Prepare yourself readers, for your new favorite word. It will change your modern day existence. The word is octothorp. Now, before you go rushing to Google or your dictionary, be honest. Do you know this word? I did not. In fact, it’s even missing from my Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary: nothing between octosyllable and ocul-. Now that I know this word, I love it.
What is an octothorp? It’s a pound sign. A #. A symbol that has taken on such an important role. Imagine with me, if you will, calling into any automated phone system. Maybe you are refilling a prescription, joining a conference call, or calling your bank. Inevitably you are requested to:
enter in your something followed by the pound sign
I bet reading that you can hear the computer’s voice in your head, and feel the anxiousness. Was that the right number? Should I have pressed the 2 menu instead of the 4 menu? Now just replace that computerized request for a pound sign with the word octothorp. It’s still accurate, but what would people do if such a request was made? Imagine the chaos.
Octothorp confused. Octothorp hatemybank.
Right? People would race to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and write about their bad customer experience using the newest, most succinct way to convey emotion, sarcasm and cynicism. The hashtag, which are denoted by the preceding octothorp.
Do it now, go to your favorite social media site and just enjoy reading all those octothorps. My Twitter feed has Octothorp persist. Octothorp champs. Octothorp amwriting.
Oh yeah. I’m writing. About Octothorps.