Definition Wednesday: Forward Slash vs. Backslash
January 27, 2016 @ 03:38 pm
Forward Slash (/)
The forward slash
(/) is the correct way to separate distinct parts of a web address; for example in the address http://www.auburn.edu/oit, a forward slash follows edu.
The slash, also known as a forward slash or stroke, has been used throughout history for thousands of years to denote multiple meanings. In English text the slash stands for "or," such as Yes/No (meaning yes or no). The slash can also be used to create a compound of items, such as "Our New Zealand/Western Australia trip." Slashes may be used in abbreviations, such as n/a (not applicable), in proofreading, arithmetic (division), currency, bowling (spare), computing, genealogy, date formatting, and more.
The backslash is used in many programming languages and is used as a separator in the file structure for the Windows operating system.
How to Remember the Difference
- Start with a vertical line, a pipe |.
- If this line leans forward (to the right), it becomes a forward slash /.
- If this line leans backward (to the left), it becomes a backslash \.