Ample Ampersands

Ample Ampersands

I recently watched the book-turned-movie Julie and Julia, a very fun movie based on an inspirational story that brings together modern day young professional Julie Powell with famous TV chef Julia Child. The title screen of the movie incorporates a scripty ampersand, representing the unity of time periods, locations, and styles.

So I got to thinking, where did the ampersand come from?

According to Wikipedia, the word ampersand comes from the phrase “and per se and,” meaning “and [the symbol which] by itself [is] and.” I recall hearing in high school Latin class that the ampersand comes from the Latin word “et,” meaning “and.” In fact, you can trace the evolution of the symbol back to Old Roman cursive, in which the letters E and T were sometimes written together.

These days, you can find the symbol practically anywhere:

1. In logos

2. In clothing and accessories

3. Around the house

What was once a quick shorthand symbol has now become an icon of class, unity, & enterprise. Bravo, ampersand. Bravo.