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7.55 Alternatives and headings

An oblique may indicate alternatives:

  • Send in your cheque / money order without delay.
  • and/or
  • Parent/Guardian: ______________________

A similar use is seen in bilingual titles such as L’Actualité terminologique / Terminology Update.

The expression and/or may be redundant and should be used with caution:

  • The engines will be manufactured in Canada and/or the United States.


  • renovations or repairs not renovations and/or repairs

Oblique strokes may separate headings on a form:

  • Division/Branch
  • Series/Cert. No.

The oblique is used increasingly to indicate complex relationships between words, a role traditionally filled by the hyphen:

  • the student/teacher ratio (the student-teacher ratio)
  • labour/management relations (labour-management relations)
  • owner/manager (owner-manager)
  • the total Boston–Montréal/Montréal–Toronto air mileage