How to pronounce


The "@" symbol has a multifaceted history and usage. It is commonly pronounced as "at" and has become an integral part of our digital and business lexicon. Its most recognizable role is in email addresses, where it serves as a critical delimiter that separates the user's name from their domain. Ray Tomlinson, a pivotal figure in email technology, chose "@" as it was unlikely to be part of any user's name. The symbol's availability on the Model 33 Teletype keyboard also played a role in the decision. This choice inadvertently cemented the "@" symbol's legacy in the digital age.

The symbol "@" also carries the meaning of "at" or "each" in business contexts, commonly used in pricing items or services to indicate the cost per unit. This dual use in both digital communications and commerce showcases the versatility of the symbol.

The inclusion of "@" in the ASCII character set boosted its adoption and enduring presence in electronic communication. This choice was due to its standard placement on typewriters and later on computer keyboards. It highlights how technological decisions can have long-lasting impacts on communication practices. Tomlinson's selection of "@" for email addresses underscores the serendipitous nature of technological innovation, where functionality often precedes the recognition of a design's iconic potential.

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