National Ampersand Day is the holiday dedicated to the Latin character ‘&’, which means ‘and’. Surprisingly, the ampersand sign is one of the most ancient symbols: it has existed since the first century AD. Obviously, the sign has a rich history, and the perfect day to celebrate is September 8th.
The ampersand comes from the word ‘et’, which in Latin meant the conjunction ‘and’. In some cases, two letters were written in such a way that they formed a ligature, which saved the writer time. The earliest example of the symbol was found in graffiti on a wall in Pompeii. It is noteworthy that the sign survived the volcanic eruption. The evolution of the symbol was studied by the scientist Jan Tschichold; he devoted a monograph to the ampersand. In his work, you can find out which path the sign went from ‘et’ to ‘&’. Already in the 8th century, the sign was perfectly recognizable.
- National Ampersand Day was founded by writer and typographer Chaz DeSimone in 2015, who called the symbol a work of art.
- Some historians believe the sign was invented by Mark Tullius Tiron, a slave who helped Cicero, a lawyer from Rome, an orator, and a writer.
- It is also believed that this slave invented the first shorthand, which lasted 1000 years.
- Did you know that the letter ‘Z’ did not always complete the English alphabet? For some time, the last letter was precisely the ampersand, but there is no exact date and reason why the symbol disappeared.
- Traditionally, the sign is used instead of the conjunction ‘and’, but in fact it is a logogram meaning a word or phrase.
- This character is most often used in passwords.
How to take part
Start this day by searching for information about the symbol, and share it on social networks. Believe me, people will be interested. Don’t forget the hashtag #AmpersandUses. Learn how to write an ampersand and how to use it. Try to use the symbol in your writing as often as possible on this day.
When is National Ampersand Day in 2023?
National Ampersand Day is observed on September 8 each year.