Punctuation: Slash

The American English slash ( / ) is also called a stroke (British), slant and virgule. It is often incorrectly called a backslash, especially when a Web address is spoken: "wmich dot edu slash news," not "backslash."

A slash is used in text to separate alternatives (good/evil) and to separate lines of poetry (Roses are red / Violets are blue / It's not a backslash / Really? Who knew?). Do not use a slash to separate alternatives when using "and" or "or" would suffice. When used for poetry, there is a space before and after the slash.

Other common uses include 24/7, meaning all day, every day.

To illustrate joint entity or ownership, a hyphen is always preferable to a slash.

  • student-faculty initiative
  • faculty-staff newsletter
  • junior-senior dance
  • Taft-Hartley Act

Do not use the phrase “and/or,” when simply “and” or “or” would suffice.