Monday, February 07, 2011


While reading the biography mentioned in my previous post, I noted that in letters exchanged between Franklin and Eleanor, each writer used ampersands in place of the word "and." A few days ago, a friend who'd just read a different biography remarked that in earlier decades, writers abbreviated & misspelled often, & no one thought much about it.

I might have done better in those times, given how judgmental I am about grammar, punctuation, & writing in general. It would be much easier not to care, especially when reading newspapers.

Still, I grin every time I see an ampersand. When our son was about to turn 4, he was looking at the journal House & Garden at his Godmother's house. A neighbor who was visiting remarked doubtfully upon N's actually being able to read already. So, the wise Godmother (who knew better) said, "N, can you spell that magazine title?"

N read aloud, "H - O - U - S - E - Ampersand - G - A - R - D - E - N." Maybe you had to be there, but it was a really fun moment & that was because of the matter-of-fact reading by a small boy, who had no idea why the neighbor then clapped her hands.


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