In Commonwealth English is it acceptable to write this in a magazine article:

If there are there any nearby towns/villages …

  • As an editor, I would not accept that construction and would ask for it to be changed (or would just change it myself). I especially dislike the use of "and/or"; in most instances, it is lazy writing.
    – JLG
    Aug 16, 2012 at 12:35
  • 1
    I agree about and/or but find the slash to be helpful in technical writing, usually annoying in other writing. (This is a US perspective.)
    – bib
    Aug 16, 2012 at 13:04
  • Is there really a standard called "Commonwealth English"?
    – GEdgar
    Aug 16, 2012 at 16:03

2 Answers 2


Punctuation of that kind would be unhelpful in any kind of English. It is much clearer to write If there are there any nearby towns or villages or If there are there any nearby towns and villages, as appropriate. What, incidentally, do you mean by ‘Commonwealth English’?


Using a forward slash is acceptable as a typographical symbol in place of "or". Overuse has the unfortunate consequence of reduced flow and/or writer appearing unsure of himself/herself.

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