Talk:Solidus (punctuation)

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Very strange that there was only a redirect for solidus here. It redirected to the wiki article Slash.


The first paragraph of Slash said "A also called a virgule,...solidus", while later in the same article it said, "The solidus and virgule are distinct typographic symbols with decidedly different uses." This is contradictory.

Then the slash article went on to give the history of the name and development of the solidus character, and to give two paragraphs on its usage distinct from that of slash.

Since they are not the same punctuation symbol, do not have the same usage, and their names derive from distinct antecedents, and since I found when I finished creating the solidus (punctuation) article that I had twelve paragraphs, it seems obvious to me that solidus deserves its own article. Nwbeeson 17:18, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

British usage[edit]

In British usage at least, there is no clear-cut distinction between solidus and slash, or between these and any of the many other terms used for the symbols in question. In the discussion page for the Slash article, I have added an entry containing excerpts from the OED for some of these terms, to give a historical perspective. I think that while there are typographical distinctions between the characters that Unicode identifies as distinct (although they could have been mere variants), we go too far if we suppose that there are different English words in common usage (even in the typographical or editorial community) that can be used to distinguish between them. --Axnicho (talk) 10:30, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Solidus in fractions[edit]

The article indicates that the solidus should also be used for level fractions like 23/50. Robert Bringhurst strongly disagrees in The Elements of Typographic Style": "The virgule, not the solidus, is used to construct level fractions." 04:27, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Compare these examples:
  • The fraction 99/70 approximates the square root of two. (slash)
  • The fraction 99⁄70 approximates the square root of two. (fraction slash)
  • The fraction 99/70 approximates the square root of two. (slash)
  • The fraction 9970 approximates the square root of two. (fraction slash)
A style guide is hardly necessary to draw the obvious conclusion: Use either the first or the last form, never the middle two. Note that the fraction slash, Unicode U+02044, is covered in a number of common typefaces, and is HTML entity "⁄". (See list.) --KSmrqT 07:47, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
This falls a little afoul of No Original Research. :-) It would be good to have verifiable references for all of the page, especially for the "thou shalt" type proclamations. -- 21:46, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Original research aside, "citation needed" is "used to identify questionable claims that lack a citation to a reliable source." Self evident statements, or undisputed points of common knowledge don't need to be cited, according to Wikipedia rules.

Examples all over the Web confirm that the use of a slash in fractions is commonplace. The Internet was founded on standards based protocols (RFC822 for example) requiring ASCII for plain text, thus not even allowing for a solidus. Since no reasonable person would dispute the ubiquitous usage, it does not require original research to verify. Has anybody seen an example of somebody saying "I see that you said 'one slash two' in that math problem. What did you mean by that?" If somebody wrote that it's "uncommon for people to fail to distinguish" the two characters in question, then I'd expect a citation. Hagrinas (talk) 00:27, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Solidus, slash and virgule[edit]

I've only just become aware of the English language usage of the term virgule. It appears to be an Americanism, and since the computer usage of the term slash is more widespread, it seems better to use the latter in this page.

On the other hand, possibly there's a typographical source that I don't know about. If that's the case, please quote it and revert my changes as appropriate. What I have is:

Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition, paragraph 5.122:

Related to the dash and the hyphen in form and function is the solidus, also known as the slash, slant, or virgule.

Ausinfo Style manual, fifth edition, paragraph 6.181:

A solidus--also known as a diagonal, oblique or slash...

This is hardly exhaustive, but it's the only hard evidence I've seen, and it points against the content of this page.

Shilling marks[edit]

The history section goes against everything I've ever seen about Lsd. Specifically:

Thus '2 pounds, 10 shillings, and 6 pence' would be written as '£2,10⁄6'.

A reference for this would be good. Standard British and Australian usage up to the introduction of decimal currency would have been to write this as £2/10 ⁄6, i.e. with two slashes.

The markup is doing funny things here. It seems to use the slash specially. If somebody can fix the markup and let me know what I'm doing wrong, it would help. The same breakage occurs in the example that I quote.

Windows Character Map[edit]

In the character map on Windows, it clearly refers to a regular slash as a solidus. Is this important enough to mention? Is the character map wrong, or simply following guidelines like those given in the style manuals mentioned above? (talk) 16:34, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Merge into Slash[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 no consensus. -- Gsingh (talk) 18:07, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

While I'm sure legitimate typographical geeks will argue otherwise, it seems that the differences beween solidi and slashes are very subtle, and the two are often confused. For example, the beginning of the article says that the solidus charector is found on most keyboards. I've never seen one, except the one next to the right shift key. But I thought that was a slash? I propose merging solidus as a new section on the slash page, outlining its distinctions. Then we could have the solidus article redirect to that section so people looking for it weren't confused with the slash. Or would doing that make the solidus seem like a type of slash? Thoughts? -Keith (Hypergeek14)Talk 11:28, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

I entirely disagree. Because they are often confused, there should be separate entries for the slash and the solidus. However, as you pointed out yourself the articles should indeed be cleaned up a little, as well as better linked to one another. There are no standard keyboards that feature a solidus, at least not to my knowledge.
Kattjosh 14:54, 12 October 2009 (CEST) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
Be the solidus obsolete, being a character of its own, it deserves its own article IMO. Ahem, not sure that sentence was grammatically correct… Skippy le Grand Gourou (talk) 13:39, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Strong Oppose Very separate and distinct. No reason to Merge this article. Outback the koala (talk) 21:40, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

I must agree with the developing consensus that these articles should not be merged. I am thus taking down the proposition to merge the articles, but any dissenting opinions are welcome. Loohcsnuf (talk) 19:40, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Closing discussion, has been open for over two years. Gsingh (talk) 18:07, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

A curiosity [1]. -DePiep (talk) 09:32, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

This is because of bizarre habit to restart the same discussion in other place. Just relax, he doing it right. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 15:53, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Found on standard keyboards[edit]

From the article: "The solidus ( ⁄ ) is a punctuation mark that is found on most standard keyboards", and "the slash, which is found on standard keyboards". Well which is it? I'm guessing the former quote should be "*not* found on most standard keyboards". TimmmmCam (talk) 17:00, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

It is found on standard keyboards: 1 will produce it on a Mac. I have fixed the inconsistent sentences. — the Man in Question (in question) 03:32, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
That's not the same as being found on the keyboard – let alone a standard one! Grant (talk) 18:02, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Solidus not displayed correctly[edit]

I'm concerned that other Wikipedia readers may experience the same problem I do: when viewing this page on "Solidus", the character is not displayed correctly in all contexts. In particular, the example given using sub- and super-scripts, and that placing both numerator and denominator on the same level, both lack any indication whatever of a character intervening between the numerals for the two numbers.

The second example appears on my screen as:

on the same level as in 23 50.

However, when copied and pasted into a text file, the same text shows up as:

on the same level as in 23⁄50.

For example, the solidus appears similar, though not identical, to the slash "/" character as I'm editing this page online using the wikEd editor. Clearly, the "missing" character is there, just not displayed correctly on my screen.

As I'm using the latest version of Firefox, with Automatic UTF-8 encoding, I find this non-appearance of the solidus character somewhat puzzling.

Can anybody help me resolve this problem? Perhaps more importanly, do others experience the same problem? yoyo (talk) 17:17, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

So if I am correct, we are talking
  1. U+2044 fraction slash (8260decimal · HTML ⁄ · ⁄) or
  2. U+002F / solidus (47decimal · HTML /).
-DePiep (talk) 23:19, 18 November 2011 (UTC)