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virgule (VUR-gyool) noun

A diagonal mark (/) used especially to separate alternatives, as in and/or, to represent the word per, as in miles/hour, and to indicate the ends of verse lines printed continuously, as in Old King Cole/Was a merry old soul.

[French, comma, obelus, from Late Latin virgula, accentual mark, from Latin, obelus, diminutive of virga, rod.]

"Though no longer used as a British coin, the shilling still is well known throughout the world. This may explain why British printers call a virgule (a slanted line that now is common on computer keyboards) a shilling bar. Americans tend to call it a slash bar or slash." Weiner, Richard, This wrap is a bomb. (differences in media language between UK and US), Communication World, 1 Dec 1997.

This week's theme: words about punctuation and diacritics.


My loneliness was born when men praised my talkative faults and blamed my silent virtues. -Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) [Sand and Foam]

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