I may just be a humble tattoo journalist unschooled in the worlds of Latin, typography and logograms, but I do spend a hell of a lot of time behind the computer pounding away at the keys writing articles for this humble website, and let me tell you, the ampersand is the king of the keyboard.
Don't believe me? Just look at it.
It's so damn cool.
The humble little logogram was born way back in the first century. As Roman scribes got sick of writing the letters "e" and "t" many times over, they started to squish the two together creating what is known as a ligature, essentially inventing the ampersand as they did so. The ligature wasn't quite a letter on its own, but it was often tacked on to the end of the Latin alphabet for centuries. In English it was also treated as the 27th letter of the alphabet for some time, which irks me. I mean, the alphabet song even has the word "and" in it, why not just make it the 26th letter and throw Z in there as the 27th... but I was not consulted.
Over the years the symbol was used to stand in for the word "and," which as a pretty short word, doesn't really seem like the kind of thing you need to abbreviate. But then, again, look at it!
It's so much cooler than simply typing out those three dumb letters. Plus, it looks classy as all hell in the name of brands. Would you buy anything from Dolce And Gabbana? No, sir, you would not. But Dolce & Gabbana... damn right. Take my money.
The ampersand holds a special place in my heart and I'm far from the only one, as you'll see in the gallery below.