That a young mother named her poor baby girl “Hashtag” is old news now. She may have been the first but she probably won’t be the last as a growing number of people strive to find unusual, and often ridiculous, names for their unsuspecting offspring – Like, Facebook and even At (presumably shortened to @) among them.
Disturbing as that is, I’m currently more concerned by the creeping of the innocent and, until recently, rarely used little character into everyday conversation. Twitter’s a phenomenon that can’t be denied; I for one spend more time than I probably should on this increasingly addictive medium. However, I’m noticing that it’s those that don’t know their tweets from their elbows that are adopting the rediscovered hashtag into everyday conversation – using the little crosshatch symbol in the same way that, in the past, people irritatingly gestured quotation marks with their index and middle fingers.
#Justsaying is a modern day “get out of jail free” card, meaning any statement that immediately precedes it can’t be held against the speaker. I can see the validity of that (from time to time anyway) but I recently sat in a meeting where someone used it to ask #whoseturnisittotakenotes? and that’s #ridiculous and #justabridgetoofar