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