I see a lot of web text that use "&" to mean "and" and I think it's terrible, not readable, nor friendly, can anyway confirm or challenge that? any real facts to put it in perspective?

Same goes to "Sentence-case" vs "Title-Case" - but that will be a separate question

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    Can you give us some context? – Alex Feinman Jun 6 '11 at 18:59
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    Shouldn't your title be "and" vs "&"? – Raffael Luthiger Jun 6 '11 at 19:54
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    Exactly why is it terrible? An ampersand means "and". I also don't see how you can say it is not readable or friendly. – Charles Boyung Jun 6 '11 at 19:57
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    dont know what Charles, james and ChrisF think its subjective! i knew the word "better" was gonna throw off a few, thats why i asked in terms of "readability"... i cant make any value of this site if few "subjective" opinions keep closing my questions! ive seem much more "debatable" questions on ux! – Ayyash Jun 7 '11 at 5:02
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    Click on the link that says reopen. 5 people required to reopen it. I clicked it. Not sure how many people have that permission. Question Nazis strike again, ugh. :( – Glen Lipka Jun 7 '11 at 14:38

My personal opinion? Write the word "and." It just seems more clean, polished, and like you weren't too lazy to spell it out. When I think of professional writing, I think of things like this.

Professionally? I think it is important to determine a writing style and to stick with it throughout the project, or across the board if you choose. I am a big fan of the Chicago Manual of Style. I generally stick to their recommendations. Join their site or buy the latest version of the manual if you are going to be doing any serious content writing.

Or choose AP style. Or any other guidelines. But, find a professional style, not something from a Wiki that is made up of users like us!

Here is a link to a quick Google of one instance of Chicago Manual's opinion...


  • see? some people have facts! thanks Kenn, never knew about the Chicago Manual, great stuff – Ayyash Jun 7 '11 at 5:10
  • Ayyash - CMOS is a style guide. Nothing to do with "facts". – gef05 Jun 7 '11 at 13:14
  • Much of UX is instructed by guidelines. I wouldn't call them facts, but I would call them expert guidance. – Glen Lipka Jun 7 '11 at 14:39
  • @Glen. I'm just a little concerned that Ayyash may be misinterpreting what a style guide is. I wrote for years using CMOS, then several years using APA, and have limited experience with Turabian. What you do according to what's right for one can be a serious error according to another. Just a note of caution is all I meant by my "facts" comment (it came across pretty blunt). – gef05 Jun 7 '11 at 18:40
  • I agree. Style guides arent gospel. Use with eyes open. – Glen Lipka Jun 7 '11 at 21:19


Alternative URL: http://web.archive.org/web/20150311184129/http://typophile.com/node/12426

This is a link to a forum discussion. It's too long to quote here. They raise some good pros and cons though. It's worth reading.

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    Most importantly, it shows you how hard an ampersand is to read during normal text. If I have to choose between readability or saving two characters, I'll choose readability every time. – djlumley Jun 7 '11 at 0:16
  • This is a link-only answer. It would be better to quote or paraphrase some of the important points here. – Matt Jun 9 '16 at 19:49
  • I agree, but the details of the page are so in-depth, I don't think I would do it justice. The page URL didn't work, so I added an archive.org URL which should be more permanent. – Glen Lipka Jun 10 '16 at 20:35

I use them all the time. If you google fancy ampersand - there are all kinds of techniques on how to even make it prettier. I think you are mistaking typography/design with something you have a personal bias against.


That seems like you have a personal preference, however there are proper uses.

Mostly, you should use the ampersand in titles.

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