The "#" mean "sharp" in music, so it is occasionally referred to as the "sharp
sign". It's also in use in North America (and elsewhere) as the "pound" symbol
(unit of weight rather than money), whence the English name in telephony
systems. However the actual usage as an abbreviation of "pounds" is rather
obscure to most speakers of English, since it is usually used to mean "number"
(and the equally non-intuitive outside the culture "lbs." means "pounds")...
Such an overloaded symbol...
+1 650 526-4652
"22 languages. One release date."
> A 18:27 98-11-12 -0800, Jonathan Coxhead a écrit :
> > Alain LaBonté wrote,
> > | The masculine and feminine indicators were initially coded in Latin 1
> > | for Portuguese, a brother language of French (of course). That said,
> > | anybody can use them, for any usage, in any language!
> > Surely "no-one" [ :-) ] in the Western world uses 'No' anyway? It's
> >mainly there for Russian, where it is used extensively, but where the
> >letter 'N' does not exist (a Cyrillic 'N' looks like an 'H') except in
> >this combination.
> > In England, as in France I imagine, people would normally just write
> >'No', or N<super>o</super>, or even '#'.
> [Alain] :
> No can be seen (when there is no other alternative).
> N° is more frequent since the last 25 years.
> N<super>o</super> is "kosher" in French-speaking typography circles.
> # is *absolutely* not understood in France (I say this by ample
> experience), while its usage is known in Québec to mean the same thing as
> in the rest of North America (Québec is culturally almost exactly half-way
> between France and English-speaking North America, in spite of its
> language, that nevertheless makes this huge territory slightly more
> European than American in culture (but it is indeed deeply North-American
> since 4 [almost 5] centuries). Of course all of Canada know the # as
> meaning "N°". However even Québecers call it "dièse" (the musical sign, I
> don't know what is the name of this sign in English) rather than "symbole
> numéro"). Bell Canada (on telephone sets) sometimes calls it « carré »
> (« Appuyez sur le carré ») in automated voice interfaces, which many people
> find misleading. This has been corrected to « Appuyez sur le dièse » in
> many voice systems.
> Alain LaBonté
> San Antonio, Texas
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