Every day we see a lot of signs and symbols. We use them to convey important information or express strong emotions. But not everyone knows how these symbols originated and whether we use them correctly. PrintGround.net decided to look into the origin of famous Symbols and found 9 which most people use every day but don’t know how they were created and implemented in the first place.
The Peace symbol (✌)
For the first time the gesture was used after a 100-year war between England and France. The French threatened to cut off the British archers’ fingers, with which they held arrows during the shooting. And after the victory, the British raised their thumbs up in the form of the letter “V” from the word Victory (victory). So they showed that their fingers are in place.
During the Second World War, Winston Churchill revived this gesture as a symbol of peace. For this, the hand should be turned with the palm of the hand to the person it is addressed to. If you show the sign facing with the back of the hand, the gesture takes an offensive meaning “shut up” or “get away”.
Infinity symbol (∞)
The symbol of infinity was first used by mathematician John Wallis in 1655. No one knows what inspired him to choose exactly such a mapping of infinity. Some believe that it was the Greek letter omega (Ω/ω). Others say that the symbol originated from the Roman number 1,000, which looked like “CIƆ” (or “CƆ”) and had the meaning of “a lot”.
Percentage symbol (%)
The very word “percent” came from the Latin combination pro centum (“one hundred”). And the symbol appeared from the Italian version per cento. This expression was often used until 1425. First they wrote “per cento”, “per 100”, “p cento”, and then “pc-o”. The abbreviation “pc” gradually turned into a sign of the horizontal fraction “o / o” and only then in the symbol familiar to us.
Exclamation symbol (!)
Most likely, this symbol arose from the Latin word exclamatio, which was put at the end of the sentence to express joy. It was shortened to the letters “i” and “o”, which were written on top of each other. Later this designation turned into a “!” Sign.
The Dollar symbol ($)
In the Middle Ages in Europe, the most popular currency was the Spanish reais. They were called peso and sometimes shortened to “PS”. Over time, the letter “P” remained only a stick, which was written on the letter “S”.
According to another version, the “S” sign is two pillars with a ribbon. That is, the Spanish coat of arms, a symbol of power and financial stability. According to legend, Hercules erected 2 rocks on the shore in honor of his exploits. And the waves that wash the rocks are the letter “S”.
Another version says that in the era of colonization, the Spaniards put the letter “S” on gold bars when they were shipped from America. Upon arrival, they were applied a vertical strip, and when sending them back – another.
The Arrow symbol (↑)
It is believed that the modern symbol of the arrow came to us from ancient Greece. At that time the direction was indicated by the footprint of the foot in the desired direction. In the Greek city of Ephesus, the image of a foot track and a woman’s face indicated a local brothel. During heavy rain and storms, this designation often merged and turned into the familiar arrow symbol.
Question mark symbol (?)
In ancient times, most books were written in Latin. When a question was raised, the word questio was placed at the end of the sentence (from the Latin “question”). And to save valuable space, it was reduced to “qo”, placing “q” over “o”. In the 16th century due to the illegible italic “q” turned into a hook, and “o” – to the point.
There is another version. According to her, the sign came from Greece. At the end of the sentence, the Greeks put a semicolon. And if it was a question, then the semicolon was simply swapped.
The ‘at’symbol (@)
One theory is that medieval monks, looking for shortcuts while copying manuscripts, converted the Latin word for “toward”—ad—to “a” with the back part of the “d” as a tail. Or it came from the French word for “at”—à—and scribes, striving for efficiency, swept the nib of the pen around the top and side. Or the symbol evolved from an abbreviation of “each at”—the “a” being encased by an “e.”
The symbol’s modern obscurity ended in 1971, when a computer scientist named Ray Tomlinson was facing a vexing problem: how to connect people who programmed computers with one another. Tomlinson’s eyes fell on @, poised above “P” on his Model 33 teletype. “I was mostly looking for a symbol that wasn’t used much,” he told Smithsonian. “And there weren’t a lot of options—an exclamation point or a comma. I could have used an equal sign, but that wouldn’t have made much sense.” Tomlinson chose @—“probably saving it from going the way of the ‘cent’ sign on computer keyboards,” he says. Using his naming system, he sent himself an e-mail, which traveled from one teletype in his room, through Arpanet, and back to a different teletype in his room.
The USB symbol
Created as part of the USB1.0 spec, the USB icon was drawn to resemble Neptune’s Trident The Mighty Dreizack. In lieu of the pointed triangles at the tip of the three -pronged spear the USB promoters decided to alter the shape to a Triangle, Square and a Circle. This was done to signify all the different peripherals that could be attached Using the standard.
All this might be true, or you can also consider an alternative story that the designer simply designed this, without much of a thought, and right now, here we are, pondering over its mysteries, wanting to know the meaning behind the USB logo.