7/ The ⌘ symbol
The symbol ⌘ featured on the Command key on Mac keyboards is in fact inspired by a road sign indicating areas of historical and touristic interest in Nordic countries.
8/ The & symbol
Also known by the poetic name ‘ampersand’, the & symbol comes from the very ancient past: invented by Tiron, Ciceron’s secretary, it is the result of a mixture between E and T (for “et”, or “and”) in their Merovingian forms.
9/ The # symbol
The hashtag, of which internet users are so fond, didn’t come down in the last shower. The symbol, which means ‘sharp’, was previously present on punch cards on which it was used to signify a number. In 1978, Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie defined it in computer protocols, meaning that key words would start with a # in order to give them priority.
10/ The peace sign
The peace sign is based on an English signalling code, incorporating the letters N and D, for “Nuclear Disarmament”.
11/ The @ symbol
The @ symbol is nothing new. In fact, it is so ancient that its origins are now unclear. As far as we know, it goes back to merchant writing systems in the Renaissance: it could have been a way to abbreviate “at the rate of”, indicating the price of merchandise. For example, “6 eggs at 1 dollar”.