Jargon to hate: the '@' sign

Since a blog exists in part to let me get things off my chest, I shall start a series on jargon and other bits of English (mis)usage that I detest. It's purely aesthetic: I'm not saying these things I dislike are ungrammatical, merely that I find them deeply unappealing.

Exhibit A: the use of '@' for 'at' in the names of buildings, stores, and the like. (excite@home, anyone?) Perhaps one of the best things about the end of the dot-com (never, ever dot.com) dream will be the demise of the sign. Using it always reminded me of the kind of father who talks about Michael Jackson (or Marilyn Manson?) in an effort to show he's "with it" - trying too hard, and still too far behind the times. Now it's 2004, and the sign instantly dates these places - it's rather like those "x-a-rama" names that date a location to the 50s.


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