|From:||Lars Henrik Mathiesen <thorinn@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, January 8, 2002, 18:28|
> Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 12:55:37 -0500
> From: John Cowan <jcowan@...>
> Stephen Mulraney wrote:
> > BTW, why do Americans call # ('hash', 'octothorp') the 'pound symbol' ??
> Because it used to be written *following* a number on bags full of
> stuff to indicate their weight in pounds, thus: 20# = 20 pounds
My theory is that this use of the # sign is derived from the L B BAR
SYMBOL at U-2114, or a script version of it. Older Danish cookbooks
(and my grandmother's handwritten recipes) use a symbol for a pound
that looks like a script lowercase u with the right tail going back
across the legs --- that would be an intermediate stage.
BTW, John, would that be a candidate for encoding in Unicode? It
doesn't really look like either a NUMBER SIGN or an L B BAR SYMBOL.
I don't know how the symbol came to be used for a number sign, though.
Perhaps the current shape is really a merger of two different signs.
Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <thorinn@...> (Humour NOT marked)