In a Word: And & Ampersand

Due to a Latin spelling convention, the character “&” became known as the ampersand. When spelling things in Latin, singular characters that stand alone as words must be used with the phrase “per se”. So, “&” (a singular character for the word “et”) would be “et per se, et”. This carried over to English as “and per se, and”. The practice faded with time, except for “&” which, over the years, morphed into one word — “ampersand” — by which the character would be known forever.
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