Probably the most recognized use of the forward slash is to offer alternatives. Choices such as either/or and he/she make use of this informal notation. Spaces on either side of the slash are unnecessary, but can be included if one of the separated terms is, as the Manual states, an open compound. Plain as a trench coat, yes? On we go.
If you’re tired of using en dashes when writing dates, you can slip in a forward slash. This is handy when noting a span of two years (1973/74), or when indicating a specific date (6/18/42). The Manual suggests using this kind of date notation only in informal pieces, to avoid confusion. While American writers tend to indicate the month first, writers from Europe and Canada more often use the day instead.
The forward slash can be used as a sort of shorthand for other notations, such as the word per in the following sentence: Even at $1/dozen, those shoes are no bargain.
Of course, we can’t forget the use of the forward slash when quoting poetry. Multiple lines of poetry, when quoted in text, are separated with spaced slashes to show line breaks. “The sweater now adorns my self / but looked much better on the shelf. / It suits me not; I blame the hue / I should have chosen one in blue.”
That’s all we have time for today, dearies. The temperature is dropping into the single digits tonight, and I must bank the fire. If you think of any further uses for the forward slash, send them along c/o The Style Maven, won’t you? Heh, heh.
|Photo courtesy of Darrick Bartholomew|
The Style Maven made six attempts at a flourless chocolate torte before deciding that she’s much better at folding laundry than at folding egg whites. Follow the domestic adventures of her alter ego on The Procraftinator web page.