Morse code fans liberated from hanging monkeys and little snails

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Ever since email was introduced to the general public in the early 1990s, the small “at” symbol, written as @ in email correspondence, has confounded users of Morse code because it has not had its own sign. The French have referred to it in Morse code messages variously as petit escargot, or “little snail,” and a enroule, or “coiled A”; the Czech as zavinac, which means “rolled mop”; the Germans Affenschwanz, “monkey’s tail,” or Klammeraffe, “hanging monkey.”

The international Morse code was recently updated, however, for the first time since anyone can remember. The alphabet now includes the character commat, which consists of the combined signals for “A” (dot-dash) and “C” (dash-dot-dash-dot) with no spaces in between (dot-dash-dash-dot-dash-dot).

The change, announced by the International Telecommunication Union in December, is quite a mouthful compared with the diminutive @ sign, which was introduced for email addresses in 1972, according to a report by the AP, because it was widely available on keyboards but not widely used

By Ocean Navigator