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Fun Fact June 17, 2020

17 June 2020


The hashtag has a name!  We’ve all seen them and most of us have used them in our social media posts; the hashtag.  Before it was the symbol for a  hashtag, it was simply the symbol for number or the pound sign, remember?  If you play music you recognize it as the symbol that makes a note sharp.  It turns out that that symbol has an actual name.  It’s known as an octothorpe, a word made up by Bell Telephone technicians in the 1960’s when they modified the telephone keypad to include the symbol.  Originally that key on the telephone pad was used to send commands to the telephone system .  As for the name, there is some debate as to it’s origin.  One Bell Lab guy says it was named after Jim Thorpe, another says it is just a nonsense word meant as a joke and another says it from old Norse, Thorpe meaning field and octo meaning eight, literally eight fields.  In social media the hashtag is used so others can easily search for posts with the same hashtag.  #whoknew?