What is the difference between the word "and" and the ampersand ("&") located between writers' names in a writing credit? The word "and" designates that the writers wrote separately, and an ampersand ("&") denotes a writing team.
In screenplays, two authors joined with & collaborated on the script, while two authors joined with and worked on the script at different times and may not have consulted each other.
In 2001, the Dutch design company Experimental Jetset set out to make an ur-shirt, an archetypal band shirt for an archetypal band. The T-shirt bore no image, only the following text:
Initially, only the names had been listed, but the visual designers didn't like how much longer the George line was than the others, so they added ampersands after the first three names. A purely aesthetic choice, and what's wrong with that?
In the years since hundreds of shirts have paid homage to this original by borrowing its form, ampersands included. One can find T-shirts advertising their wearer's allegiance to other bands and musicians (Billie & Aretha & Mary J & Lauryn & Erkyah), the characters of television shows and movies (Luke & Leia & Han & Chewie), the disciples (Judas holds the ampersand-less last spot), political campaigns (Barack & Obama & Yes & We & Can), sports teams, a city's neighborhoods, and the vague designations of a lifestyle (Shoes & Alcohol & Drugs & Boys).
The ampersand symbol (&) has its origins in the Latin language. It is a ligature. It was created by combining two or more letters into a single glyph. The symbol evolved over time, starting as a combination of the letters "e" and "t" (from the Latin word "et," meaning "and"). This combination eventually became stylized, with the letters merged to create a new symbol resembling the modern ampersand.
The name "ampersand" is a corruption of the phrase "and per se and," which was used to describe the symbol when it was still considered a letter of the alphabet. In the 19th century, the ampersand was often included as the 27th letter of the alphabet, with its distinct pronunciation ("and per se and"). Over time, the symbol became recognized as a punctuation mark rather than a letter, and its use became standardized in written language.
Today, the ampersand is widely used as a shorthand for the word "and" in written communication, particularly in graphic design and branding. Its unique and distinctive shape has made it a popular element in logos and other visual designs.