Number sign – Wikipedia

typographic symbol ( # )
The symbol # is known variously in english-speaking regions as the number sign, [ 1 ] hash, [ 2 ] or pound sign. [ 3 ] The symbol has historically been used for a wide stove of purposes including the appellation of an ordinal number and as a ligatured abbreviation for pounds avoirdupois – having been derived from the now-rare ℔. [ 4 ] Since 2007, widespread usage of the symbol to introduce metadata tags on social media platforms has led to such tags being known as “ hashtags “, [ 5 ] and from that, the symbol itself is sometimes called a hashtag. [ 6 ] The symbol is distinguished from alike symbols by its combination of floor horizontal strokes and right-tilting vertical strokes.

history [edit ]

libra pondo (“pound weight”) A stylize adaptation of the abbreviation for ( “ british pound weight ” ) The abbreviation written by Isaac Newton, showing the evolution from “ ℔ ” toward “ # ” It is believed that the symbol traces its origins to the symbol ℔, [ a ] an abbreviation of the Roman condition libra pondo, which translates as “ pound weight ”. [ 7 ] [ 8 ] This abbreviation was printed with a consecrated ligature type component, with a horizontal line across, so that the lowercase letter fifty would not be mistaken for the numeral 1. ultimately, the symbol was reduced for clearness as an overlie of two horizontal strokes “ = ” across two slash-like strokes “ // ”. [ 8 ] Examples of it being used to indicate pounds exist at least as far back as 1850. [ 9 ] [ b-complex vitamin ] The symbol is described as the “ number ” character in an 1853 treatise on bookkeeping, [ 10 ] and its double entail is described in a bookkeeping text from 1880. [ 11 ] The education manual of the Blickensderfer model 5 typewriter ( c. 1896 ) appears to refer to the symbol as the “ numeral sign ”. [ 12 ] Some early-20th-century U.S. sources refer to it as the “ number sign ”, [ 13 ] although this could besides refer to the numero sign of the zodiac. [ 14 ] A 1917 manual distinguishes between two uses of the gestural : “ total ( written before a calculate ) ” and “ pounds ( written after a figure ) ”. [ 15 ] The use of the phrase “ lumber bless ” to refer to this symbol is found from 1932 in U.S. use. [ 16 ] The term hash sign is found in south african writings from the former 1960s [ 17 ] and from other non-North-American sources in the 1970s. [ citation needed ] The symbol appears to have been used primarily in handwritten substantial ; in the print business, the numero symbol ( № ) and barred-lb ( ℔ ) are used for “ number ” and “ pounds ” respectively. [ where? ] [ citation needed ] For mechanical devices, the symbol appeared on the keyboard of the Remington Standard typewriter ( c. 1886 ) [ 18 ] but was not used on the keyboards used for typesetting. [ 9 ] It appeared in many of the early on teletypewriter codes and from there was copied to ASCII, which made it available on computers and thus caused many more uses to be found for the fictional character. The symbol was introduced on the bottom right button of touch-tone keypads in 1968, but that button was not extensively used until the advent of large scale voice mail ( PBX systems, etc. ) in the early 1980s. [ 19 ] One of the uses in computers was to label the surveil text as having a different rendition ( such as a command or a comment ) from the lie of the text. It was adopted for manipulation within internet relay chew the fat ( IRC ) networks circa 1988 to label groups and topics. [ 20 ] This use inspired [ 21 ] Chris Messina to propose a exchangeable system to be used on Twitter to tag topics of sake on the microblogging network ; [ 22 ] this became known as a hashtag. Although used initially and most popularly on Twitter, hashtag use has extended to other social media sites. [ 23 ]

Names [edit ]

Number sign

‘Number sign’ is the name chosen by the Unicode consortium. Most common in Canada[24] and the northeastern United States.[ citation needed] American telephone equipment companies which serve Canadian callers often have an option in their programming to denote Canadian English, which in turn instructs the system to say number sign to callers instead of pound.[25]

Pound sign or pound

‘Pound sign’ or ‘pound’ are the most common names used in the United States, where the ‘#’ key on a phone is commonly referred to as the pound key or simply pound. Dialing instructions to an extension such as #77, for example, can be read as “pound seven seven”.[26] This name is rarely used outside the United States, where the term pound sign is understood to mean the currency symbol £.

Hash, hash mark, hashmark

In the United Kingdom,[27] and some other countries,[ quotation needed] it is generally called a ‘hash’ (probably from ‘hatch’,[28] referring to cross-hatching, although the exact derivation is disputed).


The word ‘hashtag’ is often used when reading social media messages aloud, indicating the start of a hashtag. For instance, the text “#foo” is often read out loud as “hashtag foo” (as opposed to “hash foo”). This leads to the common belief that the symbol itself is called hashtag.[6] Twitter documentation refers to it as “the hashtag symbol”.[29] Programmers rarely do this; for instance #! is “hash, bang”.


‘Hex’ is commonly used in Singapore and Malaysia, as spoken by many recorded telephone directory-assistance menus: “Please enter your phone number followed by the ‘hex’ key”. The term ‘hex’ is discouraged in Singapore in favour of ‘hash’. In Singapore, a hash is also called ‘hex’ in apartment addresses, where it precedes the floor number.[30][31]

Octothorp, octothorpe, octathorp, octatherp

Most scholars believe the word was invented by workers at the Bell Telephone Laboratories by 1968,[32] who needed a word for the symbol on the telephone keypad. Don MacPherson is said to have created the word by combining octo and the last name of Jim Thorpe, an Olympic medalist.[33] Howard Eby and Lauren Asplund claim to have invented the word as a joke in 1964, combining octo with the syllable therp which, because of the “th” digraph, was hard to pronounce in different languages.[34] The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, 1991, has a long article that is consistent with Doug Kerr’s essay,[34] which says “octotherp” was the original spelling, and that the word arose in the 1960s among telephone engineers as a joke. Other hypotheses for the origin of the word include the last name of James Oglethorpe[35] or using the Old English word for village, thorp, because the symbol looks like a village surrounded by eight fields.[36][37] The word was popularized within and outside Bell Labs.[38] The first appearance of “octothorp” in a US patent is in a 1973 filing. This patent also refers to the six-pointed asterisk (✻) used on telephone buttons as a “sextile”.[39]


Use of the name ‘sharp’ is due to the symbol’s resemblance to ♯, the glyph used in music notation (


♯ MUSIC SHARP SIGN). The same derivation is seen in the name of the Microsoft programming languages C#, J# and F#. Microsoft says, “It’s not the ‘hash’ (or pound) symbol as most people believe. It’s actually supposed to be the musical sharp symbol. However, because the sharp symbol is not present on the standard keyboard, it’s easier to type the hash symbol (#). The name of the language is, of course, pronounced ‘see sharp’.”[40] According to the ECMA-334 C# Language Specification, section 6, Acronyms and abbreviations, the name of the language is written “C#” (“LATIN CAPITAL LETTER C (U+0043) followed by the NUMBER SIGN # (U+0023)”) and pronounced “C Sharp”.[41]

Detail of a telephone computer keyboard displaying the Viewdata square

On telephones, the International Telecommunication Union specification ITU-T E.161 3.2.2 states: “The symbol may be referred to as the square or the most commonly used equivalent term in other languages.”[42] Formally, this is not a number sign but rather another character, the Viewdata square . The real or virtual keypads on almost all modern telephones use the simple # instead, as does their documentation.


custom [edit ]

When # prefixes a number, it is read as “ number ”. A “ # 2 pencil ”, for exemplar, indicates “ a number-two pencil ”. The abbreviations ‘No. ‘ and ‘№ ‘ are used normally and interchangeably. When # is after a number, it is read as “ pound ” or “ pounds ”, meaning the unit of weight. The text “ 5 # bag of flour ” would mean “ five syrian pound bag of flour ”. The abbreviations “ lb. ” and “ ℔ ” are used normally and interchangeably. But it is not a substitute for ‘£ ‘. The latter usage is rare outdoor North America. The sign is not used to denote pounds as weight ( pound or pound is used for this ), and surely not for pounds currentness. The habit of # as an abbreviation for “ act ” is park in informal write, but use in print is rare. [ 44 ] Where Americans might write “ Symphony # 5 ”, British and irish people normally write “ Symphony No. 5 ”. british typewriters and keyboards have a £ key where american keyboards have a # key. [ 45 ] many calculator and teletypewriter codes ( such as BS 4730 ( the UK national discrepancy of the ISO/IEC 646 character set ) substituted ‘£ ‘ for ‘ # ‘ to make the british versions, thus it was common for the like binary code to display as # on US equipment and £ on british equipment. ( ‘ $ ‘ was not substituted due to obvious problems if an attack was made to communicate monetary values. )

Mathematics [edit ]

Computing [edit ]

early uses [edit ]

Unicode [edit ]

In Unicode, several # characters are assigned. early attested names in Unicode are : pound sign, hash, hatch, octothorpe.

At least three orthographically discrete number signs from other languages are besides assigned :

On keyboards [edit ]

On the standard US keyboard layout, the # symbol is ⇧ Shift+3. On standard UK and some other european keyboards, the same keystrokes produce the egyptian pound ( sterling ) sign, £ symbol, and # may be moved to a separate winder above the right shift key. If there is no key, the symbol can be produced on Windows with Alt +35, on Mac OS with ⌥ Opt+3, and on Linux with Compose ++ .

Notes [edit ]

  1. ^



  2. ^ # and £

    shared the same [9] Although widely repeated, evidence to support the theory thatandshared the lapp code point in the late nineteenth hundred Baudot code has not been produced, whereas evidence is available of a code table from 1929 showing both symbols .

References [edit ]

reference :
Category : crypto topics

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