Ampersand

dictionary with letter A

Ampersand: (n) the sign &, standing for and, as in Smith & Co

Must have been a hard sell.

Sometimes we don’t appreciate how the things we take for granted or assume were always around had to go through a process to become acceptable or even permissible.

Can you imagine the meeting?

Some guy or gal walking in, trying to convince everyone that the word “and” was so repetitive that every once in a while, changing it to this new configuration of an ampersand would be helpful to break up the monotony and obtuse traditionalism.

I don’t know–I might have objected. After all, it’s a slippery slope, right?? Pretty soon, we’ll be inserting pictures of frying pans to represent women and football helmets for men.

Where will it end? After all, how exhausting is it to write a-n-d? And also, after you figure out, with your pen, how to make the ampersand look respectable, you could have written “and” seven times!

It was definitely a public relations miracle, pulled off by some individual determined to simplify our lives, even if the simplification may have been over-simplified.

We must understand that the little victories that etch their way through the stone of committees and boards of scrutiny set in motion the possibility that if something important truly does come along, maybe a crack in the rock will let in some light.

So here’s to the person–whoever he or she is–who came up with the ampersand. It didn’t change anyone’s life. It didn’t heal the sick or raise the dead. It didn’t even leave an imprint in the wet cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

But it lets us know that ideas have a chance … even when they’re teensy-weensy.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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