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An oblique (/) is also called a diagonal, slash, slant, virgule, or solidus. It is not usually immediately preceded or followed by a space. It is commonly used in place of a dash or hyphen, or to separate words or numbers.

  1. Use an oblique between units of measure or sides of a ratio.

    60 miles/hour
    23 mi/gal
    70/30 split
    2003/2004 fiscal year
    price/earnings ratio of 17.5

  2. Use an oblique in place of or and and/or when expressing alternatives.


  3. Use an oblique for and in certain compound terms.

    diesel/electric (engine)
    July/August (issue)
    2003/04 (academic year)
    oil/wood (heating system)

  4. Use an oblique to (sometimes) replace certain prepositions such as at, of, for, and versus.

    Fall/winter session
    Teacher/parent night
    Vice President/Sales

  5. Use an oblique to punctuate certain abbreviations.

    a/c air conditioning
    a/r account receivable
    a//p account payable
    b/s bill of sale
    w/w wall-to-wall
    r/w right of way

  6. Use an oblique to separate the numerator and denominator of a fraction, or the elements of a date that has been expressed numerically.

    4 1/4 inches in width
    3 1/2 rooms
    10 3/8 kilometers

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