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Subject:Re: Use of a slash (/) From:"Bonnie Nestor (NESTORM -at- FEDC04 -dot- FED -dot- ORNL -dot- GOV" <nestorm -at- FEDC04 -dot- FED -dot- ORNL -dot- GOV> Date:Thu, 2 Jun 1994 14:03:06 GMT
Barb (BurkBrick -at- aol -dot- com) posted a message on 31 May noting that "one style
manual lists twenty-four contradictory, accepted meanings for the virgule."
I can't top that, but I can quote from Robert A. Day's _Scientific English:
A Guide for Scientists and Other Professionals_ (Oryx Press, 1992, ISBN
The slash (solidus, virgule, shilling) is considered to be a mark of
punctuation. In my opinion, it should not be so used. It can be used
as a mark of division.
4/2 = 2
But, precisely because it means "four divided by two," it should not be
used grammatically. People who use "he/she" certainly do not mean he
divided by she. People who use "noise/signal ratio" usually mean
"signal to noise ratio." People who use "and/or" do not know what
Makes sense to me, but then, I'm like Beth Vollbach -- practically
everything that's happened to me since high school has been an accident.
Of course, I prefer to use the term "remote acausal coincidence" instead.
mnj -at- ornl -dot- gov
Liberal Arts Graduate -- Will Think for Food
Disclaimer: If my employer knew I had opinions, I'd have to trade them in for
a pocket-size card with the Corporate Values listed on it.