Nice to know that Ray Tomlinson was the person who pioneered the standards for the “From”, “Subject” and date fields in email, but even cuter to know that he rescued the @ symbol from obscurity- who would have known that the @ symbol was so well-loved?
Aesthetically speaking, @ is a rotund and cozy symbol, sleek enough to have been inducted into MoMA’s architecture and design collection.
He rescued the @ symbol from obscurity and, in the process, shaped the way we talk about being online.
In 2010, the museum called the acquisition “momentous” and “elating,” but cheerful enough to have acquired friendly nicknames around the world. In Israel, it’s a “strudel”; in Croatia, it’s a “monkey”; and in Mandarin Chinese, it goes by “little mouse”.
Conceptually, what @ has done is signify the internet as a destination: the @ symbol is “at”, therefore the internet is a place one can go, a place at which one may reside.
The symbol suggests that we think of the web as a geographic location, rather than a state of mind. It is something to be surfed, cruised and crawled through.
Source: Email pioneer Ray Tomlinson dead at 74