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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Authors should use
&(ASCII decimal 38) instead of "&" to avoid confusion with the beginning of a character reference (entity reference open delimiter).
Note that in HTML, the closing ; is optional (though strongly recommended).
So if you write "one see© 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...