LINGUIST List 7.1177

Tue Aug 20 1996

Sum: The sign: addendum

Editor for this issue: Ljuba Veselinova <>


  1. "Karen S. Chung", The sign: addendum

Message 1: The sign: addendum

Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 08:58:58 +0800
From: "Karen S. Chung" <>
Subject: The sign: addendum

	Below follows a brief (whew!) addendum to the lengthy  summary,
with some interesting data from new languages, and corrections,
clarifications or additions to data on languages originally covered.
Anybody have anything else to contribute? (Still nothing on Hindi,
Tagalog, Vietnamese...!)

					Karen Steffen Chung
					National Taiwan University

	Heartiest thanks to: 

Charles Bigelow 			<>
Eul`alia de Bobes i Soler 		<>
Christopher Brewster 			<>
Michael I. Bushnell			<>
Ivan A Derzhanski 	 <,>
Edmund Grimley-Evans 			<>
Koh 					<>
(Mr.) Pentti Nikula 			<>
Gavin O Shea 				<>
Geir Skogseth			Courtesy of: Jan-Sverre Syvertsen <>


*** I noticed that Bulgarian wasn't on your list of languages, so here goes:
The most common name of `' is _majmunsko "a"_ `monkey "a"'; the second
choice is simply _majmunka_ `little monkey'.

Ivan A Derzhanski <,>


*** It seems I missed your question-post about the  sign. I'll add some
data about Catalan: in this language the  sign is also called
"ensaimada". This is the name of a kind of pastry which here is as popular
as croissants, and which has the same spiral form than the  sign. 

Eul`alia de Bobes i Soler 		<>


*** Everyone knows `' is pronounced `whirlpool'. Geez, haven't these guys
ever used INTERCAL? 

Michael I. Bushnell			<>

*** From a handout distributed at a lecture given by Prof. Biq Yung-O at
the Academia Sinica, Taipei, 8/16/96:  in some systems of discourse
analysis notation symbolizes 'laughter'. 

Karen Steffen Chung			<>

*** Before I got into computer thingies, I used the <> much as the use
you quoted for Chicago, as 'about', but also _around_ as in 'a round <a>'.
my sister who had studied bookkeeping pulled me up on it one day, but I
continue to use it as such for my own private uses (that sounds dubious!). 

Gavin O Se
Gavin O Shea 				<>


*** Unfortunately I missed the question, otherwise I would have told you:

	I have observed a number of terms in use: "atelo" (spider monkey,
genus Ateles), "heliko" (snail), "po-signo" (at-the-rate-of-sign),
"volvita A" (wrapped up A). I'm recommending "volvita A" for the new
edition of Plena Ilustrita Vortaro. 

Edmund Grimley-Evans 			<>


*** Those people from Finland forgot a minor thing: The '' symbol has an
official/standardized name in Finland. It is officially called the 'taksa'
- sign which is an old Finnish word for something like 'a price'. In
practice however hardly anybody knows this because the name was invented
long before computers evolved. 

(Mr.) Pentti Nikula 			<>


*** In 8 years of using email in Greece I have always heard the  sign
referred to as 'to pap'aki' the+NEUT+SING duck+DIMIN - I would be
surprised if this were only a regional use. 

Christopher Brewster 			<>


*** I was delighted by your compilation of s on the Linguist list, and
would like to add the following note about the origin and original Latin
name for the sign.
	Palaeographically, the  sign is a medieval or renaissance
ligature-contraction of the Latin word "ad", meaning 'to, toward, at' and
so on. The ascending stroke of the 'd', which in some cursive scripts is
curved to the left, has been extended and curled anti-clockwise around the
'a', while the bowl of the 'd' has been assimilated to the bowl of the 'a'
(cf. Berthold Louis Ullman, *Ancient Writing and its Influence*). Though
its original Latin sense had perhaps been forgotten, the "" sign survived
as a logograph meaning "at" in the commercial cursive handwriting of the
19th century, and thence to the typewriter keyboard invented toward the
end of that century, and thence to the ASCII character set (ASCII =
American Standard Code for Information Interchange), whence it has been
propagated throughout the network world. The phonetic similarity between
Latin "ad" and English "at" is not accidental; they are reflexes of
Proto-Indo-European *ad (cf. Calvert Watkins, *American Heritage
Dictionary of Indo-European Roots*). 

Charles Bigelow 			<>


	Someone might already have told you, but as I just came across
your piece in the "Linguist" on  in different languages I thought I'd
mail you. My native language is Norwegian, and according to a friend (an
editor of an interactive web publication) there are two Norwegian terms
currently in use.
	The first is "snabel-a" (pronounced like in German you should get
close, our phonology is not very different as the languages are closely
related) which means "trunk (of an elephant)-a".
	The second, but most widely used, term is "alfa-kro/ll" (o/ being
the Norwegian variety of o"- if it comes out like garble at your end:
it's an o with a slash through it, pronounced like German o" in o"l/oel
(oil) or French oe in soeur (sister)) - the term means "alfa-curl". 

Geir Skogseth			Courtesy of: Jan-Sverre Syvertsen <>
(I haven't got an e-mail address of my own, so I'm sending this from a 
friend of mine's computer)


	We, some of the members who took part in Tamilnet discussion [re a
Tamil term for ] , have agreed to adopt the word "Inaichuzhi(li) for

Koh 						<>

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