Yes, the little symbol above has a few meanings. Whether you know it as a number sign or a hashtag, it was once just a symbol that became a word in our society. Even a famous musician once decided he’d rename himself and use a symbol instead of letters. It worked for a while, but we’ve gone back to calling him by his royal name, for the most part.
While symbols often change their purpose in our communication, there will always be a use for them, especially in this world on texting and 140 character tweets. You can find a bigger list of symbols that we turned into words right here.
I come across words everyday that I’d probably mumble into my shirt if anyone asked me to say them out loud. Unless you happen to hear a word or a name you’re unsure of, how else can you be sure of a pronunciation?
Forvo.com is a fabulous site that allows people to ask for a word or name they don’t know how to pronounce, and someone will upload an audio file of that word so everyone can hear it. Isn’t that amazing? There are words in other languages, words you might find in a dictionary, but also names and places that you might be reading about in far-off countries. Readers can vote on the pronunciations they think are most accurate, so there won’t be any discrepancies because of local dialects etc.
Even if you’re not struggling with a word right now, it’s a fascinating site to peruse. You might even come away learning a thing or two!