What was one to do when the number 1 looked like an I. Is that a V or a 5? X or 10? And so, his mother was hammered and his father was chiseled, the Number sign was born on a cold slab of ancient stone.
The Number sign caught on quickly, pairing up with numbers throughout mathematics for centuries. He was there - in front - clarifying that the digits to follow were indeed…numbers. His career anticipated no end. He was a mainstay. Then, the phone was invented.
The phone caused no trouble early on, but as the phone advanced to include push buttons, a new star was born. He was key. In fact, he was the Star key. This kid had power when he was put in front of the numbers. He was like a gift from the heavens, for which he must have been named.
The Number sign, meanwhile, was stripped of his identity, becoming known as the Pound sign. He moved to the back of the line - no more than the period on a tag line. He hoped to be akin to the enter key on a keyboard, but pressing him wasn't usually even required. Nobody even pounded him, except maybe the impatient.
While the Star key hung out with 69 and 57, making things happen out in the world, the Pound sign only let people look at their own phone records. He had hit rock bottom, denoting semantically ill-formed sentences and the end of press releases, errors in copywriting, while becoming shorthand for the word 'fracture' and 'shaft.' The best thing he did was indicate a checkmate in chess, but even that yielded one loser. Beyond that, he became syntax for toilet talk - number one or number two.
He picked up a little bit of obscure side work helping behind the scenes of websites. The sites caught on, but the Pound key never basked in any of the glory. He worked hard, always remembering the days when he was out in front. The world around him remained bleak and grey.
The best thing to come of recent times was his friendship with the 'At' symbol. They'd become friends in their mutual obscurity. After all, who really needs the 'At' symbol as a shorthand to a two-letter word. A. T. At. The symbol takes as much or more work to produce than just writing the word itself. He was a humble symbol and the pound sign always respected that.
As the internet grew and email became a primary method of communication, the 'At' symbol took off. He was never at the forefront, but he was necessary, so he had work all over the place - ever so happy just to play his part. The Pound sign was happy for his friend, catching a glimmer of his own former glow. The internet paved a new path and the Pound sign became proud of the unseen part he played in it.
Then, one day, a little blue bird landed at his windowsill. Phones, at least, as they'd evolved, weren't used the same way anymore. People were no longer bound to the wall with a cord. They were everywhere, texting and browsing the web. They came by the hundreds, the thousands, the hundreds of thousands! Even the 'At' symbol was promoted, ruling the Twitterverse at the beginning of user's identities.
Little did he know, the Pound sign was about to be reborn. With a call from his old friend 'At,' the age of the Hashtag was about to begin.