USAGE: # Symbol

Subject: USAGE: # Symbol
From: Beverly Parks <bparks -at- HUACHUCA-EMH1 -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Fri, 12 May 1995 10:38:47 MST

Someone wrote-->
> .... It seems that "pound sign" is the most
> common name today, but don't forget its use as a substitute for the word
> "number" (as in #2).

I know the usage for the # to mean "number" is *very* common.
I use it myself to mean "number" on occasion.
But, WHY do we do that? Does anyone else see it as extraneous?
Don't you know that "2" (or "34" or 512"...) is a number?
Do we really need that little # symbol preceding a number to
clue us in that what follows is a number?

I use it only informally, such as to indicate a check number on
a payment stub when I'm paying bills ("ck #3003"). And I think
my only reason for using it then is because it balances out so
nicely with the paid amount, which I write above it:

pd $87.50
ck #3003
11 May 95

But I remove it whenever I can from professional writing.
It's just so *unnecessary*.


=*= Beverly Parks =*= bparks -at- huachuca-emh1 -dot- army -dot- mil =*=
=*= "Unless otherwise stated, all comments are my own. =*=
=*= I am not representing my employer in any way." =*=

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