Monday, April 28, 2008

and and the ampersand

Hoefler & Frere-Jones type foundry have a nice write-up on the ampersand, possibly the most popular typographic kid on the block.

Two amazing things I did not know about the ampersand:

1. The ampersand was around for at least 600 years before the letter W.

2. Some credit the ampersand's invention to Cicero’s secretary. (I sure hope Cicero gave his secretary a raise for that.)

Also worth a read are H&FJ's takes on the pilcrow, aka the paragraph mark, and the eszett, which is usually referred to as that-wavy-B-shaped-thing.

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