Talk:Slash (punctuation)

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Plural?[edit]

What's the plural of solidus? Solidii (like the coin)? Solidi [1]. Primetime 17:48, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

The plural is 'solidi' – whether for the marks or for the coins whose value they represent. Grant (talk) 17:48, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Slashification[edit]

Why is the Solidus slashified? In the moment there are inconsistencies all around due to this change. Pjacobi 19:22, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)

See Talk:Solidus. All links to solidus should be fixed now to point to slash (punctuation) Nohat 19:42, 2004 Jul 9 (UTC)

"Contrariwise, the form with a hyphen, 7-8 May, would refer to the two-day period"—do you really really mean hyphen (in which case, please explain why), or did you confuse it with en dash? Kwantus 2005 June 28 14:33 (UTC)

Well, with a typewriter there's only the hyphen, so that's what I wrote. All right, I don't know whether typographers would use an en dash. So wouldn't someone find out? --Sobolewski 17:25, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dash#En_dash, en-dash is used to indicate a closed range.

Banned and/or[edit]

I don't know the details, but this anecdotal reference implies that the use of and/or was banned outright in the state, when much more likely it was banned for internal uses by the governing body in legislation, etc. Snopes.com anyone? 70.145.102.253 06:29, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Solidus vs Virgule in Programming[edit]

The programming section claims that the solidus is used in programming in a variety of ways, but the english section explains that what we have on the keyboard is really a virgule. But then, the ISO character standards with which I'm familiar also refer to the keyboard character '/' as a "solidus". So, which is it, or are we doomed by the poor input devices of the time to lose this distinction?

British usage?[edit]

'In the UK, the usual term for the mark is an oblique'. I have lived in Britain all my life and never heard this term. Any opinions?Rossheth


I have lived in Britain my whole life and I have never heard of this term before. I'll just go and remove it, as it is clearly not at all widely used. Ed 17:09, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, isn’t the usual term stroke? (That fucked me up when I was watching “Brazil.”) Shouldn’t that be in the first sentence (moreso than division sign).
Whatever; fuck it. I’m being bold. Wiki Wikardo 18:06, 26 July 2006 (UTC)


I concur. I've been here all my life and it was always called a 'stroke' before the internet. Now it seems that the usual blind obedience of calling it a slash - particularly a 'forward slash' - is rife. I suspect it's just another Americanism that's seeped into the language.

OK, now I’m watching “Brazil” again, and I’m confused. A “stroke” isn’t a dash? —Hey, Wiki

Evidence from the Oxford English Dictionary[edit]

People in Britain (as elsewhere) use a surprising variety of terms for these marks. Below are extracts from OED entries for some of these, set out in chronological order of first citation.

virgule A thin sloping or upright line (/, |) occurring in mediaeval MSS. as a mark for the caesura or as a punctuation-mark (frequently with the same value as the modern comma). Now also in more general use with various functions (see quots.).

1837 HALLAM Hist. Lit. I. viii. §26 In the manuscripts of Chaucer, the line is always broken by a caesura in the middle, which is pointed out by a virgule. 1946 G. STIMPSON Bk. about Thousand Things 487 The technical name of the short slanting stroke between and and or in the device is virgule.

stroke In Telegraphy, the name of the signal for an oblique stroke. Now usu. colloq., a spoken representation of a solidus. Freq. used as conj. to indicate or stress alternatives: or else, alternatively.

1884 W. LYND Pract. Telegraphist i. 27 The oblique stroke is to be signalled ‘stroke’, thus—‘FI three stroke five FF’, meaning 3/5 (three shillings and fivepence). 1965 M. ALLINGHAM Mind Readers xv. 153, I have my own feel, of course, which would be ‘glad stroke laughingat’ in his case.

shilling mark Typogr. = SOLIDUS

1888 C. T. JACOBI Printers' Vocabulary 123 *Shilling mark, the sign thus / which was used in old books as a ‘scratch comma’. 1904 MURRAY & BRADLEY Hart's Rules for Compositors (ed. 15) 29 The diagonal sign / or ‘shilling-mark’.

solidus A sloping line used to separate shillings from pence, as 12/6, in writing fractions, and for other separations of figures and letters; a shilling-mark.

1891 in Cent. Dict. 1898 G. CHRYSTAL Introd. Algebra i. (1902) 3 The symbols / (solidus notation) and : (ratio notation) are equivalent to ÷. 1923 N. SHAW Forecasting Weather i. 35 A solidus (/) such as occurs in the combination ‘bc/r’ …

slash A thin sloping line, thus /

1961 in WEBSTER. 1964 Amer. Speech XXXIX. 103 The number to the right of the slash is the total number of occurrences of that type of clause.

oblique (Typogr.) a solidus or slash

1965 W. S. ALLEN Vox Latina 9 Phonemic symbols..are conventionally set between obliques, e.g. /t/

Note that although virgule is listed first, its original use is a somewhat technical one, and the first citation in our sense is from 1946. (In any case, the 1946 quotation looks slightly odd, being a definition rather than an actual use of the term.)

Stroke, too, has an original technical sense, although the 1884 quotation does seem to describe the telegraphist’s stroke signal in terms of a previously understood ‘oblique stroke’. Its (much) later use in our sense is characterised by the OED as colloquial.

Also from the 1960s, we have both slash and oblique. Slash is, of course, extremely widely used in computing circles, although the popularisation of the World Wide Web coupled with the widespread use of the backslash (especially on DOS/Windows machines) has led (as far as I can see) to the frequent use of the unnecessary and, in my view, ugly disambiguation/back-formation ‘forward slash’ in spelling out URIs. (Incidentally, the term backslash itself dates from 1982, according to the OED. But given that the character existed in the 1963 ASCII character set, it must have been called something in the intervening 19 years!)

The two best candidates for the oldest name for / are therefore shilling mark and solidus (which are etymologically related). There’s not much to choose between the OED’s first citations of these two terms, but note that the supporting quotations for solidus are (with the possible exception of the 1891 dictionary definition) all in mathematical contexts until 1923. Therefore it looks as though the 1904 shilling mark may be the oldest identifiable reference to the symbol that we know and love (at least according to the OED).

However, antiquity is no guide to modern usage (and I have never heard ‘shilling mark’ used in this context anyway!). As a UK-based copy-editor and technical writer, I tend to use slash. But I have often come across stroke, oblique, solidus and other terms in British usage.

Note that the OED offers no evidence of a distinction between any of these terms along the lines of that suggested for slash and solidus here. Apart from technical uses such as referring to particular Unicode characters (which have established names, for better or worse), it is perhaps inadvisable to try to make a distinction where none actually exists in the language at present.

--Axnicho (talk) 10:21, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Are we sure "forward slash" isn't a "forward-formation"? Knoxjeff (talk) 16:39, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Whack Whack[edit]

I don't believe this is correct. The origin of "Whack" was an alternate name for back-slash, as opposed to saying back-slash. Why come up with an alternate name that isn't easier to say for slash?_mich

Yes, I've heard "whack" used in UNC paths (pronouncing \\server\share as "whack whack server whack share"), but I've never heard it used after the protocol in a URL. 2006-06-20

- I have heard 'whack' used to refer to both a forward-slash and a back-slash, depending on the context. Usage seems to vary regionally. I never heard the term when working at any Australian companies but at Microsoft it seemed common. 2008-06-24, 125.25.14.23

Unicode slash in dates?[edit]

What Unicode code is appropriate for slashes in dates? Are they solidi or virguli?

Name[edit]

There's a name at the bottom of the page. It should be removed

Pre-decimal currency[edit]

"N.B. The raised-dot · or interpunct separating the units" ... "even a single dash"
. Azz i remember it, the units were separated with colons, so : £1:19:11.

    Froggo_Zijgeb 03`11`2006_21:59.

Solidus distinction[edit]

It says that there's is a distinction, but doesn't explain it. Any ideas? 72.226.151.143 20:35, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

technical issue[edit]

Hi. I searched for \, yet it said "redirected from Talk:Slash (punctuation)/". The article said something about technical limits and / . It didn't say anything about \ . Shouldn't we have an article on \ , too? Why is \ redirected from / ? Uh oh. When I tried to write "redirected from [[/]]", it linked to a red link from this page. Looks like there's another issue: anything with a link involving / links to a subpage of the page of the page that you're on. Another technical issue! Why does this happen? Thanks. ~AH1(TCU) 01:53, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Consistency: slash vs virgule[edit]

The body of this article uses both "slash" and "virgule" to talk about this mark. Consistency would be nice. Furthermore, the end of the article, Alternative names, says the term virgule is "rare."

Also, as an aside, as long as the Chicago Manual of Style confounds slash and solidus (I only have the 13th edition, so maybe it has been cleared up in later editions), I'm not sure I believe the hard distinction we make here and in solidus. --Ishi Gustaedr (talk) 16:44, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Elements of Typographic Style makes a distinction. If I recall, it doesn't use "slash" but uses solidus and virgule to refer to "/" and "⁄"—I forget which was which. (That's a standard forward slash and a fraction slash.) —Ben FrantzDale (talk) 00:00, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Forward slash[edit]

There is no such thing as a forward slash. This is a SLASH: /
Obviousy if you push it FORWARD it would be an underscore.

You cannot interchange the proper term "SLASH" with a modification of the term and have it mean the same thing.

This is the problem with these "public intelligence" sites. There is no basis for truth, and very little intelligence.
People believing this nonsense is what makes I.T. educators have a difficult time reversing the nonsense.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Jetranger Pilot (talkcontribs)

That's why the title says "Slash" and the article begins with "The slash (/) is a sign used as (...)" -Skaruts (talk) 22:48, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Need to pick a region. US or UK?[edit]

A single wiki page should use either US or UK English. For example I see both "specialized" and "specialised" on the same page. Also the Date section should be cleaned up. It makes statements that are true only relative to one region; they should be rephrased to specify the context better.

/ used for "per"[edit]

There's no mention I don't think of the slash being used to represent per, as in 100 km/h -- one hundred kilometers per hour. See point 3 on this page for more examples http://www.englishclub.com/writing/punctuation-slash.htm —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.31.245.128 (talk) 14:38, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Oxford reference[edit]

There are a lot of refs to a non-existent Oxford page. I sent some email to their question line and got a nice response but it now looks like the info is behind a paywall. Anyway here is the response, maybe somebody knows what to do to get an actual reference out of this:

Thank you for contacting Oxford.

Our AskOxford website has been reinvented as Oxford Dictionaries Online (www.oxforddictionaries.com). Although we continue to have many FAQs (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/page/asktheexperts) on ODO, I'm afraid we do not have the specific page that you refer to.

Perhaps you will find the following information useful. It is taken from New Hart's Rules, which is available on our subscription-only premium version of Oxford Dictionaries Online. (I hope this answers your query. Kind regards, Katy Pearce, Oxford Dictionaries)

(note that the following text is almost certainly © by Oxford Dictionaries!) Spitzak (talk) 16:33, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

4.13.1 Solidus[edit]

The solidus (/, plural solidi) is known by many terms, such as the slash or forward slash, stroke, oblique, virgule, diagonal, and shilling mark. It is in general used to express a relationship between two or more things. The most common use of the solidus is as a shorthand to denote alternatives, as in either/or, his/her, on/off, the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area (the area of either New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut, rather than their combined area), s/he (she or he). The solidus is generally closed up, both when separating two complete words (and/or) and between parts of a word (s/he).

The symbol is sometimes misused to mean and rather than or, and so it is normally best in text to spell out the alternatives explicitly in cases which could be misread (his or her; the New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut area). An en rule can sometimes substitute for a solidus, as in an on–off relationship or the New York–New Jersey–Connecticut area. In addition to indicating alternatives, the solidus is used in other ways:

  • to form part of certain abbreviations, such as a/c (account), c/o (care of), n/a (not applicable), and 24/7 (twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week)
  • to indicate line breaks when successive lines of poetry are run on as a single line, though Oxford traditionally prefers to use a vertical (|) instead
  • to replace the en rule for a period of one year reckoned in a format other than the 1 January to 31 December calendar extent: 49/8 bc, the fiscal year 2000/1
  • to separate the days, months, and years in dates: 5/2/99

In scientific and technical work the solidus is used to indicate ratios, as in miles/day, metres/second. In computing it is called a forward slash, to differentiate it from a backward slash, backslash, or reverse solidus (\): each of these is used in different contexts as a separator.

Merge proposal with Solidus revisited[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result was Merge. -- Gsingh (talk) 21:33, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

For an earlier proposal, see Talk:Solidus (punctuation)#Merge into Slash.

I want to reopen the discussion whether Solidus (punctuation) should be merged into Slash (punctuation). Pace the poet and typographer Robert Bringhurst, who, in his The Elements of Typographic Style, identifies the solidus with the fraction bar used to denote fractions with a raised numerator, and numerals in a smaller font size, as in 332, distinguishing it from the virgule used in level fractions like 2π / 3, the case for a strenuous distinction between slash and solidus as punctuation marks appears not to be so strong as it is made out to be in our articles ("two distinct symbols that traditionally have entirely different uses"; "long-established English typesetting terminology"). To start, Bringhurst also calls the solidus a "slash mark", but not as steep as the slash used for a virgule. So instead of loudly proclaiming "slash ≠ solidus", it is more reasonable to acknowledge that a font may have several "forward" slash marks, at different inclinations, which may serve different purposes.

Furthermore, respectable dictionaries generally do not make a distinction even between solidus and virgule, as can be seen at several places on this talk page: Talk:Slash (punctuation)#Evidence from the Oxford English Dictionary; Talk:Slash (punctuation)#4.13.1 Solidus. I might add that Collins English Dictionary and the Random House Dictionary agree. They all treat the words as synonyms. I see no evidence that the undeniable existence of distinguishable slanted strokes with different uses is reflected in a consistent and historically based distinction in terminology. In fact, historically the solidus is the slash you see in this image of the Hatter's hat, which does not look at all like a fraction bar.

Also typographers are not unequivocal. I refer to two books:

  • Ron Goldberg (2000). Digital Typography: Practical Advice for Getting the Type You Want When You Want It. Windsor Professional Information. ISBN 1-893190-05-6. 
  • James Felici (2003). The Complete Manual of Typography: a Guide to Setting Perfect Type. Peachpit Press. ISBN 0-321-12730-7. 

Goldberg is seemingly of two minds. On page 74, he writes:

"You should use a solidus, found in the expert fonts, instead of a regular slash. A regular slash is not set at the correct angle to look right."

But in the Glossary at the end of the book we read on page 250:

"Solidus  A slanted line used to create fractions, or separate one type character from another. Also called a shilling, virgule, fraction bar, or slash."

Felici identifies the virgule/slash and solidus, while distinguishing them from the fraction bar. He writes (page 203):

"The fraction bar varies from the virgule (or solidus, or slash) in several important ways."

All considered, I feel: that the two articles ought to be merged; that solidus, virgule and fraction bar all are slashes of which there are various kinds; that historically the virgule and the fraction bar are clearly different in use; and that usage differs even among experts in whether "solidus" is a synonym for virgule, or refers specifically to the fraction bar. The article could then also cover Unicode character 'DIVISION SLASH' (U+2215), which currently is not represented in Wikipedia.  --Lambiam 11:47, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes, merge to one article that explains all the distinctions. Rothorpe (talk) 19:12, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Ironically, the plain slash has the name "solidus" in Unicode, but the article solidus (punctuation) describes actually two Unicode characters named "fraction slash" and "division slash". Although the Unicode standard has notoriously many character naming mistakes, the reversal indicates that these are synonymous and the distinction was made up by some Wikipedia users. Also, [2] states that it was "/", not fraction slash, used in Great Britain for shillings. Merge, of course. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 08:06, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

This proposal has been open for over a year now, I'm closing the proposal with no consensus. Gsingh (talk) 18:05, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Agreed on the personal talk page that there was no valid reason to close this discussion. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 20:39, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I think you should go ahead and merge the article, its been open for 8 months and all options support the merger.Gsingh (talk) 20:41, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Use at the end of blog comments and forum posts to indicate something about speaker, or parenthetically, or as a kind of tag[edit]

As in: Heh, BONE of contention

/imthirteensometimes

Or: Ryan Gosling! In a cop car! With handcuffs on!

/Walks away from computer


This convention is fairly new to me (seen it a lot on Gawker.com), and I'm curious about its history. Anyone have anything? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.164.46.122 (talk) 03:42, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

I've been under the impression this is inspired by BBcode and HTML closing tags, implying that the previous statement was under some sort of tag. E.g. "Oh, I'm an enormous fan or being waterboarded! /sarcasm", where "/sarcasm" is implying that there were sarcasm "tags" around the statement made. Webwyre (talk) 21:21, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Fraction Slash[edit]

The unicode reference I put in ====Encoding==== clearly states that the intention of the "FRACTION SLASH" character is to cause the text layout to turn adjacent numbers into super/sub-scripts so it makes a correctly-rendered fraction. "1⁄2" should be rendered similar to the single character "½"[1].

It appears (though I don't have proof) that "DIVISION SLASH" is supposed to be the same glyph but without the typesetting effects.

That is what the documentation says. However both Pango and OS/X do not implement this effect for FRACTION SLASH and there are indications that no-one does. Also some other searches show use of FRACTION SLASH with Unicode super/subscript digits to construct fractions instead. The mac-roman translation of a character that was intended to not have any effect other than print a more-horizontal slash is translated to FRACTION SLASH. So popular (and I suspect all future) use supports FRACTION SLASH as being used to construct fractions out of super/subscripts and DIVISION SLASH is useless.

My idea that "Solidus" should really resemble DIVISION SLASH is based on other text in this Wikipedia page, which says "solidus should be more horizontal than slash". Other searches I have done have not found any such indications, most text seems to indicate that slash and solidus are identical. A clear reference one way or the other may help.

In any case the current text is certainly wrong and I hope somebody will fix it. At least one of "fraction slash" and "division slash" should be removed from the info box. And the encoding-specific part of "Arithmetic" should be moved to "Encoding" Spitzak (talk) 16:48, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for this detailed answer, but it is still not clear, why "fraction slash" or "division slash" should be removed. Does a source exist which claims that these two characters has (nearly) identical appearance and use? Or, maybe, that one of these characters is virtually not used by anybody? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 19:30, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Use in taxonomy?[edit]

Is there a convention in biological taxonomy which makes use of the slash? Check Taxonomy of Banksia#DNA analysis for an example. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:39, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Calling a slash a "backslash"[edit]

The text

Due to DOS and Windows users often seeing far more backslashes than normal ones, they sometimes incorrectly assume a backslash is normal and incorrectly call a slash a "backslash" "Berners-Lee: web address slashes were 'a mistake'"

seems correct to me:

  • We call "/" a forward slash, and "\" a backslash
  • DOS and Windows users see more "\" and assume it a normal slash
  • Hence, DOS and Windows users call "/" a "backslash" (see the reference)
  • What they do it incorrectly

But the problem suddenly appeared with the edit [3], which I reverted, but the author filed a complaint to my talk page. If some third party user think that is it incorrect to call a slash a "forward slash" (the change underlined), or if s/he consider this statement a sourced one, then feel free to cancel my action. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 21:25, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

"Slash"[edit]

The usage of Slash (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs|views) is under discussion, see talk:Slash (musician) -- 70.24.244.158 (talk) 05:35, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Other Usage[edit]

I have a habit of using the slash to separate and list several synonyms. I my case these are technically related synonyms. I do this as I know the audience/ readers have varied backgrounds / perspective - not much difference in meaning, but when one reader is not familiar with the first word, they will recognize & know the 2nd (or 3rd word in some cases). Is this considered grammatically wrong ? Wfoj3 (talk) 13:04, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

brahmi lipi[edit]

brahmi was daughter of resibhdeve who gave education of lipi as a result brahmi lipi called after her name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vipin11290 (talkcontribs) 13:28, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Buni[edit]

Buni is a place in Chitral District. It has population about 900 families — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sher Aziz (talkcontribs) 17:28, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
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