[PLUG-TALK] Name of the division symbol

Brian Stanaland brian at stanaland.org
Wed Apr 22 12:01:33 PDT 2015


We all have a little Cliff Claven in us. Now we have even more ammo. :)


On Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 3:00 PM, Dick Steffens <dick at dicksteffens.com>
wrote:

> On 04/22/2015 11:51 AM, Dale Snell wrote:
> > Obelus, descended from ὀβελός, the same Greek root as "obelisk".
> >
> > I had to look it up on Wikipedia, since groff_char(7) just called
> > it "division".  Then again, that's what the Unicode Consortium
> > calls it.
> >
> > The slash character, "/", when used for division is called a
> > "solidus".  (The backslash, "\", is unsurprisingly a "reverse
> > solidus".)  When used in text, it's likely to be called a
> > "virgule".  Typographically, the solidus is more horizontal (~45°)
> > than the virgule (~15° to my eye), and probably thinner.
> >
> > Just to confuse matters, the Unicode Consortium named the virgule
> > "solidus".  This was an error, and they know it.  But since a code
> > point, once named, cannot be renamed, they created another one
> > called "fraction slash", which is to be used as the real solidus.
> > Ain't standards fun?
> >
> > And now you know.  :-)
>
> Interesting stuff to keep on hand during the next trivia event.
>
> --
> Regards,
>
> Dick Steffens
>
>
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-- 
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -Albert
Einstein
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