"And/or" vs. "and / or": which do you use?

“And/or” vs. “and / or”: which do you use?

Do you leave spaces around slashes in expressions such as “and/or” or do you open up spaces, using “and / or”? I’ve seen both styles.

The online AP Stylebook (paid subscription required) says “No space on either side of the slash.”

Here’s what Garner’s Modern American Usage says about “and/or”:

A legal and business expression dating from the mid-19th century, and/or has been vilified for most for most of its life—and rightly so. To avoid ambiguity, don’t use it…. Or alone usually suffices.

Notice that Garner doesn’t open up spaces around the slash. Also, he admits that there are times when this expression is useful.

I will continue to avoid putting spaces around my forward slashes.

 

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