Should the slash be avoided?

For example every week/day in my head is translated to every week or day. I think I started using slashes because I saw them used in forums and in articles.

Is using slashes U.S. specific, while British English is against it? Or do I understand it wrong?

P.S. If you find any spelling errors here, please let me know.

2 Answers 2


Most style guides recommend against using the slash in phrases like “X and/or Y”, as well as “this is hard/impossible to do”. In particular, scientific publications now have strong policies against this ramping-up use, because it allows for a lot of imprecision in the writing, and weakens the scientific discussion. I know that is the case in the world of physics and chemistry publishing, and this entry, for example, seems to indicate it is so in other fields.

The one place I find it's gained real traction in both written and spoken language is when it's used in, e.g., “he was a comedian-slash-banjo player”, where it is now often spelt out as here.


Yes, your sentence will be clearer if you write the actual word instead of the slash.

Slash could be interpreted as or, per, a, etc. But if you use the actual word there is no confusion.

Note that with some standard metric names (e.g. km/h, m/s, etc.) in particular, you can use slash because the meaning will be understood by any reader.

  • When you still want to avoid the slash in metric names, you should spell them completely: kilometers per hour, instead of km per h.
    – user3406
    Jan 17, 2011 at 12:44
  • 1
    Constructs such as "km per h" are expressly forbidden by the SI brochure. In an expression like "km/h" you're effectively writing a formula, where the "km" and the "h" represent mathematical entities and the slash ("solidus") represents division; this is not the same as using a slash between words in prose. Jan 17, 2011 at 19:55

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