Read the full transcript below:
"One of the most curious words — it's not quite a word I suppose in English — is the ligature "@" which of course we use all the time now, or type all the time in emails and so on. In a funny way, it's probably really old, it may be a version of the Latin word "add" meaning "at" or "towards," and it could have been used in very old accounts, going back almost 2,000 years.
"But it was picked up again by Ray Tomlinson in the early 1970s, who was one of the pioneers of messaging and emailing. And he was looking at the keyboard on the typewriter and looking for a symbol that wasn't very much used and "@" fulfilled that function. It had been used in accounts, but only in accounts and by accountants so it was a pretty dusty, neglected key on the board. And Tomlinson used it and the rest is history."
"And it shows that language sometimes is not just made up of letters, but can also be made up of symbols and of course of numbers as well."