I've been trying to teach myself some basic German and been finding DeutschFuerEuch very helpful. Anyway acquainted myself with the German eszett, ß and that got me reading on the world of typographic ligatures and their evolution. Good ole ampersand (&) turns out to be a form of Latin et. How manuscript writing and typing led to these is very well worth a read. Anyway, shout out once again to Katja from DeutschFuerEuch - her lessons are very well worth your time if you plan to travel to German speaking countries and would like to have your kitty of phrases - she's very nice.