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I'm noticing that browsers correctly parse "&" when they encounter them.

So is there any reason i should be using & in HTML text on my site?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

From w3c:

Authors should use & (ASCII decimal 38) instead of "&" to avoid confusion with the beginning of a character reference (entity reference open delimiter).

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Note that in HTML, the closing ; is optional (though strongly recommended).
So if you write "one see&copy behavior", you risk to have a surprise... :-)

By necessity, browsers are very tolerant to incorrect HTML, that's not a reason to write incorrect HTML! ;-) At least because the tolerance can vary greatly across various browser brands and versions...

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