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Ampersand

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  • The ampersand (&) is a symbol which is used as shorthand for and or the Latin et, as in &c. The ampersand appears in the first century in Old Roman Cursive, when the Latin word, et, (which means and) was sometimes written with the e and t linked together. Later, the symbol that consisted of the conjoined Latin letters e and t came to be used as a substitute for the English word, and. The symbol & was not called an ampersand until the 1800s. At that time, the & was considered the 27th letter of the alphabet. When students recited the alphabet, instead of finishing with “…x, y, z and–” the children finished reciting with “x, y, z and per se and.” This way, the reciters denote that they are stating and, by itself, and. Eventually, & was removed from the English alphabet and the name for the symbol became a slurring of the words “and per se and” into ampersand. The ampersand is most commonly used in handwritten notes and business names.

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    Examples

    Kum & Go plans to build a five-story, $151 million office in downtown Des Moines. (The Des Moines Register)

    Among the many obligations bankrupt Relativity Media has failed to meet is to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the charity that provides health care, social services and a home for aging industry veterans in Woodland Hills, Calif. (Variety)

    Miguel Gutierrez’s “Age & Beauty,” Parts 1 and 2, were reprised over the weekend in a co-presentation of New York Live Arts, where the works were performed, and Crossing the Line 2015. (The New York Times)

    Once they drove to the great market (Burra Bazaar) and were fascinated by what they saw – “copper vessels, crockery, rice, sugar, gods, goddesses, knives, muslins, silks &c &c were all displayed together”. (The Calcutta Telegraph)

    Among the exhibits may be mentioned wood carving, modelling (including working models of aeroplanes of different kinds, bridges, &c.), needle-work and woodwork in great variety, photography, painting and drawing. (The Chandigarh Tribune)

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