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Keeping Up With Terms In The Digital World

Enrique Dans via CC

I don’t know how anyone who decided to learn the English language does it without going crazy.
So many of our words and symbols have different meanings, it has got to be confusing.
For example:
Leave – I love to play in the leaves, or is it I don’t like to see you leave?
Right – Well right you are, or should I take a right at the next intersection?
Rose – Here’s a rose for you, or I just rose from my seat.
Type – I can type fast, or that girl over there said she really isn’t my type.

Why am I bringing this up?
It stems from a conversation I had in a Digital meeting the other day where the topic was about Twitter.
The Whale is on Twitter at 99.1thewhale, and during the discussion, the topic of trends came up.
For those of us who are over 40, blank stars were the norm.
Apparently, a Twitter Trend is a topic that someone starts, names it and then puts this symbol in front of it – #.
Now, you would think that symbol is called a number sign, or you could call it a pound sign like you would find on a phone.
But NO, it’s called a ‘hashtag.”
So, what and why is it called that.
According to Wikipedia “Hashtags provide a means of grouping such messages, since one can search for the hashtag and get the set of messages that contain it.”
Ok, but why ‘hashtag?’
Wasn’t number or pound sign good enough?
#guessnot.

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