Did ampersand used to be a letter?

Last Update: April 20, 2022

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Asked by: Kaylee Armstrong
Score: 4.5/5 (70 votes)

The symbol we know as the ampersand first appeared in some graffiti on a Pompeian wall around the first century CE. It wasn't called an "ampersand" at the time—it was just a ligature of the cursive letters “E” and “T” forming the Latin word et, which means “and.” (This is why "etc." is sometimes written "&c".)

Why was ampersand a letter?

That very first ampersand was a ligature—that is, a character consisting of two or more letters joined together. Its creator was joining the letters e and t, of the Latin word et, meaning "and." ... "And per se, and" eventually evolved into ampersand, the word we know and love today. & the rest is history.

Is the ampersand the 27th letter?

With its quirky shape, neither a letter nor symbol, more of a treble clef than type, the ampersand has grabbed our creative attention. ... ' In the early nineteenth century, & was the 27th letter in the alphabet, coming right after Z.

Where did the ampersand symbol come from?

The origin of the ampersand can be traced back to the Latin word et, meaning 'and'. The E and the T that make up this word were occasionally written together to form a ligature (a character consisting of two or more joined letters).

Is the ampersand informal?

Ampersands in Company Names

Although ampersands are thought of as informal, if the ampersand is officially part of a company name, it's best to use the ampersand instead of writing out the word “and.” For example, you write “Tiffany & Co.,” “Procter & Gamble,” and “AT&T” with ampersands.

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