RE : Re: and/or?

Subject: RE : Re: and/or?
From: Yves JEAUROND <jingting -at- rogers -dot- com>
To: Bryan Sherman <bsherm -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 12:34:18 -0400 (EDT)

Bryan Sherman:

You are so right: ellipsis is not illogical; it is a figure of speech.
"All employees that live in Ohio and Kentucky".
means "All employees that live in Ohio and [all employees that live in] Kentucky".
Perhaps best to avoid it in technical writing.

Can we agree that attempts at injecting watered-down,
pseudo-symbolic logic into common speech--like and/or,
or tagging "and" with "at the same time"--indicates the problem
with a sentence (or a mind :-) lies elsewhere;
like y'know, maybe f'rinstance, in lack of formal training?



Bryan Sherman <bsherm -at- gmail -dot- com> a écrit :
English words... misused... never!

In writing for our audiences, does it really matter what the "correct"
usage is, if the majority of folks don't understand it that way?

I remember teaching a Paradox class back in the day and specifically
the Queries. I could almost without fail take my class down the wrong
path to write an incorrect query.

In English I would ask for "All employees that live in Ohio and
Kentucky". If you used the Boolean expression 'and', to write "OH and
KY" you would get no records. Why? The logical 'and' requires both
expressions to be true. I always used that to impress on my students
that when you write a query, and use and, always say "and at the same

So, boolean logic may not be ambiguous to those familiar with it, but
can be very ambiguous to your audience.

On 6/25/07, Ned Bedinger wrote:
> Al Geist wrote:
> > As for the reference by Ned that it is a Boolean what.
> Boolean logic is not ambiguous, yet 'and/or' is claimed by some to be
> unclear when used in English sentences. I don't see how that can be,
> unless it has been misused in a particular case.
> OTOH, it does evoke the efficient communications style of bureaucratese
> (as opposed to the obscure, confounding side of it). I would have to
> consider whether I mind that effect in writing for a particular audience.
> Ned Bedinger
> doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com

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Re: and/or?: From: Bryan Sherman

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