The ampersand (&) is an often over-used abbreviation for the word and. Its use should be limited to a few situations.

We use an ampersand:

  • in certain company names; e.g. Smith & Jones Consulting;
  • if space is very limited; e.g. in a table with a lot of text;
  • when artistic considerations dictate; e.g. a logo; and
  • in some academic references; e.g. (Grant & Smith, 1998).

Do not use an ampersand in general writing simply to abbreviate the word and. For example, we write:

  • We need to reorder toner cartridges and paper.


  • We need to reorder toner cartridges & paper.

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