Actually, # is used in American English as an abbreviation for pound
(as well as for number), and I believe that that usage predates the
existence of keyboards.
On Fri, 12 Oct 2001, Harold Somers wrote:
> On the subject of names of ligatures and other characters, I have
> noticed that some Americans call the # sign "pound". AM I right in
> thinking this is because its key is in place of the GBP £ sign (shift-
> 3) on the keyboard?
> I call it "hash", though I have also heard it called "hatch" which
> would be more (etymo)logical (a hatch being a door made of
> Anecdotally, I remember being confused as a kid when I first came
> across the usage of # to mean "number" (as in Issue #5). In British
> English (at least at that time) its use was restricted to musical
> notation ("sharp").
> Not sure what any of this has do with corpora however, but it is a
> sunny Friday lunchtime here in Manchester!
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