Re: iff vs. if in documents

Subject: Re: iff vs. if in documents
From: SteveFJong -at- AOL -dot- COM
To: techwr-l
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 9:18:25

The word "iff," meaning "if and only if," is pure jargon, arising from
Boolean logic. It is not an English word. I consider it a brother of the
construction "unless and until," and a more obscure nephew of the common
constructions "and/or." We routinely edit out "and/or;" no one's tried to
slip by "iff" at our company.

I would respectfully disagree with the statement that "if" and "iff" are
different, or even ambiguous, *in the English language.* The common meaning
of "if" is the same. You only have to remove all possibly avenues for
ambiguity, using "if and only if," if you are questioning Bill Clinton 8^)

Once you open the door to terms like this, your prose will become much
weaker.

-- Steve




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