I don’t care for the ampersand.
I’m sorry to disappoint all of the amper-fans out there, but it’s time that someone took a stand, an amper-stand.
The fancy symbol for a rather ordinary word does have a few good points, but it is also confusing & is often used incorrectly
Now before you accuse me of conjunction conjecture, let me say that I did a little research before writing my prose on pros and cons of our squiggly little friend.
Here are a few pluses, minuses and (hopefully) interesting tidbits about &:
It was once part of the English alphabet – I find this to be a positive, and fascinating, too. According to several articles I found, including this one from Merriam-Webster, at one time & was the 27th letter of the alphabet. I don’t quite understand why & was in the English alphabet, but I love that it used to be there. It shows that the alphabet can change and adds credence to my argument to change the alphabet to 25 letters.
The name is actually a misunderstanding – According to the definitions, when it was in the alphabet, at the end the saying was “and per se, and” which later evolved into calling it “ampersand.” Even the name is confusing!
It doesn’t really save any time to use it – It’s easier to type “and” then it is to find “&” on the keyboard.
I can’t write it – It’s far too squiggly and fancy to write.
It looks too much like a treble clef – Why are they so similar? Was that once in the alphabet, too? I won’t pretend that I remember what a treble clef means, but I know I see it in music a lot.
Why aren’t there symbols for “or” or “but”? – Why is “and” so special? I guess we have +, but it’s hard to work that into writing effectively.
If & is so great, why can’t we use it in spelling? – Maybe I would like to eat some c&y, or I would like to watch American B& St&.
You do not use the oxford comma with & – I actually see this as a +. It shows how the oxford comma is not always needed, because it apparently is not used with the ampersand.
It also looks too much like a capital cursive “E” and a capital cursive “S” – I also have a hard time writing them.
I do like how it can be used with other symbols to signify that someone is swearing – That @&#!$ ampersand is so confusing!
I made a limerick about the & – Here it is:
There once was a rodent from Amsterdam,
Who often wrote with an ampersand.
He didn’t like “and”
He thought it too bland,
For the prose that he wrote with his hamster hand.
I hope that in the future, you will refrain from using an & and use the traditional and instead. And is the best!
If you do use &, just be advised that others may think you are saying something like “M Treble Clef M” or you may cause a misunderst&ing.
Do you have any thoughts on &? Do you have any limericks? Feel free to comment below. Thanks!