People writing "&" ampersand instead of writing out "and"

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  1. Debby Bruck profile image67
    Debby Bruckposted 11 years ago

    This thread connects to Web Examiner's recent thread about an epidemic use of lower case "i" in place of the proper letter "I" as a pronoun.

    I find a similar common lazy shortcut when people use the "&" symbol in place of writing out the entire word "and."  I have no idea why people would do this.

    This short-hand symbol called ampersand is mostly used in Titles or Brand names  companies, such as the well-known Johnson & Johnson, Abercrombie & Fitch
    A.G. Edwards & Sons and I'm sure you can find lists of these easily recognizable brands.

    The origin of this symbol comes from a ligature or a combination of the Latin letters 'in et' which translates to "and" or refers to "and per se and"

    If anyone sees the symbol they know it means "and" and some use it for meaning "plus" where I would typically use the "+" sign for addition

    Is everyone else seeing the use of this symbol "&" in formal writing, blogs, articles and other publications?

    For a bit of fun, take a look at the Pinterest page of this beautiful typographic symbol which adds flavor and tone to Brand Names. … ampersand/

    1. vocalcoach profile image94
      vocalcoachposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Debbie ~ I just went to your pinterest page with the link you provided. What amazing ampersand images. Liked so many of them and repinned. But I don't use the ampersand in my hubs.

      1. Debby Bruck profile image67
        Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Audrey ~ the fonts and artistry of the ampersand! I have a pinterest account but don't even use it. LOL

        I'm glad to hear you don't use the ampersand in your hubs.

        And, I was just thinking where I DO use them. In my Tweets on Twitter, because we are limited to 140 characters.

    2. Cardisa profile image88
      Cardisaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Debby, I have noticed it too. I see it in titles here on HP an so many more places. I never use it unless I am referring to a brand name title such as Mills & Boon or some other brand.

      I think it's a matter of ignorance on some people's part. They don't quite understand the meaning of the symbol.

      People have been using it incorrectly long before the advent of the text messaging.

      1. Debby Bruck profile image67
        Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Do you think people us it in Hubpages Titles and on other blog titles simply to shorter the number of letters to fit in more key words in the title?

    3. Alastar Packer profile image74
      Alastar Packerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Gosh Debby I've used the ampersand on some titles but never dreamed they'd be annoying to anyone. Your professional position on the use of them is enlightening and AP aims to please so the ampersands will be taken out and replaced with the proper conjunctions. However, they do seem to fit- to me anyway- the Movie Show & Company Memoirs so those will be left intact. Thanks for the correction Debby.

      1. Debby Bruck profile image67
        Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Good day Alastar ~ I'm learning there may be many reasons why people insert the ampersand, whether out of ignorance, laziness, to use shorthand, habit, following what they see other people do, or to fit more words into spaces, and finally to apply according to traditional rules and historical reference. The ampersand has a beautiful form and can be considered a piece of art.

        More than 'annoying' I might consider that it becomes out of place or noticeable when not used in the traditional way. Let us know if that improves your Hubpages scores when you adjust the ampersand in your titles. As you might know that 'symbol' will look very different to the search engine. It looks like this:
        & which adds up to more than the three letters "a" "n" "d"
        So, isn't that a kick when people think they are saving letters it is read as five in the html coding.

        1. Alastar Packer profile image74
          Alastar Packerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Plead ignorance here, and in some twisted reasoning was going for the opposite effect with the SEO. Yes, it is a kick indeed. Don't think it's mattered that much with the titles that had the ampersand but we'll see. Thanks again Debby.

    4. tom hellert profile image59
      tom hellertposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      ok Deb,
      i two git mahd when people mispel things & uze shortcutz to make werds shorter oar they uze the rong tense oar a werd that looks or soundz like it butt it idn't xhactlt wright in the dicktion it iz uzed. I half never bean gud @ wordz n thingz but spelchec helpz me out a bhunch. It seemz that really gud riters hav a bigher izzshoe wif grahmer & spellin. I half two say i dew respect folkz that uze gud grahmmer and shehll gudder then i dew. i tri to uze gudder grahmmer  hand lainguage than i uzed to; butt-i culd C wher that tipe of wordiage culd allwayz bee inmproofed. sew whaddoya-thinc aboat my thots on grahmer and punktoashun.
      your pail

      1. Debby Bruck profile image67
        Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Hello Tom ~ You make me laugh with the things you say and do. But, I know your sense of humor! Thanks so much for teaching me a lot about Fracking and earth science. Hugs, Debby

    5. profile image0
      Derdriuposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Debby, It's spelling it out as "and" for me...unless the ampersand is part of an official title.
      Thank you for the "and/&" fun,

    6. ar.colton profile image82
      ar.coltonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Ampersands are stunning (I have a wall of framed ampersands I designed) but they certainly have their place and that is not in formal writing.

    7. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I use the ampersand sign when spaces are at a premium in the question answer and in the photo caption capsules. Otherwise, I use the word "and" in my writings.

  2. WD Curry 111 profile image59
    WD Curry 111posted 11 years ago

    I started my career as a sign painter, before the average fool even knew what a font was. I have seen every kind of ampersand ever done and came up with some new ones of my own. Those were the days. We always capitalized our "I"s.

    What are you going to do? English is always changing to meet practical needs. The failure to capitalize "I"s is not from sloth. Even now, it can be a hassle to switch modes on your phone to capitalize an i. I have even heard it taught that capitalizing your "i"s in a text is considered egotistical by the truly initiated. Do u no wut i mean?

    See Debbie Bruck. Things are changing at such an accelerate speed, that even you are caught off balance.

    1. Debby Bruck profile image67
      Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hello Dear WD ~ Am I caught off balance? To my mind, I still find the use of smaller case "i" not just informal, but incorrect and I wonder, as you say, that things will change at such a rapid pace, that this should become 'acceptable' when authoring a publication for professionals, societies and literature.

      I would love to see some of your original ampersands from the good old days of graphic designer typography.  When I went to art school, we were required to hand paint lettering and create our own alphabet. They only just started computer design and it was so new, people were afraid they would break the computer too easily.

      Now, everyone knows the word, "font" and understands the massive variety to choose, but still do not know much of the history behind the development of these alphabets and letters.

      I wrote about the use of smaller case "i" in Web Examiner's thread and the conversation about ee cummings.

      many thanks and blessings

  3. Xenonlit profile image61
    Xenonlitposted 11 years ago

    It is actually easier to type the word "and" then to find the ampersand symbol. I do not like that kind of shorthand in writing, unless it is for artistic expression, as in a poem.

    I even hate typing ampersands when they are a part of a company name or a title.

    1. Lisa HW profile image61
      Lisa HWposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I was just going to say pretty much the same thing.  I've always found it easier to just type out the word (epecially a three-letter one) than have to find the barely-ever-used ampersand) (and I really hate bothering with the symbols feature on cell phones)

      1. Debby Bruck profile image67
        Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Dear Lisa and Xenonlit ~ I'm getting to think, after reading all these comments, that people's minds work in unique and individual ways, so that some people tend toward using these shortcuts in the mathematical sense and other people need the long route to processing the information.

    2. vocalcoach profile image94
      vocalcoachposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I have to agree with you on both counts. I've never used the ampersand on my hubs and doubt that I ever will.

    3. Debby Bruck profile image67
      Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      To each his or her own, wouldn't you say? I feel the same way about abbreviations. It means I have to do some type of language translation in my mind to figure out what the initials stand for when they are used.

  4. MPG Narratives profile image60
    MPG Narrativesposted 11 years ago

    There are all sorts of short cuts now that technology is around. Some good, some not so good. As far as not capitalizing and the use of the ampersand I don't believe they should be used in a literary, business or professional writing sense. It's fine to use short cuts on twitter, facebook, forums etc, that's social & fun, see wut i mean. smile

    1. Debby Bruck profile image67
      Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      oh dear me! That really bites "see wut i meen."
      not only poor spelling, but for perfectionists and those who love structure, rules and regulations, it falls outside the acceptable parameters.

  5. Shaddie profile image79
    Shaddieposted 11 years ago

    I hate when people do this. The & symbol is just that, a symbol. When people are writing, they do not put the # symbol in place of the word 'pound' nor do they use @ in replacement for 'at.' So why is the ampersand any different?

    IT ISN'T! Another thing that bothers me about this is that once you start using symbols, all of the consistency of your paper suddenly becomes distorted. It's like if you started out spelling numbers (nine, five) at the beginning of your sentence, but then began to use their numerical symbols (9, 5) later on! Inconsistent and unprofessional.

    1. Debby Bruck profile image67
      Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Dear Shaddie ~ Do not be surprised when you DO begin to see people using the # pound and the @ at sign in odd places. In fact, I already see them being used quite frequently.

      1. Shaddie profile image79
        Shaddieposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Tell me about it. My VT teacher writes it on the blackboard sometimes, and it still annoys me even though I know she's just trying to save space...

  6. ytsenoh profile image79
    ytsenohposted 11 years ago

    I don't think you have to be "old school" to not appreciate using "i" instead of its capitalized form as written about in Web Examiner's thread which I read and supported.  Likewise, I think there is an appropriate time to use an ampersand (&) such as in titles of articles, books and the like.  I think both are used out of convenience while text messaging, and I would have to believe the same holds true out of laziness.  I also believe it's a choice; however, it's a choice I don't prescribe to. Using the "i" whether it will become trendy or not will never be a habit I will choose to develop. I would think that using an ampersand while texting takes more time because you'd have to push the shift key, right?  I think if your goal is to reach to write professionally, then you need to stick to "I" and only use "&" when it's appropriate.

    1. Debby Bruck profile image67
      Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hello Cathy ~ Thank you for putting in your opinion on professionalism. As an artist, I'm sure you may find the & sign useful in some situations when decorating cakes. When I write a couple's name while addressing a fancy envelope, I will use a large scrolled ampersand to add flare and beautify the address. Other times, I will write a small script "and" and maybe even underline it between two names.

  7. FloraBreenRobison profile image60
    FloraBreenRobisonposted 11 years ago

    I have only used & in things like twitter because of space issues.You only have a limited number of characters allowed. This is also a problem in the question section of Hubpages. And yet I ended up using full words in a question I just asked. Ironically enough, in my attempts to fit in meaningful wording  in the limited space, I ended up leaving out the words "the chance" and now the wording makes no sense. But I didn't use an "&"...sigh.

    1. Debby Bruck profile image67
      Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hello Sweet Flora. We all make those boo-boos when we try to refine and then the 'oops' happen when we go back to review. The question/answer section does not leave much room for editing after the question or answer is posted. Sorry. (HUGS)

  8. Debby Bruck profile image67
    Debby Bruckposted 11 years ago

    Derdriu ~ Do you ever visit the FORUMS? So happy to see you here!

    Hello Shaddie ~ Perhaps, after this open discussion and understanding awareness about the nature of symbols, shortcuts, brain circuitry, instead of becoming annoyed, we can all nod our heads and have a huge inner smile of compassion. Isn't it lovely? From annoyance to laughter. We all have an "inside joke" that bubbles happiness to the surface.

    & and & and & and & .....


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