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In writing and typography, a ligature occurs where two or more graphemes or letters are joined to form a single glyph. Examples are the characters ⟨æ⟩ and ⟨œ⟩ used in English and French, in which the letters ⟨a⟩ and ⟨e⟩ are joined for the first ligature and the letters ⟨o⟩ and ⟨e⟩ are joined for the second ligature. For stylistic and legibility reasons, ⟨f⟩ and ⟨i⟩ are often merged to create ⟨fi⟩ (where the tittle on the ⟨i⟩ merges with the hood of the ⟨f⟩); the same is true of ⟨s⟩ and ⟨t⟩ to create ⟨st⟩. The common ampersand, ⟨&⟩, developed from a ligature in which the handwritten Latin letters ⟨e⟩ and ⟨t⟩ (spelling et, Latin for 'and') were combined.

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