I remember the day I first realized that an ampersand is a stylized rendering of the Latin word "et."
It was about eleven years ago. I was sitting in my office, about to go teach class, looking at a CD that a colleague had lent me:
Suddenly it all became clear—that "and" sign was actually the letters "e" and "t" swirled together in a fancy way.
Granted, it was a small epiphany, but for days afterward I looked with new eyes at every ampersand I found. Suddenly, looking at ampersands was like looking at one of those Magic Eye posters.