What Does a Forward Slash Mean In Writing?
There are a couple of uses for the slash. There is a forward slash and a backslash, but we’re not worried about the backslash here. We’re concerned about the forward slash. There are a couple of uses for the forward slash that I want to take a look at. I have some examples printed up here on the board.
The first one says, “Bring your notebook and/or spiral.” Notice, there’s a forward slash between “and” and “or”. That’s because the writer doesn’t know which one will apply to the reader. Say the reader has a notebook and they also have a spiral. Then, the word “and” is more appropriate to the reader. “The notebook and the spiral.”
Say there is another reader that just has a notebook or they just have a spiral. Then, the word “or” is more appropriate here, because it would say, “Bring your notebook or your spiral.” The writer is just putting “and” and “or” in there, because it just depends on the reader in that case. The writer is showing that either one is acceptable.
It’s acceptable if someone just brings a notebook or if someone just brings a spiral. It’s also acceptable if someone brings a notebook and a spiral. Forward slashes can also be used to separate the lines of a poem. This can only be used for short poems, not poems that could make up a whole book. Just short poems.
You put a forward slash in there to show that these are two different lines of a poem. In a poem, you’d have one line here, “The air is filled with mist”, and the next line would say, “But I must insist.” In this case, we’re just writing it in one line, so there is a forward slash to differentiate between the two lines of the poem.
That’s a couple of uses for the forward slash. It’s not that common in writing, so be hesitant when you use it and use it sparingly.
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Last updated: 07/17/2018
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