The human mind, and the innovation it has brought about, is an amazing thing. Throughout the 200,000 years that humans have roamed the Earth, they have managed to create and integrate various ways of communication.
One of the most astonishing examples is the use of symbols as a form of language. The human population has managed to take simple markings and apply meaning to them.
Whether its a happy face, exclamation point or a heart, humans have made connotative attachments to these markings. Read on to discover 7 underrated symbols that have a newfound meaning to them.
1. Ampersand: Most of us look at this word and go “what?” That’s because while the symbol is better known as the ‘and’ sign, the official name for it is usually overlooked.
The symbol has been around for a long time, its first use being by Roman Emperor Cicero’s personal secretary. Once upon a time, it was part of the english alphabet, between Y and Z, but it was later removed.
2. Heart Symbol: This one’s popular.. we send them, we receive them and we love them. The heart symbol has been carried on for generations, and never seems to grow old.
So how did the symbol come about? After all, it is in no way, shape or form resembling an actual heart. Well, theories state that its actually the shape of two swans coming together. Since swans mate for life, it makes sense for them to be the symbol of love.
3. Bluetooth symbol: Next time you connect your phone to bluetooth, pay attention to the little symbol that represents the wireless pairing. While bluetooth is one of the newer technologic inventions, the symbol for it has actually existed for quite a while.
The credit for it can be directed to Danish King of the 10th century, Harald Blatand, who is known for uniting two opposing tribes. He was given the name ‘Blue Tooth’ because of his obsession with blueberries that apparently gave one of his teeth a blue tinge. The common day bluetooth is named after him, the symbol for it representing the H and B of his name.
4. Medical Symbol: Did you ever notice this squiggly symbol as you were walking to your local doctor’s office?
It is actually representative of an accident. If you look closely, you will realize that you’re actually looking at two snakes wrapped around a staff. This represents the ability to solve any problem that comes your way.
5. Power Symbol: Here’s one that we’re all familiar with… the power symbol. Whether its on your phone, the computer, or your favorite video game, many of us see this symbol at least once a day.
With the growing popularity of technology, this symbol has become universal. It’s universality stems from the binary system of data, where 1 meant on and 0 meant off. Together, they form a symbol that had both ‘on’ and ‘off.’
6. Peace Sign: The peace sign has not only become a symbol but to many its become a fashion trend and the life style. The symbol grew popular in the 60’s, when it represented protests against nuclear weapons.
Pay close enough attention to the symbol itself and you will realize that it derives as a result of being a signal for the letter N and D for Nuclear Disarmament.
7. The ‘Okay’ Symbol: This is one you use everyday, that one finger motion, a circle with your thumb and index finger, that signals to your friend that you’re okay.
How did this come about? The theories are endless. Let’s start with the word “OK” itself. The word came about from the campaign of America’s eighth president, Martin Van Buren. Since he was born in Old Kinderhook, New York, his slogan became ‘Old Kinderhook is O.K’ along with the hand gesture.
Yet there is another theory with another president. America’s 7th president, Andrew Jackson, popularized the German term ‘Oll Korrect’ which translates to ‘All Correct’, the shortened version being ‘O.K’ in his notes.
Last but not least, some individuals believe that this symbol is a mudra, better known as a hand ritual in Buddhism and Hinduism associated with learning.