Bulletin Board, excerpt

Fun facts to know and tell

From (St. Paul Pioneer Press) Bulletin Board, May 5, 2005

Back to: Home

. . . . .

Fun facts to know and tell

Poet X of PDX:

"The Grand Duchess asked: 'How does the undersand differ from the oversand or the ampersand?'

"The origin of the word 'ampersand' is a favorite trivia kernel lodged in my brain.

"Long ago (I should be more scholarly and know how long, I know, but 'long ago' describes it well enough for me, for now), the ampersand character was considered an extension of the alphabet. When British schoolchildren would recite the alphabet, after 'zed,' they would include: ' and, per se, "and." '

"Eventually this clumsy phrase got 'lazied down' and evolved into the word we know as 'ampersand.'

"I try to share that story as often as I can to establish a sort of 'geekiness.' Does it work?"