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Q: explain the this symbol ie # ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: explain the this symbol ie #
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: jessejames2-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 22 Mar 2006 06:33 PST
Expires: 21 Apr 2006 07:33 PDT
Question ID: 710507
please let me know what the follwing symbol ie.# signifies in front of
a the us.just curious.thanking you. regards jessejames2
Subject: Re: explain the this symbol ie #
Answered By: palitoy-ga on 22 Mar 2006 06:50 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello jessejames2-ga,

Thank-you for your question.

The symbol # has a number of different names and uses around the
world, in the english speaking world it is commonly known as the
"pound sign", "hash", "number sign" or the "octothorpe".

There is an excellent review of this symbol on the Wikipedia which
should answer all your questions and I have quoted the relevant US
section below:

"In the United States of America, the symbol is traditionally called
the pound sign. It derives from a series of abbreviations for pound
avoirdupois, a unit of weight. At first "lb." was used; later,
printers got a special font made up of an "lb" with a line through the
ascenders so that the "l" would not be mistaken for a "1". Unicode
character U+2114 (?) is called the "LB Bar Symbol," and it is a
cursive development of this symbol. Finally came the reduction to two
horizontal and two vertical strokes.

Its traditional commercial use in the U.S. was such that when it
followed a number, it was to be read as 'pounds': 5# of sugar. And
when it preceded a number, it was to be read as 'number': #2 pencil,
which still appears on U.S. pencils. Thus the same character in a
printer's type case had two uses."

Therefore to answer your question, in the USA the # when it preceded a
number is simply shorthand for the word "number".  (When it is used as
a suffix to a number it is shorthand for the word "pounds".)

For example, #345 would be spoken as "number 345", 345# would be
spoken as "345 pounds".

If you require any further assistance on this subject please do not
hesitate to ask.

Further links:

Clarification of Answer by palitoy-ga on 23 Mar 2006 11:05 PST
Thank-you for the 5-star rating, kind comments and tip!  They are all appreciated.
jessejames2-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
110per cent sastified with answer.thank you palitoy.regards,jessejames

Subject: Re: explain the this symbol ie #
From: probonopublico-ga on 22 Mar 2006 11:03 PST
An 'octothorpe' wow!

I like it and I shall now bewilder everyone I meet.

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