Posted by: lylescott89 | November 22, 2013

What Exactly Does # Really Mean?

Hey kids,

There was a time when everything was so much simpler.  When I was a kid I was told that # meant number.  So if I was to write down “We’re #1” I knew exactly what it meant.  If I wanted to make a list of my favorite candy bars I could easily just write down #1 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, #2 Twix, #3 Kit Kat, etc.  The number sign was plain and simple.

Telephone_keysFast forward a few years to when phone systems became automated.  You no longer had someone just answer the phone, but instead were forced to hit buttons on the phone so you could be connected to the correct place or hear the information you wanted.  I made a call one day and was instructed to put in my phone number followed by the pound key.  I stood there staring at the keyboard and I was totally lost. All I had on my phone was the number key and the star key.  I had no pound key so I hung up.  I called again and attempted to reach a human by pressing 0 but that failed as well and I was once again instructed to put in my phone number followed by the pound key.  I hung up.  A third call was made and when prompted to put in my phone number I put in and then yelled “Donna, what the hell is the pound key?”  She responded by telling me it was the tic tac toe looking thing.  I said that was the number key and not the pound key.  She said it was both.  They hung up on me for taking too long.

So I went and asked Donna if she was sure that the number key was the same as the pound key and she said yes thus I tried again.  Lo and behold it worked.  I got to speak with someone and when we were finished I told her that their automated system would work much better if they said to press the number key instead of the pound key because no one calls it that.  Dead silence.  She then said that she would take that under advisement.

Over the years I got used to the number key being called the pound key, but I never referred to it that way.  No, to me it was always the number key.  This has caused problems, but I never cared because I was right.

Let’s flash forward a few more years shall we.  I am watching Bones on TV one night and I see something in the corner1457607_10152076211979497_9520768_n of the picture that I had never seen before: #Bones.  This made no sense to me whatsoever and I figured it was an error and would just go away.  It never went away.  As I sat there trying to enjoy my show I kept thinking “are they trying to tell me Number Bones or Pound Bones?”  And if so, why?  This was perplexing until a little later when I was watching Castle and in the corner of the screen I saw #Castle.  Now I was really confused.  What the hell was going on?

By the time my shows were over I had forgotten all about # and went to bed.  But it did not end.  The number sign was being put in front of all sorts of words and I had no idea why.  Why was # being place in front of things that were clearly not numbers?

Eventually I got too curious and I asked Donna.  She had no idea either so we went to Google.  Our friends at Google said it had something to do with twitter and since neither of us had a twitter account this was even more perplexing.  Thus I immediately signed up for twitter and typed in #Bones.  Then I waited.  Nothing happened.  So I typed in #Castle.  Nothing happened.  I waited for some magical entity to come and tell me once and for all why I was writing the number sign in front of words, but it never came to pass.  I gave up.

A few weeks later I am watching ESPN and they said to follow them on twitter so I did.  This still did not help me, but then someone said the word “hashtag” and I saw on the bottom of the screen #Sportscenter.    Son of a bitch are you telling me that the number sign is now called a friggin’ hashtag?  What is wrong with this world?

HootersA little more research was done and I found that # did indeed now mean hashtag.  But then I saw a guy with a sign that said USC #1 and got confused.  Then I made a call and was told to press the pound key.  I was confused.  Then I was told to tweet #Survivor so Jeff Probst would know I was watching.  I began to scream and had a nervous breakdown.

When I awoke in the hospital the doctor informed me of the many uses of # and that I should not allow it to overwhelm me.  The doctor said he had seen this many times before and I should remain calm and take some pills.  I have fully recovered now, but I still cringe when I see # on my TV.  I can only imagine what # will mean in another 10-15 years.



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