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The at symbol (or @) on your keyboard is made by pressing the Shift key and the number 2 at the same time.

Real Life Usage

These are examples of where the at sign is used in real life.

  • Twitter, the usernames are always followed by @.
  • IRC, in some IRC networks, your nick name is followed by @.
  • Email addresses, the @ symbol is commonly used in email address formatting.
  • Emoticons, sometimes the @ symbol is used in emoticons, such as @[email protected]. Hackers think they're cool for using these.
  • Insults, sometimes used when calling somebody a [email protected] (twat), which is a slang for a vagina.
  • Replying, this is frequently used when replying to someone, either on a forum, or some other messageboard site that doesn't have a quoting system. For example, somebody might say @shitposter... and then write their message.
  • Laziness, some people might use this because they're simply too lazy to type the full two-letter word.

@ is part of a series on Language & Communication
Languages and DialectsGrammar, Punctuation, Spelling, Style, and UsageRhetorical StrategiesPoetryThe Politics of Language and CommunicationMediaVisual Rhetoric
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