23 March 2010

@ at MoMA

New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has acquired the @ symbol into its collection. For free. It's a strange acquisition as @ belongs to everyone and to no one.

The symbol @ was more commonly used to denote 'at' or 'at the rate of' in commercial transactions, such as 5 apples @ $1.

In 1971, Ray Tomlinson appropriated the symbol for use in the first email. Today, it is used in Twitter to address tweets to tweeters. You can send me a tweet @daniels_den (I don't receive many tweets addressed to me).

See New York Times.

The thing is, we don't have to visit MoMA to see @. It's right there on your keyboard. I wonder if MoMA also has ampersand & in its collection.

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