Edit: Thanks to the commenters who pointed out that both I and my google-using fellow idjut had mispelled the term in question. Information on the Tironean note can be found here.
It’s been some time since I did a Google Penance post, but today someone came here searching for information on the Tyronean Note, a symbol used like an ampersand, to represent ‘and’. I did some googling myself, and there is- unsurprisingly- no information out there on this handy little sign. (My google ranking for ‘Tyronean note’ is higher than it is for ‘Naked Philologist’…)
I do not know much about it, but here is what I do know:
* The Tyronean Note, represented as ‘7’, is used in Anglo-Saxon texts to represent ‘and’. The ampersand (“&”) is also in use in Anglo-Saxon England- Wikipedia cites an example from Byrtferth’s letters. It wouldn’t surprise me if one were in use for Latin texts and the other for Anglo-Saxon, but I have no evidence for this, and I suspect it would change over the course of the period anyway.
* The Tyronean Note looks just like a 7, except that- as in some old ladies’ handwriting- it has a descender instead of an ascender. (That is, if you were in kindergarten, you’d start your 7 at the line which marks the top of your small letter ‘m’, and you would carry it down to the line which marks the bottom of your ‘y’.)
* In modern editions of Anglo-Saxon texts, either a number seven is used, or the word ‘and/ond’ is written out. Sometimes an ampersand [&] is used in place of a 7, but that doesn’t seem to be the standard practice.
* I was once told that the Note had classical origins, but unfortunately, I cannot tell you what they were or where they came from. Nor, sadly, do I know how long the Note was in use for.
The only other thing I know is that I like the Tyronean Note very much, and I now use it in my own notetaking. I’ve never been able to draw &, and used to use + instead. 7 requires one less lift of the pen, and I am a lazy person. Plus, it makes me feel extra nerdy.
Can anyone else contribute some exciting information about the Tyronean Note for the edification of the internet?