It's okay to use an ampersand (&) any time you don't feel like writing out the word "and."
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.