The Internet Hall of Fame tells us, “Raymond Tomlinson is widely known for inventing network electronic mail, choosing the “@” sign in emails to connect the username with the destination address. His email software (SNDMSG) was widely distributed for years, and proved to be an exceptionally innovative solution. Tomlinson was also lead in developing the required services in network electronic mail, including defining a place to put inbound email on the user’s machine, developing a mail transport agent to move email between machines, creating a protocol for moving email between machines, setting a standard format for email messages, and designing a tool for creating and reading email.”
Imagine that. Helping to invent an entirely new mode of human communication. One that is used, by one count, over 140 billions times a day. That’s a “b” for billion. AND for repurposing an ancient symbol—the “@” sign. (Don’t miss Keith Houston’s in depth piece from Shady Characters.)
Illustration: “@ symbol used as the initial ‘a’ for the ‘amin’ (amen) formula in the Bulgarian translation of the Manasses Chronicle (c. 1345).” Wikipedia
Thanks to Jim Green for pointing us to it.