01 April, 2013

A is for "Ampersand," (& that's good enough for me)

(Editor's note: This is the first in 26 semi-consecutive [excluding Sundays] posts for the A-to-Z Challenge. For more info, check the link in the sidebar.)

For as long as I can remember, ampersand has been my favorite word. I think it's because I have always enjoyed the stories of things left behind or dropped out of use. How is this relevant?

&, despite not representing a basic sound like the other 26, was the 27th letter of the alphabet. However, the ampersand only received it's moniker through human laziness, as the recitation of the english alphabet ended in "and per se and," and you can see how the laziness slurred into its current name.

The phrase "per se" means "by itself," which means that, when ending the alphabet, one would say "...x, y, z, and [a symbol, which by itself means] and."

Originally, since the scribes of the time wrote in a form of cursive handwriting, the symbol was a slur of the letters e and t, which spell the word "and" in Latin.


I probably like the ampersand a little bit more than the average word nerd. I have begun collecting (and making) art in which the subject is the ampersand. I made a finishing stamp, carved out of a rubber eraser, that is an ampersand.

I think it will always be my favorite word, as I just like the way it's pronounced. It just sounds right.

Tomorrow, we talk about kissing.


  1. I like learning new things everyday, so this was an interesting lesson for me.

    Had to cut and paste your post to read it though. The black on grey is hard to read.

    Have a great day!

  2. I agree with the above commentor, J.L.Campbell...I also couldn't read your post. I used control and + multiple times to get it large enough that the black was visible on the dark gray background. I assume both he and I are older then you. Young eyes might see your blog; but it's very difficult. Hope you'll consider lightening your background so you don't discourage reader from the a-z challenge. I had no clue and @...use it very little and actually really disliked English in school so probably closed out anything I might have learned about it, lol.


    sorry for the cut and paste url, but you don't have a place for name and url. The generic google doesn't work well for folks with multiple blogs.

    Ooophs, please nix your captcha. Another thing hard on the eyes. They suggest for the challenge you do away with it.

  3. huh? I can read this- no cutting or pasting for me.
    I like this post- quirky and educational! Cheers!
    from Kathe at #1430

  4. I read everything fine - maybe screen settings?

    All the same, very cool post! It's always nice to learn something new! When I was younger I was in a store and the cashier was mentioning that someone came in with their young daughter named Ampersand :)

  5. What a great start! Thank you for the excellent info. A writer friend of mine has a cat named Umlaut.

  6. Loved this! Enjoyed learning about the cute little "&" but then I'm a word nerd too. :)