Slash: a new conjunction


69 Responses to “Slash: a new conjunction”

  1. SamSam says:

    So I gather we’re not talking about Draco/Hermione fan-fiction here?

  2. cubby96 says:

    Sounds like a modern attempt to replace the semicolon, though I’m probably wrong.  Perhaps one of the more pedantic grammar nerds around here can let us know exactly why this is not quite accurate.

  3. Cicada Mania says:

    Axl. Slash Izzy Duff Steven.

  4. Ito Kagehisa says:

    I just chubbed on oatmeal raisin cookies at north quad and i miss you

    Do not eat the cookies at North Quad.

  5. knoxblox says:

    Oh my god. Slash this is unbelievable. Slash well maybe somewhat believable.

  6. MikeKStar says:

    Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

    • welcomeabored says:

      Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?
      Conjunction Junction, how’s that function?
      I got three favorite cars
      That get most of my job done.
      Conjunction Junction, what’s their function?
      I got “and”, “but”, and “or”,
      They’ll get you pretty far.

      That’s an additive, like “this and that”.
      That’s sort of the opposite,
      “Not this *but* that”.
      And then there’s “or”:
      O-R, when you have a choice like
      “This or that”.
      “And”, “but”, and “or”,
      Get you pretty far.

  7. WaferMouse says:

    Saying the slash aloud doesn’t seem like a really big deal. The explicit typing is obviously because most mobile devices are constrained or fiddly when handling punctuation, but don’t generally interfere with grammar as much.

    I dunno, I’m all for language evolving in line with technology, but this idea grates on me and I hope it doesn’t find traction.

    • knoxblox says:

       I think what’s more egregious is how it’s used where there ought to be a period or a comma.

      *period or *comma is going to be the new *you’re.

      • Gilbert Wham says:

         The worst thing, is when you end up doing it yourself. God help me, I’ve caught myself on the wrong end of ‘loose/lose’. more than once. I really do, unreservedly, blame the internet itself.

    • Gilbert Wham says:

       That makes sense. Could easily be less keypresses or maybe less fiddly to be worth typing out on most things, aye.

    • Tim says:

       It might / might not.


  8. I think “vs.” has an odd new usage. It seems to have replaced the ampersand.

    • G3 says:

      I have soccer kids always asking me now, “Who are we versing tomorrow?” I realized they’d invented a new word, yay sports.

  9. G3 says:

    Well, we survived the “air quotes.” Pretty soon we’ll get the Air Slash.

  10. peregrinus says:

    I gamble slash won’t make the cut long-term.  Too many letters – laziness will triumph.

  11. RedShirt77 says:

    Unless I have been using this wrong all these years, the use of slash is
    used when two equally true statements could be used but one could be
    unsaid, but is then said for emphases.


    That cupcake looks delicious/ Why don’t you give me a bite.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      That would be an appropriate place for a semicolon.

      • heng says:

         Except that the slash means something different. With a semicolon, the second clause is neutral and adds to the first clause. With a slash, the second clause essentially replaces the first but with the replacement overt. In the example above, the speaker isn’t saying the cupcake is delicious; the speaker is saying “Can I have a bite?”.

        In western culture (certainly in the UK), traditional social norms would dictate simply asking for a bite is not done. The slash makes light of this by explicitly acknowledging such a conflict. It’s quite common nowadays to attack social awkwardness head-on, particularly among friends. This is just one more technique.

      • Donald Petersen says:

        I’m stuffy, and would content myself with a period.

    • Mongrove_Moone says:

       That cupcake/dessert looks delicious/wonderful. Is it homemade/organic?

    • Mongrove_Moone says:

       That cupcake/dessert looks delicious/wonderful. Is it homemade/organic?

  12. johnfoster says:

    we need a better guitar player. slash for example.

  13. pdffs says:

    This would definitely make me fell less ill if they were using a slash where it was appropriate, but spelling s-l-a-s-h is pretty ridiculous on it’s own.

  14. franko says:

    this was not what i thought the article was going to be about. i thought it was going to be about using a slash in typed conversations, for example

    to indicate emotion or descriptive tones to the preceding stuff.

    although having it crop up in spoken conversation is quite interesting.

  15. Bradley Robinson says:

    I’ve little doubt this ‘phenomena’ will only exacerbate this:

  16. semiotix says:

    “Slash” has emerged as a new conjunction, which is a rarity in slang.

    I use “comma” in the same way, to adversarially modify someone else’s speech by adding an independent clause that changes the meaning.

    SPOUSE: “The sign says NO SOLICITORS. Look at it. Do they not teach you what that means in your precious Girl Scouts? So you can take your little box of cookies and shove it.”
    ME: “Comma but while we feel strongly about our privacy, you can put us down for two boxes of Thin Mints.”

    I adapted it from a friend who used “comma dammit!” as a means of adding emphasis to everything I said.

    ME: “It’s regular Coke. They were out of diet.”
    FRIEND: “Comma dammit!”

    • Tim says:

      Me and the same friend who does the ‘slash’ thing I think also do ellipsis – dot dot dot, or *tumbleweed* – as in actually say that out loud.

      Or sometimes ironic/pisstakes of stuff like !!!!1111 – ‘exclaimation mark exclaimation mark exclaimation mark’ for humorous effect. Seems obvious you take the online/text stuff and then put it into the conversational/speech world, it’s funnier.

      • McGreens says:

        Thank you Semiotix and Tim* – these are brilliant uses of spoken punctuation. I’m going to make it my mission this year to use “comma”, “exclamation mark”, “ellipsis”, etc. more in speech. I feel inspired exclamation mark

        * sounds like a pair of cartoon animals.

  17. teapot says:

    “I need to take a slash slash do you have the toilet key?”

  18. incipientmadness says:

    I absolutely DESPISE “and/or”. As a logician I believe that “or” should be interpreted as inclusive except in special circumstances, such as when you are choosing side dishes at a restaurant. “Or” is always inclusive, meaning “at least one” in descriptive language. We should not let a few cases in normative language make us think “or” means “exactly one”. De Morgan’s Law wouldn’t work if we bought into that BS.

    • L_Mariachi says:

      How do you pronounce “xor?”

      • incipientmadness says:

         “xor” is spoken as “or”, but it only comes up when we eat at fast food restaurants, listen to the “Conjunction Junction” song, or pay attention to our 6th grade English teachers. In almost all other cases “or” is inclusive. “And/or” is an abomination. I must do penance that I ever typed such filth.

        • L_Mariachi says:

          Sorry, in English as she is spoke, “or” is usually exclusive.

          “Do you walk to school or carry your lunch?” is nonsensical. “Do you walk to school or take the bus?” is a perfectly normal construction. The only examples of inclusive-or I can come up with have an implied “…or both?” at the end, or an implied “…which first?” e.g. “Do you want to have dinner or go to the movie?”

          (Tangent: Guy comes home to his wife all excited, tells her “Pack your holiday suitcase honey, I just won the lottery!” Wife says “That’s wonderful! But shall I pack for the mountains or the beach?” Guy says, “I don’t care, just get the fuck out!”)

  19. Tim says:

    As I commented over there, this isn’t new to me…a friend of mine does this all the time, and for many years. He usually uses it in the either / or way, like ‘do you want to get alcohol
    slash crisps slash chocolate?’ – this is spoken, not written. I sometimes use it back to him.

    Funny thing is age wise and otherwise we are very far from US teen college kids…mentally, maybe ;-)

    Wouldn’t be the first time kids are ‘stealing our style’ though – long beards with baseball caps? Victoriana? Top hats? Bowlers? Navy coats? And most recently kilts and flatcaps. Yup, all mine or ours from years back. HIPSTERTEENS GET YR OWN STYLE!

  20. Steve Nelson says:

    Was new to me until

  21. Bloo says:

    I think this is impatience and possibly evolved efficiency, as in “I don’t want to type one thought, send it, possibly wait for your response, then send a second one.  I’m just going to queue up two thoughts in one text message, maybe three, and send.  That way, we keep the communication pipes full between you and I, without all those delays” .

  22. dayhat says:

    All standard conjunctions are single syllable to neatly and succinctly join statements.  With the spoken word why then insert a two syllable word?

  23. bingobangoboy says:

    So, how new is this really?  I can’t reliably date when I started hearing it, but it was certainly several years ago.  Linguists?

  24. John McCormick says:

    This article is the first I’ve heard of it. I hope I don’t hear of it again.

  25. I use ‘slash’ in speech, which could translate to text if it reall 

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