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Looking at forms in financial risk assessment, there is a question 'I'm happy investing a large proportion of my income / capital in a high-risk investment'. Is the '/' here being used as shorthand for '... proportion of either my income or my capital'; does it mean 'either / or' and is there a way to express it without using a '/'? Main concern is whether the / is open to interpretation.

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    / refers to: and/or – user66974 Jun 24 '15 at 8:50
  • I'm fairly sure that the problems surrounding the use of the slash / virgule have been mentioned here before. You're right to be concerned: The Punctuation Guide contains << Meaning and The slash sometimes serves as shorthand for and, as in: He is enrolling in the JD/MBA program at Harvard. [I'd emphasise the 'combined' sense, often represented by a hyphen, here.] Meaning or The slash sometimes serves as shorthand for or ... >> .... – Edwin Ashworth Jun 24 '15 at 8:52
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    As Josh61 says, and/or is another not uncommon reading. I use the slash where I'm not altogether sure whether and, or, or and/or is preferable, and think the reader can profitably explore the possibilities themself. But you need to make sure which way it's being used (by asking for clarification) where consequences could be important. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 24 '15 at 8:56
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Slash

  • The slash ( / ), also known as the virgule, has several uses, most of which should be avoided in formal writing.

Meaning and

  • The slash sometimes serves as shorthand for and, as in:

    • He is enrolling in the JD/MBA program at Harvard.

Meaning or

  • The slash sometimes serves as shorthand for or, as in:

    • Each guest must present his/her ticket prior to entry.

    • Once the new president is elected, he/she will have little time to waste.

    • The deficit reduction will be achieved by spending cuts and/or tax increases.

(www.thepunctuationguide.com)

  • In the sentence you are showing I think it is used to mean and/or.
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  • Ironically, your proposed explanation of the slash also includes a slash within it! – user11752 Jul 24 '15 at 10:31

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