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What is /?

I learned something today about the humble slash character: /.

First, let me say that to me, / is always pronounced ‘slash’.  This is due to my first encountering of this character as a path separator in UNIX when I worked at Bell Labs.    The other slash, \, I only knew as back slash.  When I encountered it in DOS paths, I was appalled that people used the name ‘slash’ interchangeably with ‘back slash’ and called ‘/’ ‘forward slash’.  Slash/back slash made sense to me because it fit cleanly with tick/back tick (‘ and ’).

What I learned is that the character that we think of as slash (or forward slash to you heathens) is really called ‘solidus’.

I also found out that the paragraph symbol, ¶, is called ‘pilcrow’ or ‘alinea’.

How about that?

I’ll take “Punctuation Names” for $800, Alex.

Published Friday, February 05, 2010 4:21 PM by Steve Hawley


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