No, you don't remember when a hashtag was called a pound sign.

Because it never was.

The # symbol is commonly called a number sign, a pound sign (in the US), a sharp, and a hash among other things. It is not called a hashtag by anyone except people who think they are being clever and snarky. A hashtag is a tag prefixed with a hash.

The first time I saw this was in a Non Sequitur cartoon from May. Somebody tried to explain the confusion in the comments, but was ignored by the “Twittur yoosers r sooo stoopit” brigade. Since then I’ve seen it pop up on Facebook in other forms a few times.

Granted, a lot of Twitter users do seem somewhat deficient in the IQ area, but not because of the use of the term hashtag.

I remember when dialing phone numbers was not a metaphorical concept.

also an octothorp.

We can close this now.

“Grandpa, what’s a dial tone?”

“Grandma, why do they show televisions taking a while to stop being blurry or scrambled?”


“Grandma, where are all your naked selfies from when you were a girl?”


Now wait just a minute! A hashtag most certainly was called a pound sign. You can still find it on phones and…

Oh, so you know how the pound sign also became known as a hashtag, you just don’t have any idea how language works. That’s a shame.

You can also play tic-tac-toe on one of those # do-lollies.

Yes, I know how language works. I also know that the pound sign did not become known as a hashtag. #thisisahashtag is a hashtag. # is not.

The Oxford English Dictionary disagrees with you, but what do they know?

I actually wasn’t completely aware of that. Ignorance fought, thanks.

Unfortunately, as a descriptivist, I also have to agree with the other posters: It is now.

Feel free to rage against the storm but the world has already passed you by.

Funny thing: In my head, as I read what you wrote, the “reading voice” goes like this:

“thisisahashtag is a hashtag. hashtag is not.”

I think this distinction began getting lost when people started verbalizing hashtags. “Hashtag I’m a moron!” and so forth. That phrasing implies that the # symbol is indeed pronounced as “hashtag”.

Granted, I’m with you in wanting to stab in the eye anyone who does this, but that won’t help things, sadly.

Exactly. Language evolves. It’s not really under anybody’s control.

Likewise with hanging up the phone.

likewise with having a phone ring.