Fun_People Archive
4 Jan
Re: Octothorpe

Date: Thu, 4 Jan 96 20:04:15 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Re: Octothorpe

From: Hal Glatzer <>

My wife is the director of surveys (i.e., public opinion pollster) at CBS
News.  Her experience with the "octothorpe" is instructive.

In an ongoing project to get survey repondents to use pushbutton phones to
enter answers to pollsters' questions, the subject invariably arises over
what to call that symbol.  As everyone knows, the phone companies tend to
use "pound" while other applications use "number" to refer to it.

It may or may not come as a surprise to learn that "the number sign" is the
most common name for that key, with "the pound sign" running a comfortable
second.  Well above the "don't-knows", however, in third place, is

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