Thursday, May 31, 2007

& = "and per se and"

A cool little lesson on The Ampersand

An ampersand (&), also commonly called an "and sign," is a logogram representing the conjunction "and." The symbol is a ligature of the letters in et, Latin for "and."

The ampersand often appeared as a letter at the end of the Latin alphabet. It is thought that teaching & as the last letter of the alphabet (... X Y Z and &), a common practice through the 19th century, led to its name, a corruption of the phrase "and per se and", meaning "and [the symbol which] by itself [is] and".

The Scots and Scottish English name for & is epershand, derived from "et per se and" with the same meaning.