I wasn't entirely sure how to word this question, so allow me to explain.

Often I come across writers using the word "period" to indicate adamance and finality, especially when in the first-person narrative. For example (from the top of my head, not sourced):

Cathy wasn't going to let him get the better of her. Period.

Or perhaps:

"I'm not eating that. Period."

I was wondering, has "slash" ever been used in a similar way, to indicate "/"? I understand that the word "period" and the punctuation mark "." are not synonymous in these examples, or ever are when being used, but the question still stands.

This is what I was hoping to write:

...and Aline, apprentice slash roommate with a..."

Or would it be better just to display it regularly?:

...and Aline, apprentice/roommate with a..."

I'd like to also add that this is purely for stylistic reasons.

  • 1
    Try reading this article: chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2013/04/24/…, despite the date of 04/2013...
    – Hank
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 22:19
  • I've seen it spelled out when written in dialogue, in the same spirit as the link posted by @Hank
    – John Feltz
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 22:21
  • The informal conj definition is also specified here: thefreedictionary.com/slash
    – Hank
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 22:24
  • Note that "period" is the American term. In Britain they say "full stop" instead.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 23:13

2 Answers 2


Outside of scientific, governmental, and mathematical applications, the only way in which you would do what you suggest is in dialogue:

Joey said, "I realize that Aline is your apprentice slash roommate, but isn't she also your lover slash confidant?"

In narrative, don't get too cute. Just use and:

Aline, apprentice and roommate with a desire for even more, ...

Also, stay away from using a / when or or versus would work better:

My Aline/Joey roommate choice is a serious conundrum.

  • 1
    I second the final sentiment, sometimes people do that, but it reads to me as AND Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 23:18

The vocalisation and spelling-out of slash in writing seems to already be in use in colloquial contexts. Professor Anne Curzan from the University of Michigan gives examples from her students here:

Two weeks ago, one student brought up the word slash as an example of new slang, and it quickly became clear to me that many students are using slash in ways unfamiliar to me. In the classes since then, I have come to the students with follow-up questions about the new use of slash. Finally, a student asked, “Why are you so interested in this?” I answered, “Slang creates a lot of new nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. It isn’t that often that slang creates a new conjunction.”

She discusses the slang usage here as well.

This link cites definitions of slash from multiple dictionaries, as well as giving examples from an array of literature of where the spelled-out version has been used, i.e.:

The linguist Brett Reynolds, who blogs about language at English, Jack, has found a couple of examples from the 1990s.

This one is from the Sept. 28, 1992, issue of Time magazine: “Meet urban planner Campbell Scott (‘a realist slash dreamer’).” And this one is from the script for the 1999 movie Mumford: “sexual surrogate slash companion.”

Related to this, and in the same link, are examples of cum having been used in a similar fashion:

Although most standard dictionaries still consider “cum” a preposition, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) recognizes it as a conjunction and has this example from George Bernard Shaw: “a credible mining camp elder-cum-publican.”

stroke is another one:

It could have been a pretty incognito look for the singer-stroke-actress, but paired with nude heels, an undone updo and aviators sunnies, she gave it serious sex appeal.

Languages are living/evolving forms. Where one thing works in one context, it might be totally out of place in another. As the author, trust your instinct as to whether your context will accommodate that slash. Since the question isn't about strict grammatical rules, there's really no right or wrong in my opinion.

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