"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Friday, 4 December 2009


A solidus is another name for a punctuation mark (/) used to separate related items of information; the ‘Forward Slash’. But I doubt you’ll hear people talking about www dot scriptorsenex solidus blogspot dot com

In UK maths the solidus is the line between the numerator and the denominator of a fraction.

In addition to ‘forward slash’, an alternative name for the solidus is the virgule. (But note that in French la virgule is a comma. In maths in France la virgule is also the decimal separator! In fact, in English maths and French maths both the comma and the period/ full stop are reversed so the English number 2,576.5 is written in French as 2.576,5. Isn't life confusing. )

So far as I know there is no technical name for the back slash but I’m happy to be corrected if anyone knows of one.

A solidus was also a bezant, a round gold coin of the Byzantine Empire which was widely circulated in Europe in the Middle Ages.