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National Ampersand Day

Today is officially National Ampersand Day, so let’s celebrate and pay tribute to this funny little symbol! And as the official National Ampersand logo says, “fabulous & functional & fun”!

First a little history lesson. The symbol “&” comes from the Latin word for “and” which was “et”. In Old Roman cursive, it became common to combine e’s and t’s, which eventually morphed into today’s common symbol “&”.

The ampersand used to appear as a letter at the end of the English alphabet. When the English alphabet was spoken, “per se” commonly preceded any letter of the alphabet that could be used as a word by itself, such as “A” and “I”. For the letter/word “I”, for example, the phrase was “I per se I”, which means “I by itself is the word I.” Thus “& per say and” became “ampersand”.

We often see “&” in daily communications, but when should we use “&” instead of “and”? 

  • Use & when it is part of a company’s formal name – such as AT&T or Ben & Jerry’s.
  • Use & for common abbreviations – such as B&B or R&B.
  • Use & in writing when space is limited – such as in PowerPoint presentations, booth graphics or in logo designs.
  • Use &, if you prefer, in informal communications – such as tweets or texts – but avoid it in formal writing.

To celebrate the day, check out this website that is dedicated to all things ampersand – https://amperart.com/gallery/.


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Progressive Marketing Group, Inc. (PMG) pioneered the concept of a Strategic Marketing Organization (SMO) in 1977 as a client-centric strategic marketing resource with broad tactical capabilities. As a strategic thought leader dedicated to the proliferation of the client’s business, every PMG program and project is created without partiality and adheres to the developed strategy, from Positioning and Messaging through Branding.

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