The History of the & tag
Why the & is a plural symbol
"I" is a singularity. One-ness.
& is "and," an additive quality. Inclusiveness. Partnership. Togetherness.
& is "and company." & can be appended to a host or body-name to automatically include all entities who reside inside it.
& makes any name a system or sub-system name.
We were Criss& before we were The Crisses. (pronounced "Criss-and.")
Also, note in programming the ampersand
& is used for a logical AND, which tests for whether all conditions are true or valid. Plurality is inclusive, and all plurals are, hence, valid.
Tracing the History of its use amongst Plurals
This started on (or possibly before) the Otherkind-Hosts email list on Yahoogroups!
Before we became "The Crisses" we'd sign off our emails differently every time: "Criss & Co." "Criss & Collaborative" "Criss & Compendium" "Criss & Consortium" .... ad nauseum lol. At some point we finally came up with Crisses, but by then a multi had become abbreviated simply as their name with an & symbol i.e. "Criss&" short for "Criss & Company"..... ta da Smile
From Otherkind-Hosts list - July 23, 2003
Question: How would you mark a system or group affiliation within a system?
The proper way is personal choice, I think.
I use numerator/denominator at times: Frank/Crisses (like in math....)
which would be pronounced "of" as in a ratio. Similarly I use "of" as
a conjunction: Frank of Crisses, which is the same thing, only in
English instead of math terms.
Frankly, "to the Nth power" could work too...although I might put it
the other way around [Edited: Crisses^Star ....Crisses to the Star power :) ] heh....but that's personal preference, again. The less confusing it is for others to pick up, the better.
On bodyname stuff
"Crisses" is already plural. When people's [system] names are plural, we don't bother with anything else...i.e. Doltaghey House, The Crew, etc.
I use "&" as an abbreviation for &-company for multiple system names
(Lucy&, George&, Sarah&) to make it clear
that a normal usename or birthname is all-inclusive of the system
rather than that-person-specific [….] Only in the cases of
[when the individual named exists in the system] do I pronounce it -- and it's the suffix "and" to the name verbally. I also have been known to use this for subsystems in my own head: Aliessa&, Star&, Christina&...
Those are my personal conventions. I started the & Company thing a
long time ago and it got abbreviated and just pronounced as "and"
because I got tired of having to come up with a new C-word every time I
wrote something ;) (Criss & Crew. Criss & Consortium. Criss &
Cacaphony. Criss & Coconspirators, Criss & Companions, etc. thus it
eventually became Criss& :) --- it took in the community. Then I had
to go be different *AGAIN* and become "The Crisses" :) )
Further back, 3/28/2000, Otherkind-Hosts email list
[…]We used to have a Body-Name convention online of calling people by the given name with an "&" after it (meaning "main host and company" or "body and everyone inside it")...at that point I/all was Criss& --and I still use that convention for subsets of myselves like Star&, or Christina& […]
Current usage 15 years later (2018)
& is often appended to a host name or body name to depict the whole system, when there's no system name known. It can also be appended to a gatekeeper or veil name of a subsystem to denote the entire subsystem. When used aloud it's usually a trailing "and". Criss& is "Criss-and" but in live conversation sometimes people say "and company".
/ and ^ are used interchangably to separated Headmate from System Name. Thus Star/Crisses or Star^Crisses can be used interchangably. Usually just spoken as "of".