#26 Reading Writing & Arithmetic
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It seems today the 3 R’s should be replaced with the 3 C’s:
Computers, Calculators & Cellphones.
Ideally, it would be the 3 R’s + the 5 C’s. Take the big yellow schoolbus OVER HERE to read about that.
But whatever the phrase is, there’s an ampersand in it. The symbol in this edition resembles a plus sign (for arithmetic of course) but I have a feeling it is still an ampersand in abbreviated form. Here is an illustration of my theory:
Starting with the typical scribbled ampersand, left, and evolving through the “scriptier” version next to it (which is the basis for several ampersands in script fonts) to the next two casual ampersands in the middle (which could double as plus signs) to the final mark which is a true plus sign — still meaning “et” or “and” — you see how I figure the evolution.
Another theory, though forced and most likely incorrect, is the clipping of the small area where the lines form a plus. This is only part of the “t” and does not include the “e” in the formation of a true ampersand, which is the ligature “et” meaning “and” in Latin:
Now to destroy my theory, the plus sign is called just that: “plus” which means “more” in Latin. So is it really a hastily scribbled version of the ampersand or not? I have no choice but to stick to my own theory (factoring in artistic license) so I may display the plus sign as an ampersand and issue this latest AmperArt editon.
My first clue, in first grade
It was in first grade that I became wary of the school system. Or any authority at all.
Before I even started kindergarten I was enthralled with type. I remember my dad pointing out numerals to me in books, and their shapes were embedded in my mind. I especially remember the number 4 because of my first warning of “the system”:
In first grade we were practicing writing numerals. Even as a kid I tried emulating how things were done professionally, so I drew the number 4 as I had seen on many printed pages, the top strokes meeting at an apex like this:
The next thing I knew, the craggy old teacher drew an X over my effort, stating I did not draw the number as instructed.
Miss H — — - (no wonder she was “Miss” — who would want to marry her?) said I must draw the figure according to the rules, like this:
(I don’t remember which and I don’t care — probably the first.)
From that point on I was wary of all teaching, instructions, opinions and especially rules and regulations. If I had “followed orders” and done what all the other students were doing (which of course earned them straight A’s) I just might be waiting tables or mopping floors instead of designing corporate logos and bestselling books.
I have since always weighed what I heard and read, ran it through my own analysis, and thought independently of the masses.
Do I believe in rules? Yes. They are for those who won’t think intelligently for themselves. I just wish there were less rules and more intelligent people.