[PLUG-TALK] Name of the division symbol

Dick Steffens dick at dicksteffens.com
Wed Apr 22 12:00:35 PDT 2015

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.


Dick Steffens

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