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Things were not always thus, however. Today’s ampersand might take pride of place in the elevated names of Fortnum & Mason and Moët & Chandon, but its Roman ancestor was a different beast entirely. Born in distinctly ignoble circumstances and dogged by a rival character of weighty provenance, the ampersand would spend a thousand years of uneasy coexistence with its opponent before finally claiming victory. The ampersand’s is a true underdog story.
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