[TUHS] Slashes (was: MS-DOS)

Norman Wilson norman at oclsc.org
Fri Jul 8 21:25:34 AEST 2016

Steffen Nurpmeso:

  ...and that actually makes me wonder why the engineers that
  created what became POSIX preferred slash instead -- i hope it is
  not the proud of high skills in using (maybe light) sabers that
  some people of the engineer community seem to foster.  But it
  could be the sober truth.  Or, it could be a bug caused by
  inconsideration.  And that seems very likely now.


It had nothing to do with engineers.  `Slash' for / has been
conventional American usage for as long as I can remember,
dating back well before POSIX or UNIX or the movie that made
a meme of light sabers.

It's unclear exactly how far back it dates.  The earliest
OED citation for `slash' as `A thin sloping line, thus /'
is dated 1961; but the cite is from Webster's 3rd.

Given the amount of violence prevalent in American metaphor,
it is hardly noteworthy.

Make American Language Violent Again (and I HATE MOSQUITOS*).

Norman Wilson
Toronto ON

* If you don't know what this refers to, you probably don't
want to know.

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