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Word of the Week

Ampersand (am-per-sand): A symbol or character that depicts the word AND. It comes from the Latin word et meaning "and."


I've always enjoyed a good "&" symbol, and for the longest time, I didn't even know it had a name other than "and." As neat as the symbol itself is, how neat is the actual word for it?! Ampersand.

As you should know well enough by now, I love reading. . .which means I also love writing and language and so on. Wednesday, September 8th is National Ampersand Day! A fun day to celebrate a symbol that's been long overlooked. Let's start the celebration with some fun facts.

  • The ampersand was was created by joining together the letters E and T.

  • It's over 2,000 years old, dating back to 63 B.C.

  • It was officially accepted as a symbol that could substitute the word and in 1899.

  • & will always be considered a symbol, but the word ampersand is obviously a word.

  • The ampersand was once the final letter in the alphabet. Yes, it followed Z. It's unclear who removed it or when it was removed.

  • It's a very common symbol used in passwords that require special characters. The ampersand ranks ninth for the most frequently used special character in passwords.

  • Chaz DeSimone founded National Ampersand Day in 2015, attributing ampersands as art in his work "AmperArt." Because of him, we have a special day to celebrate the beauty of this symbol, and he has encouraged us to be artistic with it!

So, let's celebrate the symbol & follow Chaz's lead. This week, I want you to make your own version of AmperArt! You can see what I came up with by gathering just a few things from inside and outside my house. Get creative! Use any materials you have around you.

Until next time. . .


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