Glory be to God! Today, as I’ve only just discovered, celebrates my favorite ASCII character: one without which a great many important phrases – including a lot of company names – would be both longer and less memorable:
Yes, Gentle Reader, the mighty ampersand has been honored with a special day to be celebrated around the globe for its contributions to concision, calligraphy, conjunctionless conjunctions, and…and…
According to the National Day Calendar, here are the facts:
- The ampersand used to be the last letter of the alphabet.
- It is a ligature of “e” & “t”? That’s “et” in Latin, meaning “and”!
- The word “ampersand” is a slurring of “real words” run together over time.
- Even the plus sign is actually an ampersand!
Why, there’s even a website devoted to Ampersand Art!
So get out there and use it! It’s fun! It’s quick! And it’s international! The ampersand isn’t just an American thing; it’s celebrated around the world for its contributions to our written and printed text.
Here’s a sneak peek for you: My novel-in-progress will contain more ampersands than any of my previous novels! Yes, Gentle Reader: I’ve embraced the glory of this elegant and supremely useful character. And if I can, so can you!