symbols

Where The Dollar Sign Comes From

This symbol first showed up in the 1770s, appearing in documents of English-Americans who had business dealings with Spanish-Americans. However, it wasn’t until the very early 1800s that it became popularised, around the same time as the first official US dollars were being minted. Previous to this, the symbol had…

When Did We Start Using The + And – Signs?

When Did We Start Using The + And – Signs?

Though most people in this world never want to think about maths after high school, let’s talk about its symbols. Where and when did the symbols for addition and subtraction get invented? We don’t even question them when we see them now. But what the heck did people use before…

Oxford English Dictionary Hearts <3 As First Purely Symbolic Word

Oxford English Dictionary Hearts <3 As First Purely Symbolic Word

The stuffy old OED—the last word in what is and is not the English language – has decreed that <3 is a word. Or rather, the vertical version of that. It’s the first time a symbol has been included as a word. Death of the English language? Natural lexicographic evolution?…