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Which way is "forward"? And why?

/ or \ ?

I've seen many people use, and I know (?) that "/" is the way "forward". I've also met a handful who insist on "\" being the actual way "forward". So, which is it?

Then again, as typewriters and computers were primarily developed left to right language users, why is "/" forward, when it goes from right to left?

KayJay
Friday, October 31, 2003

Reading/writing from left to right, a "/" is forward if you draw it left to right, bottom to top.

Think of a person walking from left to right (facing right), isn't "/" like if they leaned forwards?

Tom (a programmer)
Friday, October 31, 2003

| Person standing "Verticle"
/ Person falling "forward"
\ Person falling "backward"

Heston Holtmann
Friday, October 31, 2003

You forgot...

_ Person drunk
-  Short person levitating

AJS
Friday, October 31, 2003

<q>
| Person standing "Verticle"
/ Person falling "forward"
\ Person falling "backward
</q>
Heston Holtmann, fair enough. Makes sense.

<q>
Reading/writing from left to right, a "/" is forward if you draw it left to right, bottom to top.
</q>
Tom , interesting. I always begin each word from the top. And I've never used a "/" within a word.

KayJay
Friday, October 31, 2003

Right-handed people usually slope their handwriting like "/". That's 'forwards'. Backwards-sloping handwriting is uncommon.

A.T.
Friday, October 31, 2003


The "proper" name for / is "virgule" also called a slash.


I think the \ was introduced later than /. (I think / is found on earlier typewriters than /.)

/ is a slash. \ then became a backslash to distinguish it from /.

/ became a forward slash because there's a backwards one.

njkayaker
Friday, October 31, 2003

If you use Unix/Linux then / is the way forward.

If you use DOS/Windows then \ is the way forward.

:-)

David Jones
Friday, October 31, 2003

In typography, the / is called the solidus or German comma. BTW 'virgule'is French for comma.

Karel Thönissen
Friday, October 31, 2003

"If you use DOS/Windows then \ is the way forward."

I don't know, every bit of documentation I've ever seen has called '\' a backslash.  MS-DOS stuff always referred to the C:\> prompt as "see colon backslash".

Kevin
Friday, October 31, 2003


Didn't know "solidus".

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=virgule

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=solidus

In English, they're synonyms (and maybe ambiguous).


Excerpted from the reference (explains the french comment too):

"Virgule" (or rather, Latin "virgula", meaning "little rod"
or, vividly enough, "little penis") was the name of a
punctuation character shaped like a small slash and used in
the Latin writing system much like a modern comma -- hence the ambiguity of this term in modern English.

njkayaker
Friday, October 31, 2003

I watched a BBC program in England last week, and when they mentioned an URL they actually called the "/" forward slash.

BC
Friday, October 31, 2003

These days when I talk to a non-technical person, I pronounce it "slash-bottom-left-to-top-right"

A.T.
Friday, October 31, 2003

<q>
"slash-bottom-left-to-top-right"
</q>
LOL! I'll keep that in mind.

Thanks for all the info folks!

Regards

Kaushik Janardhanan

KayJay
Saturday, November 01, 2003

> "Virgule" (Latin "virgula", meaning "little penis")

Folks, let's just call it what it is -- a little penis.

"Change to your C colon little penis directory."

"Check out h,t,t,p,colon,little penis,little penis,slashdot,period,com"

If any one gives you a problem with it, point them to the nearest dictionary.

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, November 01, 2003

Is 3/4  "three fourths" or "four thirds"

how about 3\4?

Richard Ponton
Monday, November 03, 2003

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