Re: Exact meaning of / (forward slash)

Subject: Re: Exact meaning of / (forward slash)
From: "Jan Stanley" <janstanley -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 May 2000 14:59:04 -0400

People use the slash to mean different things, which is why it's
best avoided. "Restart/recovery" might mean "restart -or-
recovery" to one person (say, the person who writes it) and
"restart -and- recovery" to another (say, the person who reads

I try to avoid slash constructions altogether in my own writing,
and when I'm editing I try to reconstruct without the slash and
query to make sure I've got the meaning right.

"And/or" is particularly annoying, and most style guides
recommend against it --

From _Line by Line: How to Improve Your Own Writing_ by Claire
Kehrwald Cook:

*In legal and commercial writing "and/or" may be a useful device,
but elsewhere it seems heavy-handed. Usually just "or" or "and"
will do, but if you must give a choice, "one or the other or
both" conveys the notion more gracefully.*

From the _Microsoft Manual of Style_:

*Avoid using this construction; "or" alone often carries the
meaning. If avoiding it makes a sentence long or cumbersome,
however, it's okay to use it.*

From the _New York Public Library Writer's Guide to Style and

*Although widely used in law and business to mean "A or B or
both," this construction is misleading when the number of
possibilities is more than two, as in "A, B, and/or C." That can
mean "A, B, and C" or "A + (either B or C)" or "Either (A + B) or
C." _And/or_ is not considered careful usage in most formal

Also from the NYPL guide:

*The slash is used in abbreviations [c/o], expressions of time
[fiscal year 1991/92], and [expressions of ] alternatives
[his/her] and with fractions and serial numbers. It can also be
used to indicate that a person or thing has two functions

From the _Chicago Manual of Style_, 14th ed., which notes that
the mark is also called a solidus, slant, or virgule:

*The solidus is sometimes used to indicate a period extending
over portions of two calendar years. It may also be used to
indicate alternatives (and/or, inside/outside, free
trade/protectionism) and alternative word forms or spellings
(Hercules/Heracles). *

janstanley -at- earthlink -dot- net

Previous by Author: SUMMARY:Good graphics & clip art
Next by Author: RE: Employee experience dilemma....
Previous by Thread: Re: Exact meaning of / (forward slash)
Next by Thread: Re: Exact meaning of / (forward slash)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads