How is a slash/oblique read?

< Previous | Next >
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hello ALT126 (~ on my keyboard, my favourite item of punctuation). Welcome to the forum.

    /
    Some British folk other than me might still be old-fashioned enough to call this an oblique or oblique stroke or just a stroke from time to time. The word slash has virtually killed off these terms, I reckon, but you might like to be aware of them at least.
     
    Last edited:

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    In other contexts, / can be a solidus.

    The solidus / was used as the symbol for a shilling: 2/- = two shillings.

    It was also to divide pounds, shillings and pence: £10/12/7 = 10 pounds 12 shillings and 7 pence
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I still tend to call / a stroke in many non-computer contexts.

    It can also be used in a fraction, particularly involving large numbers, eg 67/89. I also see it used in my children's report cards to indicate attendance, or marks obtained in a test or test (the first number indicating this, the second indicating the maximum mark).

    I would ready out 67/89 as 67 over 89 (especially the fraction) or 67 out of 89 (especially the attendance or exam mark).

    And of course it is used in prices, speeds, etc: material at $50/yd (fifty dollars per yard), chains at £8/ft (eight pounds per foot), electrical wires at €2/metre (two euros per metre), driving at 75 km/h (kilometres per hour).
     
    Last edited:

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Dear Teachers,
    Namaste.

    If you gave voice-overs for elearning lessons, how would you read an oblique or a slash (/) in a definition? For example, the on-screen text dislpays "A preposition is usaully placed before a noun/pronoun." How would you say the slash?

    Thank you.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    When I was growing up, everyone said 'stroke', sometimes 'oblique stroke'. (Another term is solidus.) I think I generally say 'stroke' still if I'm referring to the punctuation, but I'm hearing 'slash' a lot these days.

    If I was reading out your sentence, I might say 'or' instead of 'stroke'.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I would read '/' as 'slash', if you actually used a slash, but 'or' would be preferable in that sentence in writing as well as speech.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It all depends on the context.
    In the specific context we have been given, I would read '/' as 'or' - I would read 'placed before a noun or pronoun'.
    But in other contexts, where it is important to be clear that I am referring to the symbol '/', I would say slash. For example, the address of this web page is forum dot wordreference dot com slash threads slash ... and so on.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I've just read about restructuring/insolvency, and I didn't say anything in my head for the slash: I just gave the two words on either side the same intonation.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Thank you very much, Nat, EB and Panjandrum.
    So I choose "or" in the given context and, like Panjandrum, would say "slash" in a web address, etc.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Forward slash' is appropriate for programming, where you need to say that, for example, directories are separated by a forward slash, which is equivalent to two backslashes since backslash is an escape character . . . argh . . . In normal non-technical use, where no-one uses backslash, 'slash' means forward slash.

    In the title of your post, it would be madness to read 'slash/oblique' as slash slash oblique. Say either nothing or 'or' there.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    'Forward slash' is appropriate for programming, where you need to say that, for example, directories are separated by a forward slash, which is equivalent to two backslashes since backslash is an escape character . . . argh . . . In normal non-technical use, where no-one uses backslash, 'slash' means forward slash.

    In the title of your post, it would be madness to read 'slash/oblique' as slash slash oblique. Say either nothing or 'or' there.
    I might go as far as to say that a backslash does not exist in English, save as a name for a symbol in a computer language* - rather like some symbols that exist in mathematics.

    *Computing: a short oblique stroke (\): used in some computer operating systems to mark the division between a directory and a subdirectory, as in typing a path.

    Slash or Stroke?
    "/" and "\"
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top