Re: Using OR as a verb

Subject: Re: Using OR as a verb
From: Chris Knight <knight -at- ADA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 13:32:42 -0700

Dave Neufeld wrote:
> How do you describe the of logically operators (such as OR and AND) in
> documentation where the tendency is to use them as verbs.
> The audience seems quite familiar with using terms such as "ORing",
> "ORed", and so on; but I haven't seen anything definitive on usage.
> I've also come across this usage in hardware in terms of "wire OR'd"
> connections. My H/W and S/W development background allow me to
> understand these terms, but I just haven't seen them in print.
> Is there a way to use these as a verb? If so, then how? (OR'd, or
> ORed?)

You should as always work with what your audience knows. The examples
you give don't actually show "OR" as a verb; they are past participles
used as adjectives. In the example cited, I would change the "is built"
to an active or imperative verb form, such as:
<begin example>
To enable channel 0 DMA transfers using the DMA done interrupt:
Set pDmaModeFlags to a logical OR of the following flags:
<end example> (assuming I've the sense right--and using suitable
typography for the software entities)

Chris Knight
Consultant, Technical Communication Architect
Vancouver BC, Canada
(currently at Applied Digital Access,
E-mail: knight -at- bcg -dot- ada -dot- com Phone: 604-415-5886 Fax: 604-415-5900)
Opinions expressed are my own, not ADA's

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