There is no ass to Rick — and four other symbols you mispronounce

As an interpreter, I go to many places where people call typographical symbols by the wrong names. It irks me, but I can’t say anything about it while I’m interpreting, so please hear me now as I correct some common errors.

This is an at sign, a.k.a. at symbol or simply at when spoken in an email address. It is not an ampersand.
This is an ampersand.
This is a slash. It is not a backslash.
This is a backslash.
This is an asterisk. If you don’t pronounce the s before the k, you risk offending Rick.

This is Rick. Unfortunately for him, there is no asterick.

Milestone: 250 downloads of my thesis on vague language so far

Digital Commons tells me my thesis on vague language has been downloaded 250 times as of today. That’s a far cry from the handful of people who read a thesis that’s bound and shelved!

You can read the abstract and get the PDF at no cost: Keeping it vague: A study of vague language in an American Sign Language corpus and implications for interpreting between American Sign Language and English