Dear CBC Radio,
I have some news for you – a role-reversal, I know.
It’s not a backslash. When you’re reading out a show’s URL on the air, that character after your domain name, you know the one I mean. It’s not a backslash.
Unless you’re a computer programmer, if you’re under 40 or started using computers later in your life, you likely don’t even recall the need to ever type a backslash. For most folks, the backslash’s usefulness was relegated to the dustbin of operating-system history when Windows supplanted the dreadful DOS as the PC’s OS du jour. The backslash’s glory days were over by the late eighties, early nineties at the latest.
Just in case you’re not clear about what I mean, see the \ character in the middle here:
That is a backslash.
The Web has been a daily presence in many people’s lives for nearly twenty years. It’s common knowledge that the slash in a URL goes to the right – in other words, forward.
So, dear CBC radio announcers, could you please stop reading out URLs as “CBC.ca backslash show name”? It makes you look antiquated and out of touch. It makes listeners cringe. And it’s just plain incorrect.
By the way, I’m only bringing this to your attention because I care so much about you. I’m not picking on you – it’s like telling a friend she has toilet paper stuck to her shoe: a brief moment of embarrassment followed by gratefulness and relief.