The humble asperand or @ sign is now a part of the architecture and design collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art. The @ sign has many possible origins dating back to the medieval monks to a unit of measure in 16th century. The Dutch call it the apenstaartje (monkey tail), the Chinese, little mouse. The Russians, sobaka, (little dog) Ray Tomlinson, a legend in the internet/computer circles, then used it to send messages between computers by separating the name from the address.
More info – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/@