At-symbol (@ or apetail)

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symbool-apestaartThe at symbol, sometimes also called apetail or amfora, dates back to the 16th century and it originally was a capacity measure. An amfora represented 26 liters. The symbol originates from an italian merchant writing.

During the centuries in europe the meaning changed to “at the price of” to indicate the price a piece. In the 70’s computer engineer Ray Thomlinson used the at-sign in e-mail addresses.

Ray Thomlinson workt for the ARPANET project, which later evoluated to the Internet we know nowadays. The @ symbol is also used (ie on twitter) to indicate the addressee of a message. The symbol is also used to indicate someones location (@Home).

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