of, to mark the end of a declaratory sentence; the full stop is often used alone to indicate omitted characters. It may be placed after an initial letter used to stand for a name, or sometimes after each individual letter in an initialism or acronym, for example, "U. S. A.". A full stop is frequently used at the end of word abbreviations – in British usage truncations like Rev. but not after contractions like Revd. The full point has multiple contexts in mathematics and computing, where it may be called a point or a dot; the full point glyph is sometimes called a baseline dot because, typographically, it is a dot on the baseline. This term distinguishes it from the interpunct. While full stop technically only applies to the full point when used to terminate a sentence, the distinction – drawn since at least 1897 – is not maintained by all modern style guides and dictionaries; the full stop symbol derives from the Greek punctuation introduced by Aristophanes of Byzantium in the 3rd century BC, In his system, there were a series of dots whose placement determined their meaning.
The full stop at the end of a completed thought or expression was marked by a high dot ⟨˙⟩, called the stigmḕ teleía or "terminal dot". The "middle dot" ⟨·⟩, the stigmḕ mésē, marked a division in a thought occasioning a longer breath and the low dot ⟨.⟩, called the hypostigmḕ or "underdot", marked a division in a thought occasioning a shorter breath. In practice, scribes employed the terminal dot. From the 9th century, the full stop began appearing as a low mark instead of a high one; the name period is first attested in Ælfric of Eynsham's Old English treatment on grammar. There, it is distinguished from the full stop and continues the Greek underdot's earlier function as a comma between phrases, it shifted its meaning to a dot marking a full stop in the works of the 16th-century grammarians. In 19th-century texts, both British English and American English were consistent in their usage of the terms period and full stop; the word period was used as a name for what printers called the "full point" or the punctuation mark, a dot on the baseline and used in several situations.
The phrase full stop was only used to refer to the punctuation mark when it was used to terminate a sentence. This distinction seems to be eroding. For example, the 1998 edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage used full point for the character after an abbreviation, but full stop or full point at the end of a sentence; the last edition of the original Hart's Rules used full point. Full stops are one of the most used punctuation marks. Full stops indicate the end of sentences that are not exclamations, it is usual to use full stops after initials. A full stop is used after some abbreviations. If the abbreviation ends a declaratory sentence there is no additional period following the full stop that ends the abbreviation. Though two full stops might be expected, conventionally only one is written; this is an intentional omission, thus not haplography, unintentional omission of a duplicate. In the case of an interrogative or exclamatory sentence ending with an abbreviation, a question or exclamation mark can still be added.
According to the Oxford A–Z of Grammar and Punctuation, "If the abbreviation includes both the first and last letter of the abbreviated word, as in'Mister' and'Doctor', a full stop is not used." This does not include, for example, the standard abbreviations for titles such as Professor or Reverend, because they do not end with the last letter of the word they are abbreviating. In American English, the common convention is to include the period after all such abbreviations. In acronyms and initialisms, the modern style is to not use full points after each initial; the punctuation is somewhat more used in American English, most with U. S. and U. S. A. in particular. However, this depends much upon the house style of a particular publisher; as some examples from American style guides, The Chicago Manual of Style deprecates the use of full points in acronyms, including U. S. while The Associated Press Stylebook dispenses with full points in acronyms except for certain two-letter cases, including U. S.
U. K. and U. N. but not EU. The period glyph is used in the presentation of numbers, but in only one of two alternate styles at a time. In the more prevalent usage in English-speaking countries, the point it represe
The at sign, @, is read aloud as "at" or "at symbol":. It is used as an accounting and invoice abbreviation meaning "at a rate of", but it is now most used in email addresses and social media platform "handles"; the term "alphasand" is sometimes used to refer to "@" in East Asia. Although not included on the keyboard of the earliest commercially successful typewriters, it was on at least one 1889 model and the successful Underwood models from the "Underwood No. 5" in 1900 onward. It started to be used in email addresses in the 1970s, is now universally included on computer keyboards; the absence of a single English word for the symbol has prompted some writers to use the French arobase or Spanish and Portuguese arroba, or to coin new words such as ampersat and strudel, but none of these has achieved wide use. In unicode, the at sign is encoded as & commat; the earliest yet discovered. Held today in the Vatican Apostolic Library, it features the @ symbol in place of the capital letter alpha "Α" 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. One theory is that the symbol developed as a mercantile shorthand symbol of "each at," the symbol resembling a lowercase "a" inside a lowercase "e," to distinguish it from the different "at" or "per." For example, the cost of "12 apples @ $1" would be $12, whereas the cost of "12 apples at $1" would be $1, a crucial and necessary distinction. Another theory is. One reason for the abbreviation saving space and ink. Since thousands of pages of biblical manuscripts were copied onto expensive papyrus or hides, the words at, toward, by and about repeated millions of times throughout the pages, a considerable amount of resources could be spared this way. A theory concerning this graph puts forward the idea that the form derives from the Latin word ad, using the older form of lowercase d: ∂ used in handwritten German well into the 20th century and known to mathematicians and engineering students as the partial derivative symbol.
It has been theorized that it was an abbreviation of the Greek preposition ανά, meaning at the rate of or per. Another theory is that it derives from the Norman French "à" meaning "at" in the "each" sense, i.e. "2 widgets à £5.50 = £11.00", comes the accountancy shorthand notation in English commercial vouchers and ledgers to the 1990s, when the email usage overtook the accountancy usage. It is used like this in Modern French, Swedish or Czech; the compromise between @ and à in French handwriting is found in street market signs. Whatever the origin of the @ symbol, the history of its usage is more well-known: it has long been used in Spanish and Portuguese as an abbreviation of arroba, a unit of weight equivalent to 25 pounds, derived from the Arabic expression of "the quarter". An Italian academic, Giorgio Stabile, claims to have traced the @ symbol to the 16th century, in a mercantile document sent by Florentine Francesco Lapi from Seville to Rome on May 4, 1536; the document is in particular the price of an @ of wine in Peru.
In Italian, the symbol was interpreted to mean amphora. 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; 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 1448. In contemporary English usage, @ is a commercial symbol, called at site or at rate meaning at and at the rate of, it has been used in financial documents or grocers' price tags, is not used in standard typography. In 2012, "@" was registered as a trademark with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. A cancellation request was filed in 2013, the cancellation was confirmed by the German Federal Patent Court in 2017. A common contemporary use of @ is in email addresses, as in firstname.lastname@example.org. BBN Technologies' Ray Tomlinson is credited with introducing this usage in 1971.
This idea of the symbol representing located at in the form user@host is seen in other tools and protocols. On web pages, organizations 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 social media platforms and forums, usernames are in the form @johndoe. On online forums without threaded discussions, @ is used to denote a reply. In some cases, @ is used for "attention" in email message