twitter linkedin email
Addendum: Ampersands
Apr 5, 2019
2 minutes read

Almost three weeks ago I publicly and fearlessly exposed ampersands for what they truly are: Dead weight on your keyboard.

Since then I have been overwhelmed with marriage requests. Thank you everyone, but this editor is a swingin’ single for now.

I checked my print copy of The Canadian Style, 8th ed. (NOT CP Style) and thought some would be interested in this even stricter interpretation of the ampersand rule.

The ampersand (&) is properly used only when it forms part of a corporate name:

The publisher was Ginn & Co.

The case is being defended by Collins, Smith, White & Jones.

Do not use the ampersand in federal department legal or applied titles:

The Department of Public Works and Government Services

The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development


The Department of Public Works & Government Services

The Department of Indian Affairs & Northern Development

You can find The Canadian Style, the Government of Canada’s (still?) official and not at all recently updated style guide, online or wherever fine books are trashed.

Editorial note: What I don’t understand is why the ampersand — punctuation’s equivalent of a 30-year-old still living in their mom’s basement who holds down casual employment — gets space on the keyboard but I have to dial in an alt+ code for the em and en dashes.

Back to posts