Tuesday, March 23, 2010

That Thing Added to MoMA Collection

In previous posts, I have expounded at length about the "@" symbol, which for decades resided on the "2" key of typewriter keyboards, used only occasionally by accountants or merchants to indicate "at the rate of" or by writers wishing to symbolize cursing in a socially-acceptable manner, as in "Pass the %&#@ potatoes!" Then along came email, and the "@" symbol came into its own.

Now the Museum of Modern Art has announced that "@" has been added to its Department of Architecture and Design collection. In these tough economic times, it should be noted this is done at no expense to the museum.

Several articles written in connection with MoMA's announcement mention the animal-associated nicknames for "@" which occur in many languages, such as snail, monkey's tail, pig's tail, little mouse, dog, etc.

Interestingly, I haven't seen any news articles refer to "@" as a logogram, grammalogue, or the more specific term "commercial at." For that, you will have to endure the tedium of reading my previous posts, "@" and "@ Revisited."

1 comment:

#167 Dad said...

My basic use over the years has been pass the #@&%%@ potatoes.