Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Omni, this is what the ampersands are all about in the pictures two posts down. A manifesto/petition of sorts was written, mostly by me, about the ampersand for "Rock for the River" a while ago.

Current trends in English and American grammar are slowly leading towards the elimination of one of our language’s more practical yet little known symbols: the ampersand, or “&”. Help us to preserve our linguistic heritage by showing your support for the use of the ampersand. Many brand names and incorporated business names utilize this symbol to simplify the spelling of their names. You too can simplify your life by replacing all instances of “and” with a stylish “&”. Protect the ampersand before it disappears from our language forever!

1) Big business corporations are stealing yet another thing from us, the common people, and we need to stand up for the English language, protect it as it deserves to be and take the ampersand back for ourselves.

2) The ampersand takes many forms, many of them quite ugly. We need to take an aesthetically pleasing version to standardize and keep the English language as beautiful as it could and should be. I think (and, as writer of this manifesto, I think I have the right) that this form should be characterized by that shown in the watermark on this very page. Strange request you say? I hardly think so. All other grammatical symbols in English have become standardized and easily recognizable as being what they are supposed to be. No one writes a period in any other way than as a single dot. The ampersand has been abused far more than any other form of punctuation or symbol. That is why it needs our help to reach its former state of glory and to reclaim its rightful place as king in the realm of symbolical grammar.

We the undersigned agree with all of the above and demand the changes necessary to protect, preserve and in all other ways defend a single awesome version of the ampersand (and to expunge all other forms) so that it once again reaches the grammatical stature and common usage it deserves.

(81 signatures follow including a certain person you may have heard of ... Ghandi. Curiously enough he has the same email as one of my friends.)

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