Q. We are alphabetizing a list of acronyms letter by letter, and some contain ampersands. While CMOS advises the skipping of punctuation marks and spaces, I’m left wondering what to do about this symbol. Which comes first, HMD or H&MN?
A. You can pretend the “and” is spelled out. Unless your list has dozens of entries that begin with HM, it’s not terribly important one way or another, since readers who make it as far as HMD will surely spy H&MN while they’re in the vicinity. If your list is extensive, however, with many ampersands, and you think readers would be inconvenienced by not understanding your method, you might include a headnote on the alphabetizing.