virgule

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virgule

(character)
Rare, and ambiguous: slash or comma.

"Virgule" (or rather, Latin "virgula", meaning "little rod" or, vividly enough, "little penis") was the name of a punctuation character shaped like a small slash and used in the Latin writing system much like a modern comma -- hence the ambiguity of this term in modern English.

Compare French "virgule" and Italian "virgola", meaning "comma" (not "slash"); Italian "doppia virgola" and "virgoletta", both meaning "double quote".
References in periodicals archive ?
Une ponctuation peu commune, avec une preponderance des points et une presence rarissime des virgules et des points d'exclamation dans un texte, cependant, emotif.
Because we have no record of Chaucer's original work, the reliability of the virgules as authorial rather than editorial or scribal will always be in question.
Both Ian Robinson and James Southworth insist in qualifying the virgules as rhetorical rather than as metrical breaks.
Here the phrase "as men may" is isolated and the virgules which mark the caesura become little more than marks of light punctuation.
Il ponctue l'espace de ses yeux tout en orientant nos regards vers des points, des virgules et des traits d'union faisant de son corps un vrai texte.
Here is a fairly typical passage with virgules marking the T-unit or compound clause boundaries, with compound verbs in italics, and with and in bold: