PUNCTUATION - Slash

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PUNCTUATION - Slash

Post  Vincent Law on Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:06 pm

PUNCTUATION - Slash:


The Slash (a.k.a. The Virgule/Slant/Solidus)

A slash or slant or solidus or virgule [ / ] (take your pick of names) is used to indicate a choice between the words it separates.

Ex: "Using the pass/fail option backfired on her; she could've gotten an A."

The slash can be translated as or and should not be used where the word or could not be used in its place. To avoid gender problems with pronouns, some writers use he/she, his/her, and him/her. Many authorities despise that construction and urge writers either to pluralize when possible and appropriate (to they, their, them) or to use he or she, etc. instead. Notice there is no space between the slash and the letters on either side of it.

There is, however, a space when the slash is used to indicate a line-break in quoted poetry: "The woods are lovely, dark, and deep / but I have promises to keep." (This way of quoting poetry is limited to four or five lines of verse, within the normal flow of text.)

When using slashes in a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for a World Wide Web address (http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar), be especially sure not to include spaces and not to confuse the slash with its backward cousin, \ , used to show file locations on drives.

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/slash.htm
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Re: PUNCTUATION - Slash

Post  Vincent Law on Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:10 pm

A forward sloping line (/) that serves as a mark of punctuation.

The slash (also called a virgule) is commonly used to:

- signify alternatives (and/or)
- separate the parts of a fraction (2/3), date (1/1/2012), or Internet address (http:// . . .)
- mark line divisions in poetry quoted within running text

According to most style guides, a space should precede and follow a slash used to mark line divisions in poetry (example #2, below). In all other uses, no space should appear before or after a slash.

Etymology:
From Old French, "splinter"

Examples and Observations:
"The slash is a punctuation mark that sprouts in legal and commercial jargon ("and/or") and should not be used outside those linguistic ghettos." (Rene J. Cappon, The Associated Press Guide to Punctuation. Basic, 2003)

"In 15 spare lines, from opening query ('Margaret, are you grieving / Over Goldengrove unleaving?') to final couplet, [Gerard Manley] Hopkin covers a vast amount of ground." (Leah Hager Cohen, "Season of Grief." The New York Times, Sep. 19, 2008)

"This calculator-converter provides online conversion of miles per hour to km/hour (mph to km/h) and conversion km/h to mi/h (kilometers/hour to miles/hour)." (Calculator-Converter.com)

"'Had there been proper coordination among the intelligence agencies, then 9/11 might well have been prevented,' Mr. [Arlen] Specter said, cataloging the intelligence failures investigated by the Sept. 11 panel." (Philip Shenon, "Senate Approves Intelligence Bill." The New York Times, Dec. 9, 2004)

"The slash separates alternatives that may exist simultaneously in one person/place/thing/notion, or are offered up as possible choices. This is waffling territory at its most sublime! And why not, since this punctuation mark can't settle on one name for itself, but keeps its options open." (Karen Elizabeth Gordon, The New Well-Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed. Mariner Books, 2003)

"The [slash] was . . . once used as a precursor to the soft hyphen, to mark end-of-line word division. Solidus is Latin for 'shilling': in Britain, the name was extended to the mark used to separate shillings from pence in pre-decimal currency: 7/6 for seven shillings and sixpence." (Tom McArthur, The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford Univ. Press, 1992)

Also Known As: virgule, oblique, oblique stroke, diagonal, solidus, forward slash

http://grammar.about.com/od/rs/g/slashterm.htm
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