Posted by: Jack Henry | July 29, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Virgule

My apologies to all of you who registered for my class on using Microsoft® Word; I had a dental emergency and have to reschedule the class for another day.

Today’s Editor’s Corner will be almost as brief as my class! I received this definition from and I liked it, so I thought I’d share it with you.


1. a short oblique stroke (/) between two words indicating that whichever is appropriate may be chosen to complete the sense of the text in which they occur: The defendant and his/her attorney must appear in court.

2. a dividing line, as in dates, fractions, a run-in passage of poetry to show verse division, etc.: 3/21/27; “Sweetest love, I do not go/For weariness of thee.” (John Donne)

I also liked this etymology, from the Online Etymology Dictionary:

(T)hin sloping line similar to a modern backslash, used as a comma in medieval MSS and still in modern text to indicate line breaks in poetry, 1837, from French virgule (16c.), from Latin virgula "punctuation mark," literally "little twig," diminutive of virga "shoot, rod, stick."

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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