The Virgule

The virgule, often called the "slant bar" by computer users, has four specific uses in punctuation.

A virgule separates parts of an extended date.

Example: The 1994/95 basketball season.

Washington was born in February 1731/32.

A virgule represents the word per in measurements:

Example: 186,000 mi./sec. (miles per second)

A virgule stands for the word or in the expression and/or. (Though not considered standard, it sometimes stands for the word or in other expressions also.)

A virgule separates lines of poetry that are quoted in run-on fashion in the text. (For readability, avoid this with more than four lines.)

Example: Ann continued,"And up and down the people go,/ Gazing where the lilies blow/ Round an island there below,/ The island of Shalott."


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