The at sign (@), originally and traditionally called the ampersat, is a symbol used to separate the user from their domain within an email address, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, where the user is “admin” and the domain is “google.com”.
Through the 1970s and well into the early 2000s, that was the extent of the @ symbol’s role in mainstream computing and internet use. Twitter introduced the idea of the @ as the start of a Twitter username (e.g. @HowToGeek) and many modern discussion forum software suites use the @ for easy designation of who a reply is directed at (e.g. @Bill Smith: I think that…)
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 05/28/13