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I was reading a text, and I found the word solidus.

What is a solidus? Is the word normally used in everyday language, or is there another word that replaces solidus even if it's not the completely correct word?

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According to wikipedia,

The solidus ( ⁄ ) is a punctuation mark used to indicate fractions including fractional currency. It may also be called a shilling mark, an in-line fraction bar, or a fraction slash. (...)

The solidus is similar to another punctuation mark, the slash ( / ), which is found on standard keyboards; the slash is closer to being vertical than the solidus. These are two distinct symbols that traditionally have entirely different uses. However, many people no longer distinguish between them, and when there is no alternative it is acceptable to use the slash in place of the solidus.

So, unless you're engaging in some typography, saying 'slash' instead of 'solidus' should be completely acceptable (and probably more widely understood).

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    Also note that the Unicode standard says U+002F, the character you get from your / key, actually is the solidus. Which makes the distinction kind of difficult to keep up in times of digital fonts. Sadly. Feb 2 '11 at 8:42
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One authority which usefully distinguishes between the virgule (also called a slash) and the solidus is Robert Bringhurst's The elements of typography. He notes the higher verticality of the virgule, which he calls an "alternative form of the comma" (p.81). It's used as a general separatrix, in dates, and when naming alternatives (either/or) (though this last usage is frowned on by some). The more slanted solidus is used in fractions. Our difficulty is we only have one forward slash on our keyboards; you must resort to your "Symbols" catalog to find a solidus.

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  • But having found the distinct symbols, it no doubt turns out that one font's solidus is indistinguishable from another's virgule (and that most people can't distinguish them anyway even in a single font, and few are even aware that there exist two such look-alikes). Dec 27 '21 at 19:21
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"/" is also known as the "forward slash", to differentiate this symbol from "\", or "back slash". "Forward slash" is often used when quoting a URL website address outloud. Example: "h t t p colon forward slash forward slash w w w dot english dot stackexchange dot com forward slash questions forward slash 10993"

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    U+002F SOLIDUS is already a slash or virgule by definition. There is no reason whatsoever to qualify the default case. It’s like calling E a “forward” E, as though there were some need to differentiate it from Ǝ: makes no sense.
    – tchrist
    Feb 7 '15 at 19:06
  • @tchrist Woah! How did you get the Ǝ? (I copied and pasted it from your comment to include it in mine.) May 4 '16 at 21:46
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    This is a retronym, and I believe came to prominence when URLs entered the cognizance of a public which was already used to backslashes in Microsoft file systems.
    – Colin Fine
    May 3 '17 at 23:54
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    I can attest to that. I used to be young during those dark days of infamy, and when you said "slash" most people thought of the actual backslash as in DOS's prompt: C:\> which was the symbol for the root of your filesystem and a directory hierarchy separator. so it was not uncommon to get support requests from about our "broken" website that refused to load at http:\\www.cetys.mx .. n.n shudders
    – hlecuanda
    Dec 17 '17 at 6:18

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