大家好 我是Daven Hiskey 您正在收看的是youtube今日发现频道
Hello I’m Daven Hiskey, you’re watching the Today I Found Out YouTube channel.
In the video today, we’re looking at where the at symbol came from and how it was decided
to use it in email.
今天@随处可见 但是在被用于邮件地址之前 @符号其实并不流行
Ubiquitous today, until its use in email addresses, the @ symbol was never really all that popular,
with this very fact being one of the reasons it was chosen to be used in electronic message
addresses in the first place.
So where did the @ symbol come from?
The earliest known example of @ is found in the 1345 Bulgarian translation of the 12th
century Manasses Chronicle, which gives a brief synopsis of the history of the world
up to the end of the 11th century.
In it, @ was used as the symbol for “amin” (amen).
No (presently) known surviving instance of @ occurred again for a little over two centuries.
Seemingly independently “invented,” yet another early example, this time of a proto-@
在1448年的西班牙登记册《Taula de Ariza》中出现 记载了从卡斯蒂利亚到阿拉贡的一批小麦
(with just the outside swoosh, but lacking a defined center a), was used on a 1448 Spanish
registry, Taula de Ariza, referencing a shipment of wheat from Castile to Aragon.
The earliest example of a full @ used in such a commercial setting was discovered in 2000
in a letter written by a Florentine merchant, Francesco Lapi, on May 4, 1536.
在这封信中 Lapi使用@来表示一个测量单位 即一陶罐的葡萄酒
In this letter, Lapi used @ to denote a unit of measure – an amphora (clay jar) of wine,
which is equivalent to about 1/13th of a barrel.
According to professor Giorgio Stabile of Sapienza University of Rome, the discoverer
of the letter in question, the flourish around the a for amphora was just one of many examples
of such embellishment of script found in Florence at the time.
From here, Dr. Stabile theorized it was Italian merchants who popularized the symbol, with
it traveling along with traded goods invoices and receipts throughout Europe.
However, whether it really was the Italians who popularized the symbol isn’t clear.
例如 也是在16世纪 @符号在西班牙的发展已经超出了
For instance, also during the 16th century the @ symbol in Spain had progressed beyond
the aforementioned 1448 proto-@ into the fully developed one, being used as the shorthand
symbol for the unit of measure called an arroba, then equivalent to about 25 pounds or 11.3 kg.
普遍认为arroba一词来源于阿拉伯语 发音为 ar-rub
(The arroba is generally thought to have derived from the Arabic ????? pronounced ar-rub, which
meant “a quarter.”)
Whatever the case, from here @ evolved to mean in a commercial setting “at the price
例如 26袋面粉 @ $1（本次交易一共需要$26）
of”- i.e. 26 bags of flour @ $1 (so a total of $26 for the purchase).
The symbol was also occasionally used in other contexts, such as used to signify the French
à at least as early as the 17th century.
It should be noted here that before the discovery of the 1345 and 1536 instances, it was generally
thought (and many still posit, including the Oxford English Dictionary) that medieval monks
were the ones that invented the symbol to use in place of the Latin ad, which meant
表示单词 at toward by以及about
at, toward, by and about.
Lacking in any hard documented evidence pre-dating the preceding instances, the idea behind this
theory is that the simple expedient of combining the two letters (essentially an a with the
older ∂ form of the letter d) into a single, smaller mark would have saved time and materials
during a period in history where every copy of every book had to be written out by hand.
Many other such shorthand symbols were created for just this reason.
例如&符号是拉丁语“et”的简写 表示 and(和)
For instance, the ampersand (&) is shorthand for the Latin “et,” meaning “and.”
Another such classic shorthand was using “X” for “Christ.”
这个例子中 X实际上表示希腊字母 “Chi” 它是希腊语中一种简写
The “X” in this case is actually the Greek letter “Chi,” which is short for the Greek,
Scholars began using this particular shorthand about a millennium ago.
In any event, the @ symbol labored in relative obscurity for several hundred years until
one fateful day in 1971.
In that year, engineer Ray Tomlinson was implementing his own version of a little program called
SNDMSG ran on the TENEX operating system and was, essentially, just one of many flavors
of single-computer email- in other words, an electronic mail system only capable of
sending messages from one user to another on the same computer.
While this might seem absurdly useless given the way people often use computers today,
back then programs like this were incredibly handy.
例如 AUTODIN系统建于20世纪60年代 具有在不同用户之间发送信息的功能
For instance, the AUTODIN system created in the early 1960s had a facility for sending
messages between users and, at its peak, handled nearly 30 million electronic messages per month.
MIT’s Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS), also created in the 1960s, had a similar system
that allowed its numerous users to login from some terminal and, among other things, exchange
messages stored on this single machine.
Tomlinson thought it would be interesting to improve SNDMSG such that it could not only
be used for sending messages to other users who could login to the same machine, but also
be used to send messages from one computer to another via the budding ARPANET.
Tomlinson stated he just thought this tweak to SNDMSG “seemed like a neat idea.
There was no directive to ‘go forth and invent email’.
The ARPANET was a solution looking for a problem.
A colleague (Jerry Burchfiel) suggested that I not tell my boss what I had done because
email wasn’t in our statement of work.
That was really said in jest because we were, after all, investigating ways in which to
use the ARPANET.”
While writing the code for this, Tomlinson had to decide how to designate that a message
should be sent to another computer on the network, rather than a local account.
He fatefully settled on @, a symbol that only made it on the standard keyboard in the first
place because of its usage in commerce.
Why did he choose @ over some other symbol?
作为第一个使用@作为电子邮件地址的人 汤姆林森说 我看了一遍键盘
For starters Tomlinson stated, “I looked at the keyboard, and I thought: ‘What can
I choose here that won’t be confused with a username?’
If every person had an ‘@’ sign in their name, it wouldn’t work too well.
But they didn’t.
They did use commas and slashes and brackets.”
That left just a few symbols to choose from that weren’t being commonly used.
He noted that, at the time, “The purpose of the at sign (in English) was to indicate
单价（比如 10个商品 @ $1.95）
a unit price (for example, 10 items @ $1.95).”
“it made sense.
[@] didn’t appear in names so there would be no ambiguity about where the separation
between login name and host name occurred… [@] also had no significance in any editors
that ran on TENEX.
I was later reminded that the Multics time-sharing system used [@] as its line-erase character.
This caused a fair amount of grief in that community of users…”
The resulting format was loginname@host (and later firstname.lastname@example.org once the DNS system
And so it was that what is generally credited as being the first true network email, at
least as we think of it, was sent in late 1971 by Tomlinson.
在这个重要的时刻 汤姆林森说 第一封电子邮件
Of this momentous occasion, Tomlinson said, “The first message was sent between two
[DEC-10] machines that were literally side by side.
The only physical connection they had (aside from the floor they sat on) was through the
I sent a number of test messages to myself from one machine to the other.
这些测试信息我已经完全忘了 所以 忘了它们吧
The test messages were entirely forgettable and I have, therefore, forgotten them.
Most likely the first message was QWERTYUIOP or something similar.
(Essentially quickly randomly typing gibberish on the keyboard.)
When I was satisfied that the program seemed to work, I sent a message to the rest of my
group explaining how to send messages over the network.
The first use of network email announced its own existence.”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
So thanks for watching this video
If you like this, please click the button below
and also consider subscribing
And do check out our archives we have got almost 700 videos now.
Thanks for watching.
大家好 我是Daven Hiskey 您正在收看的是youtube今日发现频道