National Ampersand Day 2023: National Ampersand Day is observed annually on September 8 to recognise ‘&,’ a Latin character and a logogram representing the conjunction ‘AND.’ The use of the ampersand dates back to the first century A.D. Although most people don’t give this symbol much thought, it has a long and distinguished history. Even if you don’t consider yourself a language aficionaado, we believe that today is the ideal day to celebrate.
National Ampersand Day 2023
The origin of the ampersand can be traced to the Latin word ‘et,’ which means ‘and.’ Occasionally, the letters ‘E’ and ‘T’ in this word formed a ligature (a character comprised of two or more joined letters). The author saved time by writing the word in this way, in which each letter flows into the next — a form of cursive or joined-up writing.
It is impossible to determine when this symbol was first written down; however, an early example was discovered as graffiti on a wall in Pompeii, which was preserved by the Vesuvius eruption of 79 A.D. Tracing the evolution of symbols across time might be challenging, but with the ampersand, the work has already been done for us by Jan Tschichold, a typographer born in Leipzig in 1902. Tschichold devoted an entire study to the evolution of the ampersand in his 1953 monograph ‘The Ampersand: its genesis and development,’ in which he collected hundreds of examples of the sign throughout history, tracing its development from archaic graffiti to the common ‘&’ used today. This collection contains examples from the eighth century that are readily recognisable as the modern ampersand.
For such an ancient symbol, the term ‘ampersand’ is startlingly modern. It is derived from a modification of the phrase ‘and per se and,’ which means ‘and (i.e. ‘&’) by itself creates the word and,’ a phrase that was once repeated by schoolchildren to help them acquire the sign.
In 2015, author, designer, and typographer Chaz DeSimone established National Ampersand Day. His AmperArt initiative views the ampersand as an artistic medium. He created this day to honour the ampersand, which he employs in a creative art project.
DAY OF NATIONAL AMPERSAND ACTIVITIES
Online research and teaching
You can start by locating a book with an ampersand as the 27th character and sharing it on social media so that others can learn more about the symbol’s history and development. Share your ampersand usage with the hashtag #AmpersandUses.
Explore additional methods to write ampersand
Celebrate National Ampersand Day by learning more about the logogram and typographical symbol, ‘&.’ And using what you’ve learned, attempt to write an ampersand as many different ways as possible.
Employ numerous ampersands in your composition!
If you want to celebrate this holiday, be sure to use ampersands in all of your writing or create logos with ostentatious ampersands.
FIVE UNKNOWN FACTS ABOUT THE AMPERSAND
Several honours Marcus Tullius Tiro, slave and assistant to Cicero, a Roman lawyer, author, and orator, is credited with developing the ampersand; he is also credited with developing the first Latin shorthand system, which endured for more than a thousand years.
Font Aid was founded in 1999 in order to raise funds for victims of natural disasters; during a Font Aid event, designers collaborate to create and sell a glyph with ampersand inclusivity.
It is unknown when the ampersand was replaced by the letter ‘Z’ as the final letter of the English alphabet.
While the ampersand is commonly used in lieu of the conjunction ‘and’, it is actually a logogram, which is a symbol for a frequently used word or phrase in shorthand.
The ampersand is a common password symbol; it was ranked ninth in terms of the most frequently used special character in a password.
NATIONAL AMPERSAND DAY DATES