What Do Multiple Commas Mean?

I think I’ve seen it on these boards, but many other places too.

At first I thought it was a typo. But I’ve seen it so many times, I don’t know anymore.

Multiple commas, almost like ellipses points with periods, but with commas thus: ,

Now you do realize that this is grammatically incorrect, if people are using it for any reason.


EDIT: This message board won’t let me display multiple commas for some reason. But you know what I mean :wink: .

My understanding is if ‘…’ is trailing off, then ‘,’ is an emphasized or more dramatic trailing off. I think it is more of a twitter/instagram thing.

eta: Yeah, I’m sure there is some way to do it in discourse, but I haven’t figured it out.

Type Backslash comma Backslash comma Backslash comma

This is a backslash \

dang it. I was close. Tried forward slash.

ETA: Nope, still unsuccessful. Feeling dumb.

Some people don’t know how to use punctuation. This is an example of it.

Here’s one explanation of it (which is new to me):

Nope – that’s a forward slash.

Do you know why? Because, when you draw one by hand, it goes forward on the paper (from left to right) as you draw it.

I used to have trouble distinguishing between a forward slash and a backslash, until I figured out that handy little trick to help remember.


Is this a joke? I’m confused.

Either a weird joke or you are really, really wrong.

It’s unfortunate that your “handy little trick” has taught you the wrong thing.

A forward slash is leaning forward. A backslash is leaning backwards. Much easier to remember than trying to figure out which direction to draw it (because both slashes are able to be drawn left-to-right, or front-to-back).

The ironic thing here is that your memory aid that is giving you the wrong answer, would give me the correct answer, because I draw slashes bottom to top, not top to bottom. I wonder if that is what you actually learned, but it hasn’t worked because you don’t draw slashes the way you were expected to.

I’ve always assumed the / was simply a normal slash, and \ was called a backslash because it’s backwards from the normal slash. Then / came to be called a forward slash just because it’s backward from the backslash.

What I want to know is why the backslash \ character was ever a thing to begin with. The early-day Model 35 Teletypes had it, and IIRC the even earlier Model 33 Teletypes had it, even with their very limited character set. Despite the very limited 7-bit character sets, they had a few odd characters included that weren’t otherwise very commonly used in those days.

According to Wikipedia, the origin of the backslash symbol is unknown. Strangely, its earliest known appearance is in a 1937 Teletype manual which shows it on the keyboard of a Morse code tape perforator, which is odd since there is no Morse code encoding for the symbol. It’s purpose on the keyboard is not known.

OJ Simpson was all too familiar with the keyboard keys for backslash, forward slash, and escape.

It’s an old joke.

What an odd feature, collapsing multiple commas into one. I wonder what its purpose is. Surely accidentally typing more than one comma was not such a widespread issue that it needed software correction.

I can see the logic of converting two or more periods (.) into ellipses (…). It’s about using the correct character in your font for ellipses. But, as far as I know, there is no equivalent with commas.

I hope it wasn’t someone trying to stamp out this linguistic phenomenon. Don’t get me wrong: that level of informality is probably a bit too far for this board, but Discourse in general probably should want to be able to accommodate newer linguistic trends.

Unless you are left handed - then it goes from right to left…

This is that greater than crocodile thing all over again

I’ve seen it a fair bit. In my experience, it tends to correlate quite strongly with crackpottery - conspiracy stuff, medical woo, pseudoscience, etc. I don’t know if its an in-group culture thing; I asked someone about why they did it once and the reply wasn’t terribly coherent, but it seemed to be a conscious choice not to conform to more normal writing styles.

No idea, it is a Discourse thing and not an SDMB setting. It is possible the multi commas screws up some SQL they use.

Ah! So you’re the one responsible for those occasional ads I hear where URLs are given with “backslashes.” They’re just plain “slashes” or “forward slashes” if you’re being specific. Every time I hear it on the radio – I can’t remember the specific commercial, but there’s more than one – the sleeping pedant in my head wakes up and says “it’s just a regular slash or forward slash!.” The last time I remember using backslashes was navigating directories in a command prompt on DOS/Windows machines; actually, no, I’ve used them as an escape character since then. (One of the commercials has, incidentally, apparently been informed of their error as now they conspicuously say “forward slash” in their URL.)