Does this look wrong?
April 12, 2018 7:33 AM   Subscribe

If I write on IG "I'm having lunch at @restaurant", does that look wrong to you? Or should I use "I'm having lunch @restaurant"?
posted by Ferrari328 to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Definitely the former. @ doesn't literally mean "at" in this context, it's just part of the identifying label.
posted by 256 at 7:34 AM on April 12, 2018 [29 favorites]

It does look wrong to me.

I'd prefer "I'm having lunch @restaurant", that's exactly how I read it.

For context; I'm old and weird.
posted by JenThePro at 7:41 AM on April 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

I’m old and weird too but I prefer “at @restaurant” on Instagram or Twitter.
posted by moonmilk at 7:43 AM on April 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

at @restaurant would read like ATM Machine to me, though I agree with 256 that I don't generally think about the @ portion of an instagram username as being pronounced.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 7:43 AM on April 12, 2018

It depends. If the handle of the restaurant is basically just their natural name, then no "at", but if their handle is awkward, I would put the "at" as well as the name of the restaurant.

Having lunch @shopsins


Having lunch at Tavern on the Green @tvrn_green_centralpark
posted by Rock Steady at 7:47 AM on April 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

When you tag people in posts, you don't read it as "hanging out with at Cindy and at Jason" though.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:56 AM on April 12, 2018 [13 favorites]

Definitely the former. If the restaurant actually has an account and you're tagging them, the @ goes away and just hyperlinks to the restaurant. I suppose if you're not trying to tag the restaurant, you can just leave the @ out altogether and just say "I was having lunch at Restaurant." I think of the @ sign as just an arbitrary symbol used to tag accounts, not "at".
posted by orangesky4 at 8:15 AM on April 12, 2018

No 'at' is jarring to me. The @ just indicates the handle and my brain doesn't parse it at all.
posted by corvine at 8:21 AM on April 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

"I'm having lunch @restaurant" looks okay, but in a taggy way like "my besties and me @madeupname @lesserkardashian420" rather than as a sentence with the "at" pronounced.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:56 AM on April 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Grammatically the @ is effectively part of the noun @restaurant, representing an account (and, transitively, the person or business that account represents). You use it that way in other contexts: "@restaurant makes great drinks." "Went to @restaurant last night with @Ferrari329 and @Ferrari330 - great times!" "@restaurant's tater tots are delicious"

So if you mean "at" you have to explicitly say "at".
posted by aubilenon at 11:00 AM on April 12, 2018 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Another way of looking at it is that the @ is compulsory and so cannot actually be a separate grammatical element.

You want to be able to say "My gf loves @cellercanroca" as well as "Here I am standing outside/above/below/inside @cellercanroca" which means that the '@' does not function as an 'at'

Also, if you are saying something like 'I ate @cellercanroca' it sounds to me like you consumed the actual restaurant. So it seems you found one of the few exceptional cases where it sort of sounds ok and while it is readable it does not make a good general rule.
posted by vacapinta at 11:24 AM on April 12, 2018 [8 favorites]

vacapinta said it better than I could.
posted by radioamy at 11:57 AM on April 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

If I wanted to say I ate at Phil's Restaurant I would say "I ate at Phil's Restaurant" or "I ate @ Phil's Restaurant" -- the space indicates I'm using @ as a symbol, not a twitter-handle. Only if I wanted to include the social media handle I would say "I'm at @PhilsRestaurant."
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:42 PM on April 12, 2018

I was just thinking about this today!

Either way, you'll annoy somebody. Pick a practice consistent with similar usage choices and ignore the people who object.
posted by Caxton1476 at 4:40 PM on April 12, 2018

Best answer:
If you mean at, say "at." The @ is part of the handle; it can't do double-duty as a word in the tweet.

I think, though, the real answer is not that you are "having lunch at @restaurant" but rather you're "enjoying/loving/mind blown by/etc @restaurant's Lunch Food Item." YMMV
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 5:45 PM on April 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

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