copyright 2001, D. Glenn Arthur Jr.
[What's new at this site] Last updated 1997.

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That funny symbol

[My symbol]

What it means

If you've spotted this symbol in the corners of my pages and are wondering what it means, it's my personal mark. I use it to mark my belongings. I use it sometimes when other people would use their initials. And I append it to my signature. It's just a quick, distinctive symbol that means me.

You know how sometimes folks will write a quick note to someone else -- maybe on a Post-It note or a small scrap of paper -- and sign it with only their initials because they figure the intended recipient will recognize them easily enough from that? Or people will label score-keeping columns for a game with the players' initials? At times like that, I usually use my mark, or "Glennsign".

I've got a handful of friends who do this, and we seem to have mostly come up with the idea independantly before meeting each other. Maugorn uses a pair of sixteenth-notes with the connecting bars crossed to suggest an "M". Anne uses a stylized ladybug. Athelstan used (still uses?) the Norse athel and stan runes run together. In concept, it's similar to the Medieval idea of a "badge" or "device". It's a convenient shorthand if you know the symbols, and not really any more obscure than initials: if you don't already know someone and associate with them, their initials won't ring any bells for you without other context.

Where it came from

Okay, what it's supposed to be (a lot of people see it as a flower) is a crescent-moon eighth-note. That is, a musical note with a crescent moon for a head. Actually, it doesn't matter if you think of it as a flower, as long as it remains associated with me.

One of my nicknames in college (and for a short time afterwards) was "Moonunit". I got the nickname from someone who said I reminded them of Frank Zappa (mostly mentally). He didn't want to call me "Frank", so he picked a name of one of Zappa's children. Mr. Zappa's daughter is Moon Unit (two words), but it seemed appropriate to run them together for myself. So I decided to create a symbol that referred to the moon somehow. And since music was and is a very important aspect of my life and my identity, I wanted to include a musical reference. And I wanted the symbol to be small, simple, and quick to draw. There it is.

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