Gadzooks, It’s Not a Backslash

We’ve been into this World Wide Web thing for a while now. That’s right — it’s really been over 20 years, despite what certain fictional histories might lead you to believe. Despite that, you still hear many people in various forms of communication misread web addresses like this:

“Find more information at so-de-so blah-de-blah backslash something else.”

Nope — it ain’t a backslash. Take this web address:

http://www.nytimes/cooking

Those slashes above aren’t backslashes, sisters and brothers. Nope, those are forward slashes.

Why do people suffer from this misapprehension? Well, it may come from the legacy of a computer that (once-upon-a-time, when people saw it nearly every day) featured a little prompt that looked a little sumthin’ like this:

C:\>_

That prompt contained a backslash, but web addresses do not. Note that the problem became rampant enough that many web browsers actually convert back slashes to forward slashes if people try to type them in.

Over time, people have realized the error and have begun to read web addresses: “Find more information at so-de-so blah-de-blah forwardslash something else.” There’s no need to do this either. Just say “slash,” everybody.

To clear up another misapprehension, if you’ve (unfortunately) got the Facebook, you do have the internet:

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