General Question

dxs's avatar

What's the proper way to draw the "and" sign?

Asked by dxs (15091points) October 22nd, 2014

I’m talking about the one that has the wavy squiggle and then the line or the dots. Some people draw a 3 and then put two dots above and below it, others put a slash through it. Yet others like I draw a backwards 3 (cursive E I guess) and then slash it (or double-dot it). And then there are some other more deviant variations of this symbol.
What is this thing called and what is its origin?

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17 Answers

ibstubro's avatar


Honestly? I’d go with +.

Universal + easy.

dxs's avatar

Maybe. The one that looks like this. I’m asking about that specific symbol. The article doesn’t really go into detail about it.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I don’t think there’s a “correct” way to handwrite it. There are many variations depending on the typeface.

Check out the history of the ampersand in @ibstubro‘s link. The symbol itself originates in the Latin et (for “and”, of course), but the origin of the word ampersand is more interesting!

deni's avatar

I dont think there is a correct way either. I basically draw it in one stroke, so it is essentially a 3 with a vertical line off the top and bottom. Good question.

Buttonstc's avatar

I just draw it in one easy motion. It looks like a backwards cursive capital S. Quick and easy. No extra dots, dashes or squiggles necessary.

JLeslie's avatar

I use a loopy plus sign, but the ampersand is what I was taught first when I was younger. Ampersand is also what is on our keyboards &&&. I actually draw it backwards when I write it. I didn’t even realize it’s backwards until right now. The way I do it is faster when writing in cursive I think, because it continues the left to right motion. I have used the letter y also in personal notes that only I will be reading.. Y is and in Spanish.

citizenearth's avatar

The symbol ’&’ (ampersand) represents “and” in short form. To write it effortlessly, just draw it by starting from bottom, then go left upwards, make a loop by going right downwards, then finish off by making a curve from the left towards the right. To explain needs many words but once you see how people draw it, it is just a cursive sign.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I do a reversed 3 with a dot at the top and bottom. Drawing the ‘traditional’ ampersand with the squiggle is just too much work.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I learned it as starting with your pen ⅔ up from the bottom and draw straight down. then reverse and make an arc to the left ending at make a loop. then move straight to the right to make a cross. It looks like a bit like a plus sign with a loop on the left.

CWOTUS's avatar

So that it can be recognized, and that is ALL that matters.

Here2_4's avatar

I think you are asking after a particular style of And per se And. I always wrote it as a backwards curved E but with a solid line down through it. Apparently it is an imitation of someone’s very bad penmanship of very long ago.
If you really want answera, I have found you some links. Each seems a bit lacking, but together they tell quite a story.;_ylt=A0LEV0W1BUlUq0MAHzNXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0aDJqZXFjBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDUwM18x?_adv_prop=image&fr=moz35&va=history+of+ampersand+symbol

dxs's avatar

I can sort of see the “et”. I guess the way I have always been drawing it (what Wiki calls an “epsilon”) is closest to its origin. It was interesting to learn that it can be considered the 27th letter of the alphabet.

Pandora's avatar

I’ve always drawn it as a backward 3 like an E only round like a 3 with a slash line from top to bottom like the letter I

fluthernutter's avatar

@dxs Link doesn’t work. But etymology makes sense.

Sinqer's avatar

I usually use a + symbol without picking up my pen for the second, horizontal mark.
I was taught that the ampersand was only used when two things are considered a single unit, or when speaking of a set containing only those two members (like a label for the set).
I’ve never used the E/3 symbols.
Proper? I have a hard time with the concept of it. Seems subjective to me. My first notion would be, as long as the reader understands the symbol you use, communication is done, proper enough for me. My second notion leans toward the creative. I don’t see why you couldn’t invent your very own symbol and use it, though it would require a lot of explaining when people didn’t understand, just like any applied neologism.

Me and friends use the terms Danz and Danzen all the time now. I made them up for a fantasy realm in which I write. Most people don’t ask unless they hear me say it enough times (like coworkers).

My vote, your ‘and’ symbol is the proper way :)

dxs's avatar

@Sinqer True enough. I said “proper” since I had no idea of its origin, and they seemed to be all related. I purposely don’t use the plus sign because although “and” and addition are virtually the same, I still feel like it’ll throw me off if I’m writing down math things.

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