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  • Category: Improve Your English

    When is it correct to use the word and the symbol &?

    When going through a text I had typed, my sister informed me that one should never put the & symbol. Instead, the word 'and' should always be put in sentences which are for formal text. She said that the & symbol is Ok to use in informal communications, say, with a friend, and in the name of a company, such as L&T. Frankly, I never knew this! I have been merrily using the symbol as a kind of shortcut instead of typing out the three letter word.

    I would like some more details on this as I do use the symbol when submitting a job, where, for example:
    1. Finance & Accounts vacancies.
    2. F&B assistants (for a job vacancy for the food and beverage department in a hotel.)
    3. Business development & Administrative managers are required.

    In the above examples, as per English grammar, is it correct to use the symbol?

    Secondly, should the word immediately after the symbol always begin with a capital letter? Are there any exceptions to the rule?

    Thirdly, should there be no space before and after the symbol in the case of examples like the second one above, where only single letters are there?

    Can members give their input on this? Please don't give me information from the Net, but give guidance as per your own expertise and knowledge.
  • #656134
    I am in my office. Right now, I have sent a note stating "AS &PD and JS(PP) will attend the said meeting". Here Additional Secretary & Project Director is an Officer holding two charges and Joint Secretary (Policy & Planning) is another Officer.

    In this particular case, the symbol '&' has been used to indicate a single Officer holding two charges. Generally, in Government Offices, we don't like to use this symbol.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #656138
    Generally, many of the private companies will give designation to people with different activities. When we write their designation we will use symbol & .
    For example Vice Chairman & Managing Director. One person will be having both the designations. In such cases, we use the symbol.
    Another example GM IR & PM. Here only one person will be doing Industrial relations and Personnel Management. There we will use the symbol f&
    Generally, when we write a text we will never use symbol & but write 'and"

    always confident

  • #656148
    The symbol ' &' should not be used in sentences. The word should be spelled out.
    Example -Sun and Fun go well at ISC.
    The symbol can be used where two things are combined to say one thing.
    Example - Sun&Fun Enterprises, (It is an enterprise managed by Mr. Sun and Mr. Fun)(No space before and after the symbol &)

    No life without Sun

  • #656152
    The use of the 'ampersand' in the place of 'and' is mainly to save time and space. There is no any strict rule seen about the use of &.
    However, in official and legal documents 'and' itself has to be used, ampersand will not be allowed.


  • #656162
    So far my understanding of this is related to the use of '&' within an entity and use of 'and' as a separator between the entities.

    For example we can write -
    After completing B.Com. one can go for Diploma in Finance & Accounts and Diploma in Office Administration & System Management.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #656173
    I agree with Sankaran. In corporates time and money are everything. Increasing more number of characters would increase the costs. And also readability is an important factor in marketing. If the name of shop extends the readable rate or takes long time to read, then the store won't be catchy and won't attract consumers. & is not seen in classic literature much. It makes its appearance only after printing press appeared. So it could be that & was originally a way to reduce the load on printing.
    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #656257
    If the ampersand comes between two words, such as Sita and Gita, then it should have a space before and after the ampersand. If it is between acronyms, such as S and G, then there is no need to have a space before and after the ampersand and S&G would be correct. It the ampersand comes between two abbreviations, like am and pm, then again it should have space before and after the ampersand and it should be 'am & pm'. No need to capitalise the word after an ampersand, unless the word is originally capitalised.

    Sun is wrong with his example - 'Sun&Fun Enterprises', It should be 'Sun & Fun Enterprises' ( with space before and after the ampersand). Had it been acronyms, such as S&F, it would have been correct.

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #656273
    I remember that in school, my English teacher always encircled the symbol '&' when the students used it in their classwork and homework copies. In the examination, marks were deducted so in school days only I learnt that it's for informal use.

  • #656285
    [Response removed by Admin. Read forum policies.]

  • #656294
    Thanks to everyone who responded to this thread for the informative guidance. I have duly understood.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

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