"Hatch" as in crosshatch, perhaps?
The venerable Oxford English Dictionary has added a word beloved by the Twitterati to its collection of 171,476 current and 47,156 obsolete words: hashtag. "The OED famously tends to wait until a word has been attested for several years before entering it into the dictionary, although exceptions are made for words which are …
Best history I can find...
Also of interest: the # symbol, above the "3" on my keyboard, is replaced by the "script-L pound" symbol on UK keyboards...
One of the most confusing things about living in Canada was the naming of '#' as the pound sign, heard particularly on automated phone systems.
Rather confusingly, it swaps position with the sterling £ over the 3 key on a standard US keyboard.
However, it apparently has nothing to do with pound sterling but an older symbol used for the pound weight measure.
skelband, quite right. That older pound (mass) symbol is ℔ (Unicode U+2114) — when handwritten hurriedly, it resembles a # character, which is why the # character is called a “pound sign” in the States. We still use the # character as if it were the ℔ symbol, e.g. “2 # bag of sugar” on a shopping list. The older symbol is almost completely forgotten now, mainly having been found in 19th century lead type and 20th century Linotype keyboards. Typewriters have used # since at least 1890, and the # was established in the International Telegraph Alphabet № 2 in 1932, Teletypes being the bridge between ITA-2 and ASCII.
> an older symbol used for the pound weight measure.
The symbol used for pound weight seems to have originated from a stylized lb* written in chalk. The octothorpe is only an approximation of this but seems to have been adopted for convenience, probably when typewriters started including it.
> swaps position with the sterling £
The best explanation for the use of 'sterling' for money or silver seems to originate as 'easterling' referring to traders from the east, ie the Hansa League in the Baltic, who had the best reputation for quality and reliability as well as the best steel, money and silver.
* lb is abbreviation for libra pondo
No mate, sterling was the name of the old Norman penny which the bastard* Duke of Normandy William I introduced to the English after 1066 and all that. Maybe their name for a penny was derived as you indicate.
The £ sterling used to be 240 pennies (now 100 pence) and the £ sign stands for libra with a cross bar indicating a contraction.
* in both senses of the word
Lots of industrial machinery uses the # to denote weight in pounds. You also see it on a lot of materials handling equipment and freight elevators to denote weight capacity. Temporary structures like portable stadium seating and bandstands use it for weight capacity as well. Pretty much everything related to the wheels of trains uses the # for weight.
Oddly, the # association with weight in the rail industry is global. I know for an absolute fact that the trucks (bogies for you South American and European sorts) primary suspension coil mounts and bearing carriers on trains in South America, Europe, India, Russia and Japan all use the # for weight in pounds. I have no idea why that's the case, but it is, nevertheless, the way things are.
Here in the US the general public is most likely to see the # used for weight in traditional butchers shops and at country farmers markets where 6.95 # is $6.95 per pound. Again, I have no idea why the $ is almost never shown and the # is used instead of 'lb' like in modern supermarkets. On reflection, I amend my statements, I suspect it's just because nobody gives a shit. That's a pretty good assumption for anything that's bassackwards or weird here in the US.
You often see the # for weight used in mixing instructions where a dry component is mixed with a liquid to make something else. Often used with surface coatings like paint, simple molding processes and in DIY cat hair resins for gap filling.
Anyway, there are plenty of modern examples of # for weight out there if you start looking, especially in English speaking countries. I think there's a message there about modern society and how people just don't look, or care, about how things are done. All kinds of little anachronisms are around us everyday, but they're usually hidden behind the screen of a mobile phone.
It is called Sterling because it was originally one tower pound (approx 350g) of Sterling Silver pennies. Sterling Silver is an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. 240 silver pennies made of that alloy weighed one tower pound. most of the other currencies , eg Dollar/Peso, Rupee, Shekel were also originally weights of silver.
Pinchebek's explanation of the word "sterling" is thoroughly discredited now, after getting on for 700 years of being accepted. The current most accepted theory is that it was originally "steorling" (Old English meaning roughly "a thing of a star") and comes from the AngloNorman coin which had a star on it. The Medieval French, Italian, German, Latin, and so on versions (esterlin, sterlino, sterlinc, esterlingus, sterlinus, sterlingus, ....) all date from later, and were derived from the Anglo-saxon term. These continental places needed a name for this AngloNorman coin because it was often used throughout Western Europe in preference to local coinage, being the highest quality silver coin in Europe, in its early days reliably close to 100% silver, and later after Henry fixed the quality at 92.5% silver - the quality of silver which is now known as "sterling silver" - reliably 92.5%.
The version of Pinchebek's theory (which he published about 700 years ago) which became most popular in modern times had Byzantium rather than the Hanseatic league as the source of the name, I believe; but that doesn't matter as neither the league nor the empire had anything to do with the origins of the word sterling.
> The current most accepted theory is that it was originally "steorling" (Old English meaning roughly "a thing of a star") and comes from the AngloNorman coin which had a star on it.
"""The British numismatist Philip Grierson points out that the stars appeared on Norman pennies only for the single three-year issue from 1077-1080 (the Normans changed coin designs every three years), and that the star-theory thus fails on linguistic grounds:"""
While you, and others, may claim 'most accepted', it is most likely a convergence of both explanations.
The 92.5% silver purity is exactly that of the Easterlings (or Osterlings) coins used by the Hanse (or Hanseatic League). As this was much more widely used, and for far longer, many centuries, it is likely that this brought the term into much more widespread use than the earlier more limited one.
Ken Thompson & I got to Berkeley about the same time, he as a lecturer, me as a student. He introduced us to UNIX and introduced the term "octothorp" in that context.
Somewhat later, as BSD became the goto OS at Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA and Utah, the "hash-bang" character "#!" interpreter directive was introduced into the BSD kernel ... probably around mid-late 1979. The first person I remember calling "#!" a hash-bang was ken. It soon became "shbang" (for what should be obvious reasons), then "shebang" for reasons I'm unsure of.
UNIX-proper added the capability in early 1980. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first non-networking bit of major kernel code that BSD added to un*x, and not vice-versa.
Side-note: "bang" is an old printer's term for the exclamation [point|mark].
 I know, I know. Stop it already.
Also called the Number Sign in ASCII, where it was put by the Americans, which is part of the reason why it is the alternate value for the English Pound position.
"‘‘The symbol # means the same as No., and it can be very useful"
("The I.S.O. character code,’’ The Computer Journal, vol. 7, no. 3, October, 1964)
In AUS, the subtitles on my TV show # (number) or £ (pound) to indicate music, depending on where the program was subtitled, indicating an odd translation difficulty somewhere.
Quite so. English is a living and evolving language, and as long as it remains free of that awful urge to artificial limitation, it shall remain a living language. Oh Homer is probably the sort that would be complaining about Thug, Curry and Doolally entering the language in the late 19th century.
Yes, but who exactly gets to decide what qualifies as "English", just because it's a new word that appears on the Internet? If it's new, then how exactly is anyone supposed to determine which language it belongs to? Why not designate it as French or Klingon or Gibberish instead?
Oh Homer, native speakers of English decide what qualifies as English. If enough of them like the poem Jabberwocky, then English will incorporate new words such as galumphing and chortled from Gibberish. If enough native French speakers use le week-end, then French has incorporated a new word, despite the best efforts of the Académie française.to promote and preserve la fin de semaine. (The same would apply to a new Klingon word vis-à-vis Paramount Pictures.)
@Irony Deficient: Well, by that reasoning, the word "sacrebleu" is English because it has been spoken by Englishmen. For that matter, one might argue that every word in existence is English for the same reason.
I don't see the ordinary man on the street proclaiming these words to be English, I see a single publisher arbitrarily declaring them as such.
It's not that I'm being a cockwomble (see what I did there?), after all I fully appreciate that language needs to be dynamic in order to describe the new facets of an evolving culture, but the problem is that many of these new words are not being created out of the necessity to describe something new, they're being created unnecessarily by illiterate people (mostly Americans, it seems), who are blissfully ignorant of the perfectly adequate words that already exist to describe things that are fundamentally not really new at all.
It's like a sort of idioglossia pandemic borne of ignorance, and the OED is merely legitimising that ignorance.
Oh Homer, no — by that reasoning, “sacrebleu” is English only if enough native English speakers consider it to be English. “Blitz” has become an English word since 1940, despite the perfectly adequate preëxisting English word “lightning”; “sacrebleu” hasn’t.
If you disagree with the decisions of that single publisher, then don’t buy books from that publisher — it ain’t rocket science.
On this side of the pond, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (AHD) was created in response to the perceived permissiveness of Webster's Third New International Dictionary. If you feel that the OED has crossed some sort of line, there's nothing stopping you from creating a Rightpondian analog to the AHD.
"Blitz" when used in German in that context is not a synonym for "lightning" either.
The only context in which "Blitz" is used in English is to describe the wartime bombings. That's why saying that English has the word "lightning" is such a non-sequitur - "Blitz" is never used in English to mean anything to do with lightning.
Vic, welcome back — I hope that you won’t be deleting any more of your comments.
No, “blitz” is used in other contexts in English — see definitions b. and c. of the OED’s entry for the noun. Oh Homer’s point was that there was no need to coin new words in English when perfectly adequate English words already exist. My counterpoint was that it is done nevertheless, and gave “blitz” as an example. Squander Two has already pointed out the reasons why one might coin a new word over using an existing word, and that “blitz” is only used metaphorically in English, and that nothing would have prevented the same metaphorical usage with the English word “lightning” — “lightning war” is a perfectly adequate substitution for „Blitzkrieg“, isn’t it? Your point is itself a non sequitur to Oh Homer’s original point; that a new word has a more circumscribed definition than the perfectly adequate original does not address whether or not the new word should be coined at all.
ID, Rightpondian is a question of perspective. I'm sure our Canadian cousins looking to the good ole USA would consider Gods own country (GB) Left of the pond & so Leftpondian.
May I propose the alternative Eastponian/Westpondian between those whose countries have coasts on said pond.
Before the OED start using El Reg post terminology as "standard" English.
Pete, of course you may propose that — one could even say the same about us if our gaze were drawn towards the wonders of Mexico. However, my guess is that Canadians tend to print their global maps with north as top, south as bottom, west as left, and east as right, as most people around the world do, so the perspective of Leftpondian as western Atlantic and Rightpondian as eastern Atlantic wouldn’t be unfamiliar to them.
> Well, by that reasoning, the word "sacrebleu" is English because it has been spoken by Englishmen. For that matter, one might argue that every word in existence is English for the same reason.
For the same reason? The same reason? "Reason" is a perfidious French word. What the hell are you playing at, trying to slip it into a decent law-abiding English sentence?
Anyway, yes, one might so argue, but the OED don't. "Connoisseur", "cor anglais", "pork", "beef", "mutton", "guardian", "warden", "tete-a-tete", "pied-a-terre", "cafe", "boudoir", "cordon", and, oo, "reason" are used commonly enough in English to be regarded by the OED as English; meanwhile, "brouillard", "trome", "ordinateur", and "pousse-cul" are not. So, you know, the words used by English-speakers are regarded as English and the words not used by English-speakers are regarded as non-English. You call this arbitrary. Hmm.
> I don't see the ordinary man on the street proclaiming these words to be English
I don't see the ordinary man in the street understanding a bloody word of Chaucer. I also don't see the ordinary man in the street publishing a major study of the English language. However, the OED are perfectly happy to accept contributions from the ordinary man in the street. So what's your point?
> I see a single publisher arbitrarily declaring them as such.
It's not arbitrary; they have quite strict rules for inclusion. The rules are published, so you could look them up.
> It's not that I'm being a cockwomble (see what I did there?)
Yes, brilliantly enough, you completely undermined your own argument:
> the problem is that many of these new words are not being created out of the necessity to describe something new
So cockwombles are something new? We didn't already have the words "eejit", "pillock", "plonker", "twonk", "fuckwit", "spoon", "tosspot", "wally", "wanker", "arse", "fanny", "twit", or "lummox"?
> they're being created unnecessarily by illiterate people (mostly Americans, it seems), who are blissfully ignorant of the perfectly adequate words that already exist to describe things that are fundamentally not really new at all.
Ah, the people who think a language is some sort of logical communication calculus. Oh no! A new word for an old thing! Help! Help!
Language is not a logical system, and was not designed to be, or at all. It's a quite brilliant system for communicating facts, opinions, emotions, feelings, ambiences, and pretty much anything. We make up words for all sorts of reasons, including because we just like the sound of them and are having fun. For instance, English speakers like rhymes, hence "higgledy-piggledy", "hotch-potch", and "rumpy-pumpy". We often coin new words where old ones already exist in order to describe the same thing in a different way, efficiently conveying nuances of the speaker's opinions and emotions: "kaput" versus "fucked" versus "broken", for instance. Interestingly enough, the linguists who actually study these things have discovered that we almost always coin words and phrases precisely because they are useful: when some indignant purist gets all indignant about a new "unnecessary" word, what you really mean, whether you realise it or not, is not that there is no need for the word but simply that you can't see its need. In which case, the fault is yours, not the speaker's.
Look, the English create new words constantly, yet English people like you regard that as perfectly OK whilst having conniptions if some fucking Yank has the temerity to do the same. Secondly, words cross from Britain to America all the time, yet English people like you have conniptions if anything travels in the other direction. Thirdly, English people like you, who like to claim that you're concerned with "proper" English, in fact, as anyone living outside the South-East is all too aware, also have conniptions over half the English as it is spoken in these sceptered isles, denouncing anything slightly unfamiliar-sounding as an "Americanism" when it's usually just dialect from a bit of Britain north of Watford or west of Reading. Parochial detestation of the unknown is not a principled stance.
> It's like a sort of idioglossia pandemic borne of ignorance
@Squander Two: It seems there's more than one person here who's irony deficient (re: cockwomble).
I don't expect language to be clinical and soulless, but equally I don't especially enjoy the legitimisation and promotion of ignorance, which seems to be the OED's primary role these days.
I used to think that the Oxford in OED was the English university town not one of the numerous Oxfords scattered across the USA.
English is the language of the English people and it pisses me off when a 'Merkin dictionary calls the proper use or spelling of a word British English (English English would be less insulting) when they should, if they were honest, specify that their usage is American English, i.e. a post colonial variant.
Rather than steal our language and bastardise it with incorrect spelling and pronunciation the USA should rename their first language* Amerglish or some such.
*(by use, well currently amigo)
Scroticus Canis, if it pisses you off so much, then you should present your case to the dictionary’s publisher; I have absolutely no influence over what they do or don’t do.
If you don’t want us to speak our direct descendant of 17th century English, then invent a time machine and use it to prevent 17th century Englishmen from colonizing North America. Alternatively, go back to the 11th century and prevent the Normans from stealing your language and bastardizing it with incorrect spellings and pronunciations. God þē gehealde.
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I think you'll find that the English who adopted what they now call English as their language didn't invent the language, they just laid claim to it. The Scandinavians and Gauls added to the Latin carried from Rome and the Celts just threw a bunch of confusing stuff in there for, I suspect, the laughs.
What would be later known as the English people, made two enormous contributions to the abomination that is the English language. The first is the practice of abbreviating proper nouns such as people's names. Of all the possible things to abbreviate, the English chose to abbreviate the one thing that's incredibly improper to abbreviate. The French did it with people's titles when writing, which is borderline insulting, but people have proper names for a reason. The English knew it was wrong too, that's why you don't see many references to King Chuck and Queen Liz. So they knew the difference between proper and improper, but chose to bastardize from the top down. Which is a very English approach, I'll give you that.
Their second big contribution was to keep the foreign spelling of a word from another land, but pronounce it however they saw fit. I've read the scholarly papers explaining why this happened, but I think they're ignoring the obvious: For such a tiny place the diversity of accents is stunning. My accent is outrageous and it has taken decades for me to be (mostly) easily understood by other English speakers. But I understand why I speak that way, I'm from a geographically isolated place. The English live on a little island that's as flat as a picnic table, how in Gods name did so many people there manage to speak the same language, but have 713 different ways to say it?
None of that is meant to be taken as a swipe at the English people. Nearly all languages still in use are a mishmash of all manner of influences, as others have said, language is a living thing. The English people lost their claim as arbiter of their adopted English language as they withdrew from previously held parts of their Empire. Losing claim to stuff you leave behind is one of the risks of Empire. The English left their language behind and it now belongs to those picked it up and made it their own. The lesson there is twofold, don't name yourself after your language and don't teach it to your subjects in countries you occupy. Teach the subjects some tediously intricate and limited language like Esperanto or Romulan.
Vic, what would you suggest that the Irish whose first language is not Irish name the language which they speak? Should everyone from Baja California through Tierra del Fuego who speaks Spanish name their language something else because their ancestors fought wars of independence against Spain? Note that the country from which the US seceded was the Kingdom of Great Britain. “English” is not its possessive; it’s not even its adjective.
Interesting. You are presumably aware that the OED is published by the Oxford University Press, and that the Oxford referred to both in the name of the publisher and in the name of the dicstionary is the one which is siuuated in Oxfordshire, England? And that the objective of the dictionary is to be a historical record of the English lexicon since the earliest days of the language and in all the forms used by its native speakers, not just what's currently fashionable in some part of south east England? Surely yuou can't be so ignorant as to be unaware of those things? I guess you are just trolling, and I should have more sense than to take the bait.
One question, worth 10 points on my Discrete Structures test, was "What is the real name of the # symbol?" and the answer the rather strange and twisted (but fun!) instructor wanted was octothorpe.
So that replaced 2 questions I totally bombed and I still managed 100%
This was about 1986, long before twitter... but I did have BITNET access.
The correct answer would have been "MU", of course.
I thought one only encounters "questions that one MUST answer wrongly [by outputting obsolete stuff, hearsay, frank incomprehension, random lore and affirmations by outsourcees from faraway lands]" only in those collectible certification programs?
Ah, you see. This story displays a misunderstanding of how language works. Since the term "hashtag" is so popular more people call that symbol "hash" than anything else. This means that in a few years the dictionary will list the official name as "hash". "octothorp" would never catch on, that's why not one ever says that. It's a goofy name and it will eventually be relegated to a footnote on the bottom of an encyclopedia that no one will read.
The 'tag' bit on the end there is pretty important. Outside of pop culture fashions, 'hash' has at least two meanings that are as far from Twitter as it's possible to get.
But words 'catch on' due to a wide variety of factors. For example, I've just issued a company wide policy edict where 'octothorp' shall be used in any instance where 'hashtag' is used in relation to the dissemination of trivial, useless information using Twitter as the medium.
During the month of July my minions are scheduled to perform a variety of duties in 11 different countries and will be acting under orders to use the word octothorp in its Twitter context as frequently as possible. One of my engineers will be speaking to a group of 14ish year old kids in Dublin and I will be expecting him to program at least 60% of his audience with a violent aversion to the word 'hashtag'.
Going forward, Hashtag will refer exclusively to the situation adaptability exercise where the lights in the warehouse are extinguished and participants navigate solely by sound and the smoke pumped in through the HVAC produced by the high pressure, conveyor fed, hash oil fumigator in the medics office. We're a very modern company, so the rules of Hashtag are non competitive and everybody gets a gold star for participating. Every high intensity, life critical workplace should have Hashtag exercises on a regular basis.
After we had closed up for the night, we used to play Hashtag in the 'shoot people with laser guns' emporium in which I worked, many moons ago.
All lights except the UV's off, put the smoke machine on full, and while the arena was becoming a sensory deprivation tank, partake in some recreationals. Then go and see if you know the area as well as you think you do.
I remember the same thing; the printed instruction books for the new automated switchboard we were sold also called it the 'gate key'. I think it's sad that it never caught on; after all, a gate indicates that there is somewhere to go whereas a hash just ... is.
On the off chance you haven't figured this out, you weren't reading the instructions for a switchboard. I would have thought the carrion birds that have followed you everywhere since then would have given it away, but perhaps not seeing that is part of it.
I suppose it's possible you won't even be able to see this warning, a fnord type effect. However, if you can read this message, you need to return to the place where you initially used the gate key and read the 'instruction manual' from back to front. Afterward you'll have a few minutes to destroy the gate (it is rather switchboard like in appearance) and escape before the Portal Wardens show up. They'll likely be disguised as some sort of uniform wearing Human, but don't be fooled.
Best of luck to you.
@ Don Jefe
On the off chance that you were responding to my comment - we (the workers expected to use it) called it 'the automated switchboard' because that's what it did. I'm sure the people selling it had some fancy name for it with 'system' and 'communications' mentioned somewhere; but that was too much to remember.
Good *# reference, by the way :))
I remember BT calling it a gate, when they made the move to keypad phones with * and # in the early 80s. They used US practice for several things, but wouldn't copy the "pound sign" terminology in the UK to avoid confusion. It was widely known that the "proper" name was octothorpe but no-one wanted to put that in customer documentation.
"Hash" Is also a term used for making a mess of something. As in "you've made a hash of that". In writing/drawing a crossing out - using horizontal and vertical lines - would then indicate a mistake or something to ignore. In woodwork we were taught to mark cross-hatching on the area of wood to be removed for a joint before starting to cut it.
There is also the food term as in "corned beef hash" - meaning "mashed up"? Does that mean "hash" and "mash" are related?
Anonymous Coward, hashed browned potatoes (“hash browns”) in Leftpondia typically start from grated potato, closer to Swiss rösti. The spudly component of corned beef hash here is diced rather than mashed, so the “hash” in this case is more of a mix than a mess — perhaps “corned beef jumble” would have been a less ambiguous term for the version here.
Does that mean "hash" and "mash" are related?
Not closely, according to the OED, though I wouldn't be surprised to learn they have common Indo-European roots. "hash" is from French cognates and the oldest OED citations are from the seventeenth century; "mash" is found in Old English and the OED cites back to circa 1000.
"hatch" appears to be of similar provenance to "mash", and similarly unrelated to "hash", though as the article points out its likely that there are cases where "hatch" became "hash" through use and contagation. But that's hardly uncommon in English; such seemingly related words as "lunch" and "luncheon" may have unrelated derivation, as any fule kno.
a 'thorpe' is an old word meaning field, probably of norse origin, common in and around Yorkshire place names. AFAIK the reasoning behind the name octothorpe was that it 'looked' like a village surrounded by 8 fields.
Obviously the surname Thorpe has the same roots, equivalent to the surname Field(s).
AFAIK the reasoning behind the name octothorpe was that it 'looked' like a village surrounded by 8 fields.
Frank Muir: Well that sounds so attractively plausible I'll have to say (shuffles around desk for card), Bluff!
Robert Robinson: And you Patrick?
Patrick Campbell: W,w,w,well in that era they'd p,p,p,probably wouldn't use the prefix octo, it'd be hectothorpe so I'll have to go along with Fr,r,rank on t,t,t,this one, Bluff.
And so on until the Beeb canned Call my Bluff.
haha, English is a wonderful evolving language with many names and meanings for a single symbol.
One unofficial(?) usage is # = crunch, ! = bang which leads me to a great, light weight Debian based Linux distro called #! or CrunchBang - a nimble Openbox Linux Distro http://crunchbang.org/about/
Was I living in a parallel universe? When I was a kid in 60s England everyone knew the # symbol stood for 'Number'. It was also on British manual typewriters as 'the number key' but I thought it was an Americanism as I was a collector of comics and new Marvel/DC comics were always marketed as "edition #1 out now!". With the coming of push-button phones in the 60s/70s, the # made an appearance on home phones and was still known as the 'number key' but nobody knew what it was for. The term "Hash" seemed to me to come in with home computers in the late 70s/early 80s - I seem to remember references to 'hash' and sometimes 'hatch' when typing in Basic games from magazines for my Sinclair Spectrum
Yes, 1960's England was most certainly a parallel universe. Many people from our universe were transported there accidentally in the course of multistage nuclear weapons research. It took a while to get an effective counter spell worked out, but in the end the proper mix of privatization, benefits reduction and offshoring was found and the gate to 1960's England was forever closed.
I don't see much basis for calling the minus sign (or the n- or m-dash, etc) a "bithorpe". I'd accept "monothorpe".
If you want a bithorpe, I suggest the carat. (The caron would also work but comes up less often.) There are also of course the "angle brackets", but those have nomenclature problems enough already.
In German, people like to call it "Schweinegatter" (pig fence), for obvious reasons.
When I was small, I was taught it is the number sign - as apparently Brits wrote #1, #2, ... meaning number one, number two,...
I always though it was called "pound sign", as it was used for British pound on typewriters that didn't have a pound sign, due to the fact it was at the same position. Well, I learned typewriting on a machine with the pound sign, which I think was however rather unusual in Germany.
Then I know people who call it "railroad crossing", I guess for obvious reasons as well.
Why it's called a hash, I have no idea. Then people call associative arrays hashes, which is confusing the specification with the implementation. So I guess people like to use the word hash when they don't know what they are talking about.
Yep, it then it seems a lot of people call it sharp, that's why C# is pronounced C-sharp, isn't it?
The first recorded name for "#" in an English publication out of a British writer (presumably) was an octocet.
So I kind of laughed when Bell Labs coined octothorpe thinking, well reading.
(which they didn't do.)
But they got away with it so I have taken to calling it a tic-tac-toe game for ants.
It's been a good week for free speech advocates as a judge ruled that copyright law cannot be used to circumvent First Amendment anonymity protections.
The decision from the US District Court for the Northern District of California overturns a previous ruling that compelled Twitter to unmask an anonymous user accused of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which filed a joint amicus brief with the ACLU in support of Twitter's position, said the ruling confirms "that copyright holders issuing subpoenas under the DMCA must still meet the Constitution's test before identifying anonymous speakers."
A group of employees at SpaceX wrote an open letter to COO and president Gwynne Shotwell denouncing owner Elon Musk's public behavior and calling for the rocket company to "swiftly and explicitly separate itself" from his personal brand.
The letter, which was acquired through anonymous SpaceX sources, calls Musk's recent behavior in the public sphere a source of distraction and embarrassment. Musk's tweets, the writers argue, are de facto company statements because "Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX."
Musk's freewheeling tweets have landed him in hot water on multiple occasions – one incident even leaving him unable to tweet about Tesla without a lawyer's review and approval.
Elon Musk is prepared to terminate his takeover of Twitter, reiterating his claim that the social media biz is covering up the number of spam and fake bot accounts on the site, lawyers representing the Tesla CEO said on Monday.
Musk offered to acquire Twitter for $54.20 per share in an all-cash deal worth over $44 billion in April. Twitter's board members resisted his attempt to take the company private but eventually accepted the deal. Musk then sold $8.4 billion worth of his Tesla shares, secured another $7.14 billion from investors to try and collect the $21 billion he promised to front himself. Tesla's stock price has been falling since this saga began while Twitter shares gained and then tailed downward.
Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others promised to loan the remaining $25.5 billion from via debt financing. The takeover appeared imminent as rumors swirled over how Musk wanted to make Twitter profitable and take it public again in a future IPO. But the tech billionaire got cold feet and started backing away from the deal last month, claiming it couldn't go forward unless Twitter proved fake accounts make up less than five per cent of all users – a stat Twitter claimed and Musk believes is higher.
GPUs are a powerful tool for machine-learning workloads, though they’re not necessarily the right tool for every AI job, according to Michael Bronstein, Twitter’s head of graph learning research.
His team recently showed Graphcore’s AI hardware offered an “order of magnitude speedup when comparing a single IPU processor to an Nvidia A100 GPU,” in temporal graph network (TGN) models.
“The choice of hardware for implementing Graph ML models is a crucial, yet often overlooked problem,” reads a joint article penned by Bronstein with Emanuele Rossi, an ML researcher at Twitter, and Daniel Justus, a researcher at Graphcore.
Twitter has reportedly thrown its $44 billion buyout by Elon Musk to a shareholder vote, which could take place around late July or early August.
Execs told employees of the plans on Wednesday, according to outlets including CNBC and the Financial Times.
America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance.
A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.
Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.
Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.
Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair.
In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today.
Elon Musk must personally secure $33.5 billion to fund his $44 billion Twitter purchase after allowing a $12.5 billion margin loan against Tesla stock to expire.
Regulatory filings released Wednesday show the Tesla and SpaceX boss agreeing to secure "an additional $6.25 billion in equity financing" on top of the original $27.3 billion.
The Tesla boss's Twitter purchase originally relied on $21bn of equity that he had to provide along with $12.5bn in margin loans secured by his Tesla stock. That margin loan was dropped to $6.25bn on May 5, and this additional financing would eliminate it altogether.
Elon Musk said his bid to acquire and privatize Twitter "cannot move forward" until the social network proves its claim that fake bot accounts make up less than five per cent of all users.
The world's richest meme lord formally launched efforts to take over Twitter last month after buying a 9.2 per cent stake in the biz. He declined an offer to join the board of directors, only to return asking if he could buy the social media platform outright at $54.20 per share. Twitter's board resisted Musk's plans at first, installing a "poison pill" to hamper a hostile takeover before accepting the deal, worth over $44 billion.
But then it appears Musk spotted something in Twitter's latest filing to America's financial watchdog, the SEC. The paperwork asserted that "fewer than five percent" of Twitter's monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) in the first quarter of 2022 were fake or spammer accounts, which Musk objected to: he felt that figure should be a lot higher. He had earlier proclaimed that ridding Twitter of spam bots was a priority for him, post-takeover.
Updated Last week Elon Musk hit pause on his Twitter acquisition over the platform's "less than 5 percent" bot figure.
The Register asked the microblogging website how it made the estimate and was stonewalled, but in ensuing discussions over the weekend, Musk blurted out that the sample size was 100 accounts.
One Musk fan asked how the userbase might help uncover the "real percentage" of fake accounts and was told:
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