And-sign (ampersand or &)

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Ampersand En TekenThe and-sign, ampersand or & originates from the letters “et” meaning “and” in Latin.

During the years these letters grew together, making it less and less recognisable as letters. The & sign as we know it nowadays became clearer. The word ampersand originates from the words “et per se” meaning “by itself”.

The and-sign is used to replace the word “and”. The and-sign is often used in informal text. It’s also often used for names of for example companies. In formal and/or legal texts the and-sign is never used. In these texts the word “and” is spelled.

Besides the use in text, the and-sign is also used a lot in computing. The ampersand is for example use in character encoding (for example € stands for €). The sign is also used in programming languages. Some programming languages use the ampersand in logical relations in if-statments. (if(x==0 && y==0) then …) means both x and y need to be 0 to make the if-statement true.

Symbool Ampersand Evolutie This version of the ampersand shows the “E” en de “t” still recognisable.

 

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