Monday, 29 October 2012

A @name

Twitter has a search bar thing and in it, it says "enter a @name or username". Now, I've been pronouncing @name as "at name", because that to me is an "at sign". I don't know if twitter is calling it something else. That's what the article "a" rather than "an" suggests. But what could it be calling it?

In other languages, it's called things like "monkey tail", "elephant's trunk", "little dog", "snail" and other animal-based names reflecting its shape. But in English it's really only called the "at sign".

So twitter, why you no obey phonological rules?


  1. In the context of Twitter, I don't pronounce (in my head or out loud) the 'at' signified by the @. I realise I'm in the minority on this point, possibly a minority of one. It stems from the fact that I consider my username to be 'logorrhoea', not 'at logorrhoea', so when Twitter usernames are written with @, I automatically disregard it as a pronounceable part of the name. My guess is that the Twitter designers feel the same as I do.

  2. You aren't alone - I got a very similar comment on fb. And I noticed today that twitter also says 'enter a #hashtag', where I wouldn't pronounce it 'hashtaghashtag', so I think it's just me using the internet like an old person trying to text.

  3. A works vs AN if youre one of the few minority who call @ a T.A.S (the at symbol)