Friday’s answers

Andrei gets my thanks for posing yesterday’s questions and can claim a virtual chocolate sinker should he have stumped us all by leaving the answers below.

One Response to Friday’s answers

  1. Andrei says:

    Look at the character above the number 7 on your keyboard – that is the topic of today’s quiz

    (1) What is this character called?

    It is called the “ampersand”, a character that has seen a new lease of life with computer programming and markup languages

    (2) When it was officially part of the English alphabet what position in the alphabet did it occupy?

    It was the 27th letter of the English alphabet until the late 19th century

    (3) It is technically a “ligature” that is a letter created by combining two other letters – from what two letters was it created?

    it was formed by combining E and T in early medieval times, the form it has today is first seen in documents from 400 AD

    (4) What did these letters spell out?

    Et – the latin word for “and”. . A word scribes would have frequently written

    (5) how did it get its current name?

    It was common in the 18th and 19th centuries when referring to a letter by name that also was a word in its own right to prefix it with per se thus when referring to the letter “i” you would say “per se i “to avoid confusion with the nominative first person pronoun I

    This children reciting the alphabet would say “per se a b c …x y z and per se and” the last being corrupted to ampersand

    Incidentally the character’s original name was “et” ‘and this quiz was inspired by seeing ” etc.” written as“&c. “

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