Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I'm admittedly a huge grammar nerd—on top of being a huge typography nerd—so I found this little tidbit interesting. Apparently, there's an entire book about the origin of the ampersand. I'm a little bit in love with ampersands (see above admission of utter nerdiness; see also my apartment's bookshelf, which is adorned with a giant metal ampersand as decoration), so a book about ampersands actually sounds interesting to me. From the book:
The ampersand or esperluette dates to the 1st century A.D. The Old Roman cursive letters E and T were written together to form a ligature. In the 7th century, development of the Latin script and Carolingian minuscule, ligatures in general diminished, but et sign continued to be used and gradually became more stylized and more abstracted.

Though I'm pretty sure I learned this fact at some point during my typography classes and maybe even during my former life as an English minor, I managed to forget it, and the above illustration makes it a little clearer.

So, there's your fact for the day. Enjoy.

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