Thursday, February 19, 2004

Punktuation II: Morse code knows where it's @.

Everything old is new again. From an article by David Kohn in the L.A. Times:

Morse code is entering the 21st century -- or at least the late 20th.
The 160-year-old communication system now has a new character to denote the "@" symbol used in e-mail addresses.
In December, the International Telecommunications Union, which oversees the entire frequency spectrum, from amateur radio to satellites, voted to add the new character.
The new sign, which will be known as a "commat," consists of the signals for "A" (dot-dash) and "C" (dash-dot-dash-dot), with no space between them.
The new sign is the first in at least several decades, and possibly much longer. Among ITU officials and Morse code aficionados, no one could remember any other addition.
"It's a pretty big deal," said Paul Rinaldo, chief technical officer for the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio operators. "There certainly hasn't been any change since before World War II."
The article goes on to note that there is no morse code character for the exclamation point.

May I suggest one? How about dot-dot-dot- dot-dot-dot- dot-dot-dot- dot-dot-dot-dot- dot-dot-dot-dot -dot-dot-dot-dot-dot- dot-dot-dot-dot-dot- dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot -dot-dot-dot-dot-dot -dot-dot-dot-dot-dot- dot-dot-dot- dot-dot-dot -dot-dot-dot-dot- dot-dot-dot-dot -dot-dot-dot?

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