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On 6/25/07, Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com> wrote:
> By golly, Mark is right. I found "and/or" down the list from "and."
> I still won't use it because I personally think it's a symptom of bad
> writing. If I were editing your output, I'd cross it out.
> As for the reference by Ned that it is a Boolean expression...so what. If
> were documenting Boolean, I'd probably use it, but I don't document
> I also use English as my first language knowing that a good portion of my
> readers use another language as their "first language."
> You can use whatever style you wish as long as you are sure your readers
> not left in the dark over the meaning of your words.
> Al Geist
> Technical Writing, Help, Marketing Collateral, Web Design and Award
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I agree with Al's point and I think we a digressing a bit from the
> fundamental issue here. Agreed, "and/or" denotes a Boolean expression. But I
> will avoid using it even if I am documenting Boolean logic. I document
> software products and solutions and if Boolean expressions forms a part of a
> document, my audience expects me to simplify it. Of course, I will use it,
> if I am writing only for the users adept at Boolean algebra (But then I may
> rather go with the 'sybolic logical notation' because such an audience will
> understand that better than "and/or".)
The term, indeed, has been defined in a few dictionaries. But then again,
as Al puts it, it does not mean anything as far as its usage is
concerned. I may have missed a few, but so far I am still to find a style
guide that recommends the usage of "and/or". It would be a great value
addition to this thread if anybody could come up with a style guide
that favors that use of "and/or".
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