[PLUG-TALK] Name of the division symbol
ddsnell at frontier.com
Wed Apr 22 11:51:30 PDT 2015
On Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:39:13 -0700, in message
5537DCC1.8000008 at dicksteffens.com, Dick Steffens wrote:
> Thanks to Dale Snell, over on the standard PLUG list I learned a
> word, pilcrow, the symbol indicating a paragraph. I've known the
> symbol for years but never thought about it having a name.
> So, with that in mind, does anyone know the name of the division
> symbol, the one with a dot above and below a dash?
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
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. :-)
"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even
one which cannot be justified on any other grounds."
-- J. Finnegan, USC.
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