This is bizarre but true: in older (and by that I mean largely pre-1900) English printed alphabets, the character & was printed at the end, and was memorized as a 27th character.

It was recited in the alphabet as "per se and", meaning "'and' by itself". So the end of the alphabet went "X, Y, Z, and per se and."

The phrase "and per se and" eventually got contracted - and is how we got today's name for the symbol: ampersand.

No, really:

@noelle fun fact:

& is a stylized version of et, the latin word for and

@ben @noelle fun fact: the alphabet is fake and i hate it

@funnypanja @noelle as with most names in English, it's the result of someone mishearing or misinterpreting something

@funnypanja @ben @noelle I know it as Kaufmannsund (Merchant’s And) in German, which is why I keep thinking “amper” in “ampersand” was an old word for merchant, as in Amper’s And.

@noelle that's a nice name. In Danish it's called the "And Sign". Very accurate but not that creative 😂

@nuhn @noelle just use ampersand instead and it will change eventually

@noelle jaja, damals(tm) das "kaufmännische Und" hat natürlich lateinische Wurzeln. Und ohne Latein kein Englisch. So war das damals.

@noelle why does this kind of story make me so happy??

thorn is a living resident of my alphabet, and I just re-added ampersand this year.

the alphabet is only as limited as your willingness to use it.

@noelle @wolfie

@noelle The bit that helped me from your reference is that the end of the alphabet as indicated was "[...], y, z, & per se and", or "&, which is 'and'".

Also, as @ben points out, & also means "et", which is the same et as in "etc." (for "et cetera", that is, "and so on"), giving rise to some people abbreviating "etc." as "&c.".

@aschmitz @noelle I would like to sum up everything I learned this year so far:

there aren't actually different things

@noelle Wow, this is almost as stupid as german musical notes going a h c d e f g because some idiot in the 16th century or whatever was too stupid to copy a 'b'. (Yes, that's also a true story)

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Elekk: Mastodon for Gamers

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!