Remember when Prince decided to change his name to some unpronounceable symbol? And then he was “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” and now I guess he’s Prince again? Same thing with John Mellencamp. John Cougar. John Cougar Mellencamp. Not to mention Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Puff Daddy (and all apologies if I missed an iteration in there).
So I get it; things change, you just have to roll with it. But I do want to know when we started calling a pound sign a hashtag. I mean I know how hashtags are used on Twitter; I’ve even come up with a few of my own, #cancerhumor kind of thing. But we used to call it a pound sign. Automated phone trees would tell you to press 0 and the pound key to reach the operator. If anyone had said press the hashtag key, we probably would have been confused. Does anyone know the precise moment when everyone in the world agreed that a pound sign is now called a hashtag? And why is hashtag cooler than pound sign?
Twitter is also changing everyone’s name. I can’t be Just Jill anymore, I have to be @jillfoerhirsch. And even though hashtag and @ are Twitter conventions, I notice people using it on Facebook as well. As in a status of: Hanging with @lucy and @ethel to watch @ricky and @fred at #pingpongmatch, #splainin, #spanglish.
I’m trying to keep up with the times here, but I’m starting to feel a little bit like @andyrooney. @olddeadguy #restinpeace #unibrow #earhairtoo #nowonderhewascranky.