Math Symbols Crashing
To most of us, it’s just the at symbol. But to the Dutch, its an apestaart, or “monkey’s tail.”
That’s a much cooler name, and it’s the one I’ll be using from now on. (Apparently apeklootje is another alternative, but since “little monkey’s testicles” isn’t appropriate in all situations, I’ll stick with apestaart.)
A lot of the symbols we use in math and on the Internet have boring colloquial names: at symbol, plus sign, fraction bar. But all of those items have aliases that are not only more descriptive, but hipper, too.
I propose that we start using those pseudonyms. Think how much more colorful our conversations would be…
An Olympic announcer might declare:
What a magnificent lemniscate by Yevgeny Plushenko!
Though if it’s used in reference to winter sports, a better spelling might be lemniSKATE.
When checking your voice mail, you might be prompted as follows:
After the tone, enter your passcode, followed by the octothorpe key.
What’s the URL of your favorite web site?
You might also use macron, caret, or many others — but I won’t, because I’m just not that creative.
What other symbols have cool names that ought to be used in regular conversation?