I have a character who's going to answer a question with "Either/or." She pronounces it simply either or, but I know some people pronounce the slash itself sometimes. How do I indicate explicitly how she pronounces it without awkwardly explaining it outside the dialogue?

With things like numbers, I'd just type out, for example, "Twenty-four twelve" or "Two four one two" to indicate pronunciation. And if she did pronounce the slash I'd do "Either slash or," or maybe "Either-slash-or." But I'm not sure how to indicate its absence.

  • 1
    Do you need to indicate its absence or can you just leave it out? Jan 14, 2020 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


The same way as in your examples, with hyphens, gives the least confusing text for your reader to interpret.


Writing dialogue is in part about getting your reader to accurately imagine what is said.

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