Posted by: Jack Henry | September 19, 2014

Nifty Nuggets: Slashes

Here are the guidelines for using slashes from the JHA Style Guide for Technical Communication and Training.

Guideline Examples
When using a slash to separate terms or abbreviations, do not use an extra space. Correct:

· Entry/inquiry


· CIF 20/20

Use forward slashes for URLs. Correct: http//
Use back slashes for file paths. Correct: http\RDSERVERqadoco

Speaking of slashes, your friendly editor may have asked you not use the term “and/or,” and to choose “and” or “or” instead.

Per the Chicago Manual of Style, “Avoid this Janus-faced term. It can often be replaced by and or or with no loss in meaning. Where it seems needed {take a sleeping pill and/or a warm drink}, try or . . . or both {take a sleeping pill or a warm drink or both}. But think of other possibilities {take a sleeping pill with a warm drink}.”

One reason not to use and/or statements is that it creates uncertainty. Here is an example, “I and/or Kara will edit your document tomorrow.” The and/or statement in this sentence can mean that I will edit your document, Kara will edit your document, or both Kara and I will edit your document.

There is also the issue of whether using and/or in a subject makes the verb singular or plural.

For example:

This message and/or attachments [is? are?] confidential.

Before you use and/or in your writing, try to determine whether the term is necessary or if there is a clearer way to express what you are trying to say.

Jackie Solano | Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.542.6711 | Extension: 766711


  1. […] We’ve been writing about this for years. For one of my favorite articles on slashes see Jackie Solano’s Nifty Nuggets article here. […]

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