Home Today Is The Ampersand Used To Be The 27th Letter Of The Alphabet.

The Ampersand Used To Be The 27th Letter Of The Alphabet.

Probably no other holiday or observance day’s date has been determined with the particular criteria as National Ampersand Day. That criteria, quite simply, is “Can we spell it with ampersands?”

The word “SEPTEMBER” and the numeral “8” were selected specifically because, using a certain type style for each ampersand, you can “spell out” the date with ampersands, as shown in this typogram*, wherein each ampersand resembles the character it stands in for.

Who doesn’t love the fun & functional ampersand? From jotting a shorthand “and” to branding corporate names, this curly, quirky little character is ubiquitously useful. It’s also quite aesthetic, as you’ll see at AmperArt.com, featuring “the ampersand as fun & fabulous art.”

To acknowledge & applaud this great little glyph, National Ampersand Day is observed annually on September 8th.

  • The ampersand used to be the last letter of the alphabet.
  • Some people credit Marcus Tullius Tiro for creating the ampersand. He was a slave and secretary to a Roman lawyer, writer, and orator named Cicero. Tiro eventually became a freedman. He also receives credit for developing the first Latin shorthand system, which lasted over 1,000 years.
  • The ampersand is a ligature of “e” & “t”? That’s “et” in Latin, meaning “and.”
  • The ampersand is a character that represents “and,” but did you know that the ampersand character dates back to 63BC and is a visual ligature of the letters E and T? ET or et is the Latin word for “per se”.
  • The word “ampersand” is a slurring of “real words” run together over time.
  • The plus sign is actually an ampersand?
  • Roman scribes used the et abbreviation to save as much space as possible.
  • The actual character &, and its various ligatures throughout history, predate the word ampersand by over 1500 years.
  • By 1837, the “&” sign had entered common English usage as the 27th character of the alphabet.
  • It didn’t take long before the “and per se and” officially appeared in English dictionaries as ampersand.
  • In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg included the ampersand on his first printing press.
  • The Ampersand Is One of the Most Common Special Characters Used in Passwords.
  • Many companies and brands use the ampersand in their names. Some of the most popular ones include:
    • Barnes & Noble or B&N
    • Ben & Jerry’s
    • A&E
    • AT&T
    • H&R Block
    • A&W Root Beer
    • M&Ms
    • Smith & Wesson
    • Johnson & Johnso
  • While people use the ampersand in place of the word “and” (which is a conjunction), the ampersand is actually a logogram. A logogram is a character that represents a word or phrase commonly used in shorthand.


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