Re: Use of the slash, diagonal, virgule, or solidus. Eeew!

Subject: Re: Use of the slash, diagonal, virgule, or solidus. Eeew!
From: Steve Fouts <sfouts -at- ELLISON -dot- SC -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 16:10:58 CDT

|} I finally have a need to solicit your collective knowledge. I couldn't find
|} anything in my style guides and grammar books about the proper use of the
|} slash (/).
|} I have always used it to indicate words that are somewhat synonymous.
|} I am editing an article for a computer security officer, and he uses it
|} as follows: student/employee privacy -- grades/payroll data
|} I want to justify changing the slash to "or" -- as it also is my under-
|} standing that "or" implies "and/or".
|} How's about it? (Will summarize for the group, if you-all would like.)

Gregg says the ``diagonal'' (the jargonfile says this use is rare, and slash
is more common) is used;

a. to express alternatives

b. to indicate that the person or thing has two functions

c. to express fractions

Little, Brown lumps a. and b. together and adds separating lines of poetry,
but does not mention c. at all. LBH adds that he/she and and/or should be
avoided altogether.

Chicago refers to it as a solidus, and implies, but never states, that it
should only be used with dates, fractions, poetry, and as an abbreviation
for the word per.

We use Gregg as a primary style guide, but I think that I would lean
toward not using it at all if I could. But then my mentor in college
got her doctorate at Chicago University, so I may be biased.

_______________ _____
/ ___ __/__\ \ / / _\ Steve Fouts
/___ \| | ___\ | / __\ sfouts -at- ellison -dot- sc -dot- ti -dot- com
/ / \ | \ / \
/_______/__|_______\_/________\ "These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper,
but _minds_ alive on the shelves." -- Gilbert Highet

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