Re: Use of "and/or"

Subject: Re: Use of "and/or"
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 16:31:31 -0600

Since environmental reports are often dealing with highly regulated
conditions, there is a value in being abundantly clear. If, therefore,
they "borrow" this awkward construction from legal writing, perhaps
there is some value in least to the lawyers who will often be
called upon to determine the issues of compliance.

Which said, the original example of "...hazardous and/or unidentified
substance containers" is a misuse of the "and/or" conjunction. An item
may be hazardous, but if it is unknown then surely it is also not
known if it is hazardous. Logically, then, it would be highly unlikely
to be both hazardous and unknown. Thus, in that case, it seems to be
more correct to use only the "or" part.

At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!



On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 14:30:49 -0500, Jim Shaeffer <jims -at- spsi -dot- com> wrote:
> Not my thoughts, but a quote from _The Elements of Style_
> "And/or. A device borrowed from legal writing. It destroys the flow and
> goodness of a sentence. Useful only to those who need to write
> diagrammatically or enjoy writing in riddles."
> Jim Shaeffer


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RE: Use of "and/or": From: Jim Shaeffer

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