Sunday, July 12, 2015

...and per se and

I have been wanting to be able to write a better ampersand. My usual option is kind of wimpy (it appears at the end of the second row, above). So, I did some investigating. Most of the awesome ampersands come from writing with a calligraphic nib, or by using a typeset font, not from just regular handwriting. But still, a better everyday "&" is within reach. I want one that is simple and quick to do. I really like the "&" as it saves time AND has the potential to add some flourish to your writing.

While practicing various ampersand styles I realized this is one of those situations where being a lefty puts me at a disadvantage. The curves don't move the right way, the slant is all wrong, and the bottom part which looks best when it's bulbous has a tendency to end up a little cramped. Maybe I should develop a mirror-image version.

Also, while poking around the internet on the topic, I discovered two things:

1. Back in the 1800s the "&" used to be the 27th letter of the alphabet. Say what? Now I want to bring it back!

2. The name "ampersand" comes from when kids had to recite the alphabet in school, they would have to say "...X, Y, Z, and per se and" which would all string together when they spoke and end up sounding like "ampersand." Is this an internet hoax? I don't know, but I am going to ask my 92-year old dad about it. He still talks about learning the "Palmer method of penmanship," so maybe he also had to say "and per se and" when reciting the alphabet.

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