Talk:Slash (punctuation)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


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)
In Latin. In English, it can also just be soliduses. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)


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)

Date range[edit]

"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, en-dash is used to indicate a closed range.
They're both used to indicate closed ranges, en dash in more considered contexts and the hyphen informally. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

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. anyone? 06:29, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

What anecdotal evidence? and what state? — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (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? [Unsigned]

By definition, the / is a solidus to ISO and Unicode. The solidus also represents the shilling mark, which was a oblique slash and not a 45° one. I'm not sure where typographers got the mistaken notion that the virgule was distinct from the solidus and the solidus was the one of the two that represented the fraction slash, but it's their misnomer, not ISO's, Unicode's, or ours. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

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 f*cked me up when I was watching “Brazil.”) Shouldn’t that be in the first sentence (moreso than division sign).
Whatever; f*ck 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
It can be but in present British English usually isn't. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
That gloss was true for the 18th century and oblique stroke is where stroke came from... but, yeah, you're right that it's not true any more. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

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)
Yes. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
You are quite right that the OED was a better source than what we were using. (Fixed.) That said, you shouldn't blockquote numerous entire definitions without adjusting the formatting at all; it's somewhat ungrateful and runs the risk of getting the section excised as COPYVIO. Certainly, you shouldn't selectively emend the definitions and citations to justify preconceptions. Apart from all the variants you missed, the origin of stroke as the oblique stroke speaks to the latter's seniority and, sure enough, you omitted citations of oblique that the OED gives from the 18th century. Similarly, the virgule was preceded by the virgula, which the Latinate form of the same word. They are (by centuries) the oldest words for this figure, not that it matters. The ASCII character was officially known as the reverse slant in its early history. That bygone standard, along with virgule and oblique, speak to the fact that you're right: the historical use doesn't necessarily match the present day.
See above for the details but, yes, there is no actual difference between the slash/virgule and solidus, although obviously some typographers attempted to create one at some point in the recent past. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (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,
It seems to be the reverse case of slash. It originally referred to backslash at Microsoft but because the slash and backslash are so similar, people get confused as to which one has the right to the simpler name based on which one shows up more often in the system they're using. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

Unicode slash in dates?[edit]

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

Those are the same thing. In any case, it's usually going to be a slash instead of a division or fraction slash, which are harder to type. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)


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

Seems to have been. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

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.

Got a cite? The standard British usage (as at EB) was the interpunct (for decimals) or slash (for even sums) before they picked up the American use of the period. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

Well... upper dot is hard to type, so the closest thing might have been a colon. ':'='colon' '·'='upper dot' — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:54, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

Solidus distinction[edit]

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

See above, but it's inaccurate as a matter of historical and present use. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (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)

You're right: that's bizarre. I've added a hatnote with a link to backslash. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
For me typing '\' into the search box led to the backslash page, but attempting to type it into the wikipedia url caused my browser (Chrome) to change it to '/' and then go to the slash page.Spitzak (talk) 21:14, 18 February 2016 (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)
As above, any such distinction among those names is incorrect historically, formally, and popularly, but you're right that it would be good to have a well-sourced explanation of the mistake. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
Fixed. The virgule is generally rare but not so much so as to warrant a special note. The CMOS is right to confound the slash and solidus; they are the same mark and have been for their entire existence. The shilling mark wasn't a fraction slash. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (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)
No, the article does that because Slash is the COMMON ENGLISH name and there hasn't been a CONSENSUS to replace it with Stroke. There's nothing incorrect about "forward slash" and Mr Pilot is completely nonsensical when he says that terms can't be clarified or that an underscore is a form of slash. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (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.

"Slash", by its nature, is the American usage. Fixed. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

/ 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 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:38, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

I added an example for this to the existing "per", which only had it for prices (this is actually just a special case). My wording "derived unit" is not perfect, though. An unambiguous definition would probably be "unit that relates two units" or similar, as in meters per second, Newton per square meter, dollars per item, … PapaNappa (talk) 16:14, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
No, "derived unit" is precisely what those are. You could also call them "ratios", as Hart's does below, but that's an overly generic term for this use. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (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 ( Although we continue to have many FAQs ( 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
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
  • to separate elements in Internet addresses:
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.
Thanks for the passage: although I'm sure it is under copyright, we can use it for sourcing some of the cases in the article. It would have been nice for you to include the dead link, though. It's probably still available at the Internet Archive. — LlywelynII 14:15, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
Oh, and it's also somewhat wrong: it's not incorrect to use the slash to imply "and". It's simply inclusive or rather than an XOR. Hart's use of the slash is incorrect if they think the "NY/NJ/CT area" implies one of the three but not all. There isn't a human using English who would actually intend that meaning. — LlywelynII 14:46, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

The article currently includes: "diagonal - An uncommon name for the slash in all its uses, but particularly the steeper fraction slash." particularly uncommon?? Needs clarifying by someone who can look up the OED reference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:11, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

I looked at OED online, and didn't find slash as a meaning under "diagonal" at all! On the other hand, diagonal does appear with this meaning in citations under "slash" and "oblique". So I've no idea how the "but particularly" relates to the OED entries. But I may have missed something; I only skimmed them.

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 closed. 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


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, and I'm curious about its history. Anyone have anything? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (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)
/s is based on closing tags but /walks away is from IRC and other chat formats where /me is used to format actions. Both are now mentioned in the article. — LlywelynII 14:18, 18 February 2016 (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)


  1. ^ "The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0.0" (PDF). Addison-Wesley Professional. 2010. pp. p212. ISBN 978-0321480910.CS1 maint: Extra text (link)
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)

Good question. Based on that page, it looks like something in cladistics where the formatting for computer paths is being used to separate different evolutionary levels but there's no explanation anywhere that I can see. — LlywelynII 14:25, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

Calling a slash a "backslash"[edit]

The text

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)

It's not necessarily incorrect. Using the same term to refer to either of the \ and / marks goes back centuries and is probably part of the reason that earlier terms like oblique and diagonal came to be replaced by shilling mark and solidus, since it only ever leaned the one way. Some people who don't grok this think that the form forward slash is needlessly wordy; in fact, in some contexts, it's needfully wordy. — LlywelynII 00:32, 20 February 2016 (UTC)


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

To wit, there was a short-lived attempt to make Saul Hudson the primary topic for Slash. It got shut down. — LlywelynII 00:29, 20 February 2016 (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)

I don't understand. How could you think this is wrong? The primary use of the slash is to separate alternatives. — LlywelynII 14:29, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

Obelus hatnote[edit]

As far as I can tell, there is no actual reason for there to be a hatnote to obelus from here. Anyone know what the thinking was or have a good reason for it? — LlywelynII 05:15, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Split Year Dates[edit]

Due to the slow transition from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, dates between 1582 and 1752 can be ambiguous and are often written with a slash between the Julian and Gregorian years. For example, "February 4, 1738/39".

This should be mentioned in this article.

This line from the article should be clarified so that people don't misinterpret split year dates:

Similarly, a historical reference to "1066/67" might imply an event occurred during the winter of late 1066 and early 1067,[29] whereas a reference to 1066–67 would cover the entirety of both years.

Mcardle~enwiki (talk) 00:01, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

References to paid subscription based sites[edit]

Several of the references in this article are to References 10.

Upon clicking on the link for : "4.13.1 Solidus", New Hart's Rules: The Oxford Style Guide, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, retrieved 18 February 2016.

I find that the content linked to is only available by paid subscription.

although alt text shows: ... retrieved 18 February 2016.

DGerman (talk) 22:12, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

backslash redirect[edit]

Backslash redirect image.png

Please Have a look at the attached screenshots which clearly show (from both pages) that "\" redirects to "backslash".IdreamofJeanie (talk) 21:17, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

User:PapiDimmi The "\" character is a backslash, and common sense says that it should redirect to that page. Surely if it actually redirects to the incorrect page, the obvious thing to do would be to correct the redirect so that it pointed to the right page, not put a note on the wrong page saying oh by the way for some inexplicable reason random character splodge points here as well. Fortunately you won't need to alter the redirect as it already points there, as shown in the acompanying image. You know that "\" should not point here (and I know it doesn't). If the redirect is wrong fix it but please stop adding a patently absurd comment to this page about a ramdom redirect. thanks, IdreamofJeanie (talk) 16:23, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
\ redirects to Slash (punctuation), because it converts the backslash to a regular slash for some reason. There’s no way to fix this, and I don’t know why it does this, which is why I put the redirect template on the Slash (punctuation) page.
PapíDimmi (talk | contribs) 16:26, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
But it doesn't! please look at the images to the right which clearly show "\" going to backslash IdreamofJeanie (talk) 16:51, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Typing "\" into the search box does go to the backslash page. However typing "\" at the end of the URL into the browser bar gets changed (apparently by the browser) into "/" (tested on Chromium). Typing "%5C" (the quoting code for backslash) into the URL does cause it to go to backslash. I'm not sure if errors by the browser count as a cause of redirection however. Certainly a lot of people just type text into the search box.Spitzak (talk) 17:28, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
I put the template there to help people who tried to go to Backslash by typing \ in the address bar. It doesn’t hurt having it there, does it?
PapíDimmi (talk | contribs) 23:41, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
I have just typed "\" in the address bar. the result was a google search, first item was a youtube link to "Jumping Back Slash", and second item was Wikipedia page "Backslash". I can not explain why you are getting a different result to everybody else, but fail to see how putting incorrect information to any page can be construed as helpful. IdreamofJeanie (talk)
You are right that Chromium (at least) sends "\" typed into the url bar unchanged to Google search. However the original poster is correct that "\" typed into the address bar is changed to "" by the browser before being sent out (rather than the correct change to "").Spitzak (talk) 21:00, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
and why would anyone not out to prove a point type ""\"" when they mean "\"? IdreamofJeanie (talk) 23:22, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree it makes not much sense, but that is the only explanation I can find for why the original poster keeps claiming there is a redirect. I agree that there is no redirect by any normal definition of that term.Spitzak (talk) 00:19, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Why additional unrelated punctuation[edit]

There is a large column containing a plethora of Punctuation symbols , word dividers, general typography etc. Why is that there?

I respond to: [1]

The first bit seems mostly nonsense, since it claims that the slash in "km/h" is used as an abbreviation symbol, instead of it simply being an official symbol for division (or fraction), which the author did refer to, oddly enough. It also implies that "km" needs some extra punctuation to be a valid abbreviation of "kilometer"; but people familiar with the metric system know better.

I won't edit above errors myself, but I vote that the whole passage be deleted. MetricAllTheWay (talk) 14:03, 9 August 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ The slash is the usual way to abbreviate derived units incorporating division, such as km/h (kilometers per hour) and m/s² (meters per second per second), although there are exceptions, such as mph (miles per hour) and kph (an alternative format for kilometers per hour).

Slash (not) used as abbreviation in "km/h"[edit]

I respond to: [1]

The first bit seems mostly nonsense, since it claims that the slash in "km/h" is used as an abbreviation symbol, instead of it simply being an official symbol for division (or fraction), which the author did refer to, oddly enough. It also implies that "km" needs some extra punctuation to be a valid abbreviation of "kilometer"; but people familiar with the metric system know better.

I won't edit above errors myself, but I vote that the whole passage be deleted. MetricAllTheWay (talk) 14:05, 9 August 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ The slash is the usual way to abbreviate derived units incorporating division, such as km/h (kilometers per hour) and m/s² (meters per second per second), although there are exceptions, such as mph (miles per hour) and kph (an alternative format for kilometers per hour).