Re: And/Or

Subject: Re: And/Or
From: Max Wyss <prodok -at- PRODOK -dot- CH>
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 09:45:05 +0200


The "bzw." is really handy (and can drive translators from German nuts
<g>). However, "beziehungsweise" combines exclusive options. "Close the
door bzw. the window" means that you should either close the door or the
window, depending on what is appropriate.

On the other hand, the "und/oder" construct also exists in German, and
clearly combines options which are not necessarily exclusive. "Close the
door und/oder the window" means that you should close the door, if it is
open, and the window, if it is open, and maybe one of them, if both are

So, as you mention, these terms are two different beasts.

Max Wyss
PRODOK Engineering AG
Technical documentation and translations, Electronic Publishing
CH-8906 Bonstetten, Switzerland

Phone: +41 1 700 29 21
Fax: +41 1 700 20 37
e-mail: mailto:prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch

Bridging the Knowledge Gap


>Frankly, "and/or" makes my teeth hurt. If you look closely, it usually turns
>out that one or the other is what you really mean. In the example, would it
>really be possible--or useful--to enter the same thing in both fields?
>German has a very handy word, "beziehungsweise," abbreviated "bzw." which
>means roughly "or, as the case may be." I wish we had an equivalent in
>English, but and/or ain't it.
>--Al Brown
>Editor, Okidata
>aheb -at- voicenet -dot- com

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