1. Kerilum
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    Kerilum Member

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    Can I Use "&" in My Novel?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Kerilum, Jun 20, 2016.

    I'm using it appropriately, yet I'm not sure if it would be okay to use it at all.
     
  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    When you say you're using it appropriately, what do you mean?

    I would imagine unless there's a good reason (maybe a common use of the ampersand like "P&P") it would be changed to 'and' in editing. That's if you go traditional. If you self-publish, do whatever you want. It's likely to be distracting if used frequently, though.
     
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  3. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    I'm not sure I could think of very many times to use it. It usually means a very strong "and." I use it only when I refer to multiple items as a single entity.

    "Alice went to sell girl scout cookies to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson."
    "Alice went to sell girl scout cookies to Mr. & Mrs. Johnson."

    To me, these two sentences have very slightly different meanings. In the first, I imagine Alice going to each member of the couple separately, in the second, I imagine her speaking to them as a single entity.
     
  4. Earp
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    Earp Active Member

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    I'd say no, except for the sort of thing that @Tenderiser mentioned - an expression like B&B for bed and breakfast.
     
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  5. BC Barry
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    BC Barry Member

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    I agree that it shouldn't be used in a book unless it's specifically part of a name. & means and, just like + means plus and = means equals. You wouldn't use those in a book any more than you'd use lol.

    If you plan on self-publishing to kindle or some other means of text-to-speech, it's going to be spoken as "ampersand," which is very irritating to listen to. I've stopped listening to books just because they've had too many symbols. I even once started reading a book where the author used ='d for 'his strength equaled that of three men.' I demanded my money back.

    Just my humble opinion as a reader, but it would make me think the author was lazy and couldn't be bothered to type out the whole word.
     
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  6. Rita M Gardner
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    Rita M Gardner Member

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    You can do whatever you want to do however, I'd suggest typing out a chapter, printing it off, and reading it. If nothing else, have a friend read it and give his/her opinion about readability. Personally, I do not like seeing symbols in books in place of words. They're okay being used as @Tenderiser mentioned, but other than that, I really don't see where/how symbols in place of words is appropriate. Just MPO (my personal opinion).
     

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