The once lowly # has enjoyed a renaissance as the symbol of choice – and meaning – on Twitter.
In the New Yorker article, Hash, author Susan Orlean discusses the history of the hashtag phenomenon and how hashtags have now evolved into a suitcase of rhetorical strategies on Twitter. Originally conceived as a way to categorize tweets, they are now used as asides, for snark and as meta-commentary.
Orlean concludes by saying, “Amazing how rich and complex 140 characters with a few symbols thrown in can be.”
Below are a few examples of hashtag use, from my efforts at categorization, to @jonbecker’s humor, to @wmchamberlain’s internal monologue made public.