Saturday, May 8, 2010

What “@” Means to Me

When I was younger, Mom used to leave notes on the kitchen table telling us where she was. Usually, it said something like “Gone to store. Be home @ 3:00.”

I grew up thinking “@” means “around” or “about.” That’s because Mom was never on time. She never came home when she said she would. I thought “@ 3:00” meant “around 3:00” because she usually came home at least 30 minutes (even an hour) past the time she wrote on her note. I mean, look at the @ symbol: it makes sense that it could be “around” because it’s an A with a circle drawn around it. Right?

So in my head, the @ symbol has always meant something besides “at.” It was all fine and dandy in Elizabeth World, until the Internet made “@” a useful and recurring symbol. But in my shorthand, “@” can mean three different things. I still use it as “about” or “around” in my notes. In fact, I just used it tonight at church when taking notes on the sermon.

Does anyone else have a shorthand symbol for “about” or “around,” so I can put “@” in its rightful place in my mind?

And now, between this “@” post and this last post, you can finally see the depth of crazy that lives inside my head. I’ll work harder to conceal it from now on!


Anonymous said...

Just found your blog and couldn't help but comment. @ also means around or about to me. I always start to use it for shorthand when I write notes to people and then have to stop myself. I blame the internet for ruining my symbol :)

Robin said...

Mathematically the symbol ~ means approximately. That is what I use.



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