Origin and purpose of the recent tendency

  • #1
DaveC426913
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Could @someone please enlighten a crotchety old @codger about the origin and purpose of the recent tendency to put an @ in front of @peoples' names...

I'm sure it's something about twattery.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I thought the symbol used in front of the name was to indicate the recipient.
Examples :
@Dave : I have no idea.
@self : refrain from intervening outside own expertise.
 
  • #3
Evo
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I believe that it is used as a shortcut to "in response to dave", they use "@dave".
 
  • #4
DaveC426913
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I thought the symbol used in front of the name was to indicate the recipient.
Examples :
@Dave : I have no idea.
@self : refrain from intervening outside own expertise.
humanino: What? The colon is no longer fashionable?

Who's silly idea was this?
 
  • #5
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It sends messages to people over twitter. @tonudarnell sup? sends a tweet to the most awesome astronomer Tony Darnell.
 
  • #6
Evo
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Yeah but I've seen it here in response to posts. Instead of quoting a post they use @member name as a shortcut.
 
  • #7
DaveC426913
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Yeah but I've seen it here in response to posts. Instead of quoting a post they use @member name as a shortcut.
Yes. Oblivious as I am, I have assumed that the practice started as a necessity for some function (it seems I correctly guessed twitter) and has since been adopted as an informal shorthand for an alternate purpose.
 
  • #8
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I've seen people use the word @least instead of at least. Ugh.
 
  • #9
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Dear MotoH : what do you mean by "Ugh." ?
 
  • #10
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@humanino Ugh, as in "Ugh, I am disappoint"
 
  • #11
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Actually the @persons name has been used on forums well before twitter. Twitter just implemented it. So has facebook, if you type @name then it will link to that person name in your friends list. Youtube has also implemented it to show who a person has replied to. It will be yourname @personsname.

I don't see what the problem is with it, it's not hard to understand at all. @=at, @Dave means at Dave. It's more visible than Dave: and it clearly indicates a completely new comment. I know I use it. Only when quoting multiple people and I don't A) feel like multiquoting or B)making my post look all cluttered and filled with quote boxes. The person knows what they said so all I have to tell them is that this comment is directed at what they said.

Would you rather come on to a thread and see 4 different posts in a row by the same person, all very short posts? Or see a rather lengthy post with no real substance? (it's just lengthy because it has 4 different quotes in it, which take up a lot of space)? And as I said before it's more identifiable and easier to see and immediately understand that it is a new comment.
 
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  • #12
DaveC426913
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Would you rather come on to a thread and see 4 different posts in a row by the same person, all very short posts?
I'm not sure how you infer this from my asking the purpose of the @ symbol.

People were perfectly capable of directing several short threads to an array of people long before the @ came along. It's called a colon.

OK, I get it. The @ is the trendy new colon that all the cool kids use.
 
  • #13
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Nah, it's not new at all. I remember using this as far back as 10 years ago on forums. I think it actually originated from old chats, in order to distinguish who you were talking to you would type that at the front of your msg.

As well I highly doubt you didn't understand the use of the @ symbol on a forum. I get the feeling you merely intended to poke fun at it's usage, which is cool, it's the trendy, cool kid thing to do. Make fun of things on the net, everyone does it.
 
  • #14
DaveC426913
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Nah, it's not new at all. I remember using this as far back as 10 years ago on forums.
That's new young fella. :wink:
 
  • #15
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@Dave Gesundheit
 
  • #16
Char. Limit
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That's new young fella. :wink:
Eh wha??

Ten years ago, I wasn't even old enough to understand what an @ was!! That's not new... anything over a year ago is old news on the interwebz.

Note: Interwebz is LOLcatspeak for Internet.
 
  • #17
DaveC426913
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Eh wha??

Ten years ago, I wasn't even old enough to understand what an @ was!! That's not new...
Yep. Which is how I know both of you are young fellas. You think language was invented yesterday. :wink:

The language has had a long and venerable history. And the colon, as part of the language has also been around a loooong time.

I'm used to new practices requiring new ways of being expressed. In this case though, a long-standing practice of expression has been replaced - apparently unnecessarily - with a new form of expression. I was questioning this erstwhile redundancy.

The explanation for the new form of expression is that linking business. That's what I wanted to know.

Note: Interwebz is LOLcatspeak for Internet.
I prefer the term intertubes. :tongue:
 
  • #18
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@Dave I actually think it came from old chats. Nothing to do with social networking sites. Those hadn't even really begun yet.

It's a lot easier to see @Dave on a chat screen than it is to see Dave:. It's also a lot easier to read it without getting confused because the @ symbol is large and clearly visible.

As well, just a note. Language was invented yesterday.
 
  • #19
Char. Limit
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Yep. Which is how I know both of you are young fellas. You think language was invented yesterday. :wink:

The language has had a long and venerable history. And the colon, as part of the language has also been around a loooong time.

I'm used to new practices requiring new ways of being expressed. In this case though, a long-standing practice of expression has been replaced - apparently unnecessarily - with a new form of expression. I was questioning this erstwhile redundancy.

The explanation for the new form of expression is that linking business. That's what I wanted to know.


I prefer the term intertubes. :tongue:
If you don't mind me asking, about how old are you, fully factorized of course?

And Intertubes is good... but I prefer Interwebz. It has a z, like my name, so it must be good.

And computer language is constantly being reinvented... and somehow drifts out into the world. Just today I heard my cousin say out loud "Oh Em Gee." I feel remorse for the death of language skill...
 
  • #20
DaveC426913
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If you don't mind me asking, about how old are you, fully factorized of course?
My oldest son is 1.5X your age.


And Intertubes is good...
It's a Bushism. Mostly.

And computer language is constantly being reinvented... and somehow drifts out into the world. Just today I heard my cousin say out loud "Oh Em Gee." I feel remorse for the death of language skill...
Oh I have no trouble with that. I use oh em gee all the time myself. It's just that this one caught me off-guard because of its seeming redundancy.
 
  • #21
Char. Limit
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My oldest son is 1.5X your age.
Well, that establishes it. You are older than I.


It's a Bushism. Mostly.
I thought it was a Ted-Stevensism...

Oh I have no trouble with that. I use oh em gee all the time myself. It's just that this one caught me off-guard because of its seeming redundancy.
I, unfortunately, do have trouble with it being used in real life (Eye Arr Ell) because it's just easy to say "Oh my god" and you don't sound like you're just stringing letters together.
 
  • #22
Dembadon
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I believe that it is used as a shortcut to "in response to dave", they use "@dave".
This is how I've interpreted it as well. Although, I've always "heard" the symbol much how it reads, literally, in an email address. When I see "@dave," I hear "at dave."

I do not use the symbol, not just because it seems like a rude way to address someone, but I think it looks hideous. Something about it just annoys me. A friend of mine told me he uses it as a shortcut. I replied, "You know, typing someone's name and then putting a comma after it looks much better and is more efficient. Since you are typing the person's name in both cases, is it not easier to use one keystroke and insert a comma?"

Edit:
DaveC426913 said:
... It's just that this one caught me off-guard because of its seeming redundancy.
Exactly! If you type someone's name at the beginning of a post, it is implied that the post is directed at said individual. There isn't a need to put "at" in front of their name.
 
Last edited:
  • #23
Lisa!
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@Dave:

Do you have any problem with that?:biggrin:
 
  • #24
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I remember the @ being used at least 15 years ago, in chatrooms, for a variety of purposes.

For instance, if someone called Greg made a joke, then someone else could say "LOL@greg". Also, as was mentioned earlier, it was common to use the @ in the "attention" sense. @greg = attention greg. Perhaps a transposed concept from formal letter-writing "att:".
 
  • #25
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Oh I have no trouble with that. I use oh em gee all the time myself. It's just that this one caught me off-guard because of its seeming redundancy.
Hrm. We oldsters in my office routinely say, out loud, (as an example) "I'm going to the front office. Bee are bee." And, "Oh em gee. El oh el. Did I hit all of the high points?"

But, so, anyway, thank you @Dave for bringing this especial weirdness to my attention. I'd not noticed it before, but I'm certain I'll notice it constantly now. And, obviously, I don't twit.

As for "old school" uses of addressing people, in both older chat rooms and gaming, we always used the /Dave convention. I have no idea whether or not that's older or more recent. No clue.
 

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