The difference between "&" and "and"?

satya's picture

The topic is >>
What is the difference between "&" and "and"_?

It may be a silly question but i really don't know where to use what.
What is the main difference but_? I am working on a book publication and the title for that book is, "Design & System". Now how do i write it_? Which way would be better and why_?

Thanks,
Satya_

blank's picture

& is a ligature for the French word et. Over time it became so popular that it spread into other languages; becoming a more general Latin language symbol. The difference is context - sometimes it just looks better to use & than it does to spell out the word and. It is a somewhat conservative symbol; contemporary designers have begun replacing it with + here in the US, particularly when used with Sans Serif type.

Alessandro Segalini's picture

The "ampersand" or "esperluette" is itself an abbreviation of the Latin “et”, “and”.
http://www.adobe.com/type/topics/theampersand.html &
http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/contents.html

cuttlefish's picture

Satya, are you asking when the usage of one or the other is more appropriate?

The ampersand is more often used in business names or book titles, those that are comprised of a short list of product or proprietor names, such as "Dungeons & Dragons", "Dewey, Cheatham, & Howe, Accounting", or "An Jan Grain & Feed".

The ampersand is frowned upon in body text unless citing such a proper name that normally uses one. Your use of the ampersand for your book title is totally sane and appropriate, but entirely optional.

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Strange stress at the bottom.

hrant's picture

After having viewed that highly-honored (but apparently never implemented) logo time and again, I've finally realized what's wrong with it: he should've just made the ampersand into the "O".

BTW, there's a lot of great stuff in the Typophile archives concerning ampersands, what people think of Gill's use of them, which ones are our favorites, suggestions of when to possibly use them instead of "and", etc... But we know how access to the archives goes. :-/

hhp

Solipsism's picture

Re: After having viewed that highly-honored (but apparently never implemented) logo time and again, I’ve finally realized what’s wrong with it: he should’ve just made the ampersand into the “O”.

Hmm... I'd like to see that. For comparison sake. Or would we be treading on sacred ground?

blank's picture

I didn't realize the the ampersand went back so far! Nifty!

hrant's picture

Just because you mentioned sacred... :->

I fixed the spacing too.
Am I famous yet?
Dang.

hhp

Solipsism's picture

Ha, fantastic.

It definitely reads cleaner, solving the problematic contrast between the stress of the ampersand and the encompassing O.

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Less wishy-washy black, but the stress of the ampersand differs from the stress of Goudy Old Style. Hrant, you used to like the ampersand of Monotype Script Bold.

hrant's picture

True, that momma certainly has too much chunk in the trunk.

> you used to like the ampersand of Monotype Script Bold.

As Butt-Head would say: "Hey, you're paying attention!"
Good memory. And I still do.

hhp

Alessandro Segalini's picture

I don't have good memory, Hrant, I just have a link & what is your good memory about ?
(please notice the '&' not to go off-topic)

hrant's picture

Well, at least I can still accuse you of paying attention.

> what is your good memory about ?

No, I meant I still like the ampersand in Monotype Script Bold.

hhp

franzheidl's picture

Very nice Hrant, but the uterus (O) is gone in your attempt…
therefore i think Lubalin's is better, sorry. Probably not on the aesthetic side of things, but in terms of meaning.

thierry blancpain's picture

in german language, you cant use the & whenever you want. its only allowed between names, for example "goldmann & sachs", and mostly in names of corporations.

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Yes, we also call it "e commerciale" in Italian but I sometimes don't understand when editors say for example something like "well, it doesn't look modern", that sounds to me like calling lower cases "small letters", but of course context and coherence are always important.

BradB's picture

Alessandro has a good point. Italian simply uses "è", so I can see how it might be somewhat excessive and outdated to use "&" instead. Although Dolce & Gabanna uses an ampersand... Maybe it goes back to that "commerical" thing.

satya's picture

Wow!! am learning.
:)

hrant's picture

> the uterus (O) is gone

Wow, I never knew that the mother-to-be
herself goes into one during her pregnancy...

Even if she did Lubalin's version would still be too clunky.

hhp

aluminum's picture

The uterus is still there...it's just that the water broke.

I like hrants update. So much better than the typical 'let's add a gradient, 3-d effect and reflection' trend that goes into logo updates these days... ;o)

Don McCahill's picture

> contemporary designers have begun replacing it with + here in the US, particularly when used with Sans Serif type.

Which I hate. + does not mean and, it means plus. If Smith + Jones is used, I read it as Smith plus Jones, which is generally not what is wanted.

MHSmith's picture

Just a further historical note: & is a ligature (not an abbreviation) for e+t, long in use both for 'and' and as part of any other word, e.g. 'proph&a'. It first became usual in late Roman cursive (ca 3rd cent. AD), but it really became something special in 8th- to 12th-cent. Caroline minuscule, when the many other old ligatures in existence were discarded except for that one. It then disappeared from 13th-cent. gothic scripts, only to be restored in 15th-cent. humanistic writing.
Yours &c.

PS I hadn't read the Adobe history of the ampersand page yet. Don't believe too much of what you read there.

thierry blancpain's picture

wikipedia about the ampersand. the image on the left shows greatly how & consisted of e and t in the beginning (and still, in some typefaces).

hrant's picture

On the other hand, since Latin doesn't have nearly enough symbols to begin with, it's much better if/when the ampersand doesn't look like E/e+t. Same with the @: the less the inside looks like an "a" the better.

BTW, that wiki says the ampersand sometimes appears (more like used to appear) as the last letter of the alphabet, and that reminds me to mention that in Armenian the "yev" (a ligation of yetch and hyoun - the latter often called "bzdig vuh" = "little v") which means "and" is quite often placed before the last two letters of our alphabet. There are two reasons for this: the last two letters (oh and feh) were added later (to better accomodate foreign names); and it makes the number of letters divisible by three, which makes reciting the alphabet sound better. The bad news is that this -along with the timeless facilitative advantages of ligatures, and the fact that the yev is indeed elementally letters- causes many people to use the yev as actual letters in words. Imagine "h&y" in English for comparison... :-/

hhp

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Yes, of course it's a ligature, I was talking mechanically, meaning functional/practical, a type of abbreviation which is a typographical construct, not an acronym.
Brad, we use “è” as a verb ("he/she/it is"), "and" is "e", no accent——"pane e vino", but "pane & vino" sounds more tasty is those buddy stand alone. It's time for dinner here, in Turkish, "et" is meat, "ev" is "home", "ev&" is "yes", what a mèss, buon appetito.

MHSmith's picture

PPS The same for Wikipedia (pardon, Thierry). I'm not sure I would consider the image on the left an ampersand at all, more like just e and t close together, or let's say it's a late adaptation, but with a completely different structure from the old Roman ligature.

As for the 'italic ampersand' (on the right), it's something else altogether, and much more recent: an Italian Renaissance creation, inspired I think by Byzantine calligraphy. (That's why the e and t are easier to recognise in it.)

Not to mention the modern 'handwritten ampersand' illustrated which is obviously just a sloppy +.

PPPS Senza offesa Alessandro. Actually, although it was born as a ligature, it has now become an abbreviation. & buon app&ito 2 U.

Linda Cunningham's picture

I'm with Don on the "+" for "and" -- it's just so self-indulgent. Not surprisingly, one sees it at many architectural firms here.

(Once worked with an architect on a museum exhibit who decided he was a graphic designer, and created the most useless piece of print I've ever seen in my life, and which was universally panned by the high-end graphics/ID firm who were donating their service for the project. The architect told me that he was much more "qualified" to do this than anyone else because "I'm an architect, and I can design anything.")

Yeah, right.

Linda

hrant's picture

Just be happy he didn't try to design a text font.

hhp

Linda Cunningham's picture

He tried, actually: it was such a horrible piece of you-know-what that even his (only) defender on the organizing committee (surprise, another architect!) had to admit that we had to tear it down before the opening.

Good thing we already had something professionally designed ready to replace it.

L.

hrant's picture

Linda, if you could get me an image of the font I'd love to use it as an example of what happens when the wrong person who thinks he's the right person makes a font. It would be exactly the sort of thing to show on the first day of a typeface design course.

hhp

Linda Cunningham's picture

ROFL! I can imagine it would be. Unfortunately (or fortunately!), it was ripped out of the frame and tossed straight into the trash nearly seven years ago. He's still around, promoting himself as the next Frank Gehry, but we don't exactly talk, y'know? ;-)

Picture, however, if you will, the illigitimate child of Arial Bold and Comic Sans, set at 144 pt, with the letterspacing -100, and 72 pt leading, and you'd get real close.

L.

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Rotis '&' rocks :D
Merci, Marc.

hrant's picture

What I'd get is real close to ralphing my breakfast.

hhp

Linda Cunningham's picture

Oh, yeah, and all caps too.

I believe I used, among other descriptors, the words "disgusting," "inappropriate," "embarrassing," "repulsive," and "useless" at the time.

Along with more than a few words I won't reproduce here. ;-)

Linda

eliason's picture

> Wow, I never knew that the mother-to-be
herself goes into one during her pregnancy…

I'm with franzheidl, I've always read the ampersand there as a baby, or rather a fetus, not as the mother.

(I also think the revision reads more as METHER than MOTHER...)

hrant's picture

> all caps too

Of course.
They line up so nicely, like who ever needs lc?!

> I’ve always read the ampersand there as a baby, or rather a fetus

So wait, the "O" is the mother? Can't be...
Oh, I get it - it's the placenta. The thing the
TV never shows being pushed out afterwards.

> METHER

How do you think she got pregnant?! ;-)

--

Seriously: overt symbolism should never be allowed to make design ugly.

hhp

Linda Cunningham's picture

And would you believe I got an invitation today to attend an alumni event? It was addressed to "Staff, Faculty, Alumni + Friends"? The current dean is an architect....

aaaaarrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhhh............

Solipsism's picture

To add to the +:

Nicole d' Oresme (1323-1382) may have used a figure which looks like a plus symbol as an abbreviation for the Latin et (meaning "and") in Algorismus proportionum, believed to have been written between 1356 and 1361. The symbol appears in a manuscript of this work believed to have been written in the fourteenth century, but perhaps by a copyist and not Oresme himself. The symbol appears, for example, in the sentence: "Primi numeri sesquiterti sunt .4. et .3., et primi numeri sev termini sesquialtere sunt .3. et .2." [Dic Sonneveld].

The plus symbol as an abbreviation for the Latin et, though appearing with the downward stroke not quite vertical, was found in a manuscript dated 1417 (Florian Cajori).

The + and - symbols first appeared in print in Mercantile Arithmetic or Behende und hüpsche Rechenung auff allen Kauffmanschafft, by Johannes Widmann (born c. 1460), published in Leipzig in 1489. However, they referred not to addition or subtraction or to positive or negative numbers, but to surpluses and deficits in business problems (Cajori vol. 1, page 128).

Source:
http://members.aol.com/jeff570/mathsym.html

Of course, the 'and' and the symbol + is used as a mathematical operation in these examples.

paul d hunt's picture

personally, i like the "+" as and. it's how i draw my ampersands when i write.

Joe Pemberton's picture

The ampersand is punctuation and should be used as such. It's not a word.

paul d hunt's picture

i don't think of the ampersand as punctuation. i think of it as a ligature appropriate in titling situations and inappropriate in text except for trying to create a period effect, much as other "discretionary" ligatures such as s_t and c_t.

ben_archer's picture

The ampersand is frowned upon in body text unless citing such a proper name that normally uses one. Your use of the ampersand for your book title is totally sane and appropriate, but entirely optional.

I agree. Satya, I was taught that the ampersand is ok to use if you're fighting for space in a title or headine that contains the word 'and'. The logic is that it's a contraction* so it takes up less (horizontal) space than three characters. In a body text situation, the convention is to spell words out in full, which is why Gill's using it throughout the text of the 'Essay on Typography' was so er, iconoclastic.

*maybe this is the other reason for the iconic status of Lubalin's Mother&Child masthead.

hrant's picture

> contraction ... Mother&Child

Now that's funny.

hhp

creativeles's picture

Interesting that this pops up right now. I just finished a Google search for "how to use the ampersand" and was directed to this link: http://www.typophile.com/node/12426. Previous discussion of this wonderful subject. Right or wrong, (although I believe it is subjective at this point in time) I "like" the ampersand and will sneek it in here and there if I think I can get away with it. My 2¢.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Hrant: It is "junk in the trunk," not "chunk in the trunk."

Other: I don't think of the ampersand as punctuation, but I do think there are more appropriate, and sometimes stylistic, times to use it.

hrant's picture

> http://www.typophile.com/node/12426

Bingo. Thank you.

Tiff, it seems "junk ..." is much more common, but I have
actually heard "chunk ..." used (on some dumb TV show).

hhp

Miss Tiffany's picture

=^) But chunk isn't as flattering as junk. ;^D

j_p_giese's picture

Never before have I heard someone call the ampersand punctuation (which may well be because I'm not really anglophone and because the meaning of punctuation is different from the German Interpunktion), but Google tells me that this interpretation isn't as abnormal as I would've thought.

I'd agree, though, that the ampersand isn't a word and shouldn't be used as such.

The ampersand is undoubtedly a ligature. A ligature without a surrounding word. Hence, I'd call it a standalone ligature.

In terms of where to use it properly, I'd spontaneously compare it (loosely) to a titling "The" with Th ligature: in many typefaces too uncommon looking a ligature, IMHO, to be appropriate for running text, but nice to have for titles and logos (or wherever type bears a strong graphic aspect).

In terms of intrinsic meaning, the ampersand is no substitute for an ordinary "and". I'd never use it like "I was terribly jetlagged & slept for thirty hours" (much like I'd never use the + sign in text context). Instead, the ampersand is a way to express that things or persons are strongly linked and form a unity; it's used mainly in formal, soigné or festive context. (Personally, I wouldn't be overly hesitating to use a beautiful ampersand in "Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year" if the words were set in a designed arrangement and not running text.)

When the ampersand is used in corporate names ("... introduced us to Mr. Frederick Fine from Fine & Dandy..."), it becomes, in my eyes, part of a (typo)graphic unit that shouldn't be disintegrated (into "Frederick Fine from Fine and Dandy") without necessity.

Please note that this is my German point of view. In other languages, the use of the ampersand might be different (although I can't recall to have seen the ampersand used in contemporary English or French as an arbitrary substitute for the word "and").

jpg

Solipsism's picture

Re: Please note that this is my German point of view. In other languages, the use of the ampersand might be different (although I can’t recall to have seen the ampersand used in contemporary English or French as an arbitrary substitute for the word “and”).

>>>Pick up Eric Gill's An Essay on Typography. The ampersand is all over the place in place of and. Here's an example from page 21 of the most commonly available facsimile (sorry Godine publishers, I love your books, but this edition has a terrible cover.)

Gill: "The absurd rule that the ampersand (&) should only be used in 'business titles' must be rescinded, & there are many other contractions which a sane typographer should encourage."

I should also say that Gill didn't like to wear underwear and that the last chapter on his advocacy of phonography is a bit looney...

Geoffrey Dowding's Finer Points in the Spacing & Arrangement of Type also makes a very passionate argument for the use of the ampersand in the actual text body.

Dowding gives as an example Manutius's Hypernerotmachia Poliphili:

My apologies for the quality of the scans... parts of the images got smudged...

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