"If popularizing a punctuation mark is difficult, the task seems to be at least marginally easier if the symbol has historical roots. Unlike the interrobang, whose conception, creation, rise, and fall were all observable within a decade, the @ symbol has been around for centuries and is now enjoying widespread resurgence thanks to the Internet. While its exact origins are unknown, the earliest recorded use of the @ symbol is in a letter sent from Seville to Rome, dated May 4, 1536. In it, a Florentine merchant named Francesco Lapi discusses ships arriving in Spain from the New World and the price at which they sold one amphora of wine. An amphora was a standard Roman commercial measure (equivalent to about 26 liters) and seems to have set the precedent for the symbol’s use: From all other extant records, “@” has related the quantity of a product sold @ a certain price. weeklystandard.