Skip to main content

What is an octothorpe?

In the 1960s engineers at Bell Labs were designing the first touch keyboard telephones.

One key, originally used to represent weight in pounds - was commonly known as the pound sign. They gave this # symbol a new name: the octothorpe.


The # symbol became familiar to those working in electronics and IT. And the introduction of automated switchboards, computer keyboards and mobile phones gradually brought octothorpes/hashtags into wider use

How did the octothorpe become the #hashtag?

Chris Messina, one of the founders of Twitter, saw its potential. On August 23, 2007 at 12:25pm, Messina Tweeted:

Fellow techies applauded the idea. But one, Stowe Boyd, suggested a rebrand for the humble #. It needed a catchier new name: hashtag.

Messina and Boyd assumed that the newly minted hashtag would only be of interest to fellow geeks. But as the Twitter expanded the # became #everpresent. 


About the English Language Teaching Pack only £2.99



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What is Globish?

Globish is a term invented by a French business man, Jean-Paul Nerriere, to describe the form English used as a lingua franca or common world language.

Why is English not the official language of England?

58 countries list English as an official language - but not the UK.