Is ampersand allowed at the beginning of line?


Question

In my recent project, playing with responsive web design, I've noticed that ampersand in my text landed at the beginning of a line with certain page widths. I personally find it a bit ugly...

I can put a non-breaking space between the word and ampersand to fix this.

Is there a typographic rule about ampersand placement with regards to beginning and end of line?

1
17
2/8/2013 11:21:00 AM

Accepted Answer

Text should not contain an ampersand at all unless it's a brand such as
Procter & Gamble or Johnson & Johnson.

Ampersands within sentences are just poor, or at the very least lazy, grammar.

If the ampersand is indeed part of a brand, I would not break the brand on separate lines if at all possible.

11
5/17/2013 11:18:00 AM

Regardless of @Scott's answer about the etiquette of avoiding ampersands in body text alltogther, there is a typographic recommendation to place connector words like "and" or "or" at the end of the line, not at the beginning of the new line. This helps to better connect the previous line to the next.

THIS IS A LONG HEADLINE AND
CONTINUES ON LINE TWO

is preferable to

THIS IS A LONG HEADLINE
AND CONTINUES ON LINE TWO

The same logic justifies also placing the ampersand at the end of the line. With an typographic element even more so this is a good practice, as a line starting with a symbol is less good for readability.

THIS IS A LONG HEADLINE &
CONTINUES ON LINE TWO

is preferable to

THIS IS A LONG HEADLINE
& CONTINUES ON LINE TWO

You can also test this by reading the first two sentences and leaving a conscious pause at the line break (where the eye of the reader has to find the next line). You'll notice that the "and" before the pause is more plausible than to end the line, pause, and start reading the new line with "and ...".

Obviously, those rules are not set in stone and always require context sensitive treatment. For example, you would avoid orphans (that is the typographc term of stubs of one or two words on a new line), like this:

THIS IS A LONG HEADLINE AND
ENDS

So all in all, my recommendation is, try avoid using the ampersand in body text, also try avoid splitting terms or names connected by an ampersand, and in if nothing else, at least keep the ampersand at the end of the line.

EDIT 10.02.2015: It's been bothering me for a rather long time that I could not actually find any references for those recommendations, and I was starting to wonder if those were based merely on personal impression/preference.

I have since found a reference in a book which I consider an authoritative reference work (in German language only, I am afraid) called "Detailtypographie", of which one author, Ralf de Jong is a professor of typography.

On page 189:

Im Trennungsfall kommt es [Et-Zeichen, &] auf die neue Zeile

My free translation: In case of line breaks it is set on the new line.

With this example

Der aktuelle Prosekt der Firma Hulesche 
& Quenzel

This refutes my original answer, but I leave the crossed-through original visible for transparency. @Ryan's comment might very well be the proper reasoning.

In summary, I do think breaking a name with ampersand should still be avoided by all means, and if intentional, like in a logo design or similar, the debate will be highly case specific. Should it need to be broken across two lines in text or headline, I'd stick to the recommendation given in the quoted book and put it on the new line.


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