Difference between revisions of "And/or"

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[[File:Andor.png|thumb|right|500px|for extra cosmological points, try the preferred EU formulation.]]
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{{a|plainenglish|[[File:Andor.png|thumb|right|500px|for extra cosmological points, try the preferred EU formulation.]]}}
===In brief===
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{{f|And/or}} is the [[mediocre lawyer|lawyer]]’s equivalent of a damp kipper handshake. Avoid it.
In a {{nutshell}}, “{{f|and/or}}” means “{{f|or}}”, because “{{f|or}}” includes “{{f|and}}”.
 
  
Never use {{f|and/or}}. It is the [[mediocre lawyer|lawyer]]’s equivalent of having a damp kipper handshake.
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{{f|And/or}}” ''means'' “{{f|or}}”, because “{{f|or}}” ''includes'' “{{f|and}}”.
  
===In tedious detail===
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That’s it.
  
“{{f|and/or}}” crops up often in mediocre drafting. It has a face only a mother could love. It is borne of the quite unjustified fear that when contemplating a list of alternatives the occurrence of ''any'' of which leads to an certain outcome, one’s plans in that regard might somehow come unstuck if they ''all'' occur.  
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===In [[tedious]] detail===
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“{{f|And/or}}” has a face only a mother could love. It is borne of the [[fear]] that, when considering alternatives ''any'' of which leads to a given outcome, things might somehow be different if they ''all'' occur.  
  
 
There is no grounds for this fear. Logically, this is how one defines {{f|and}} and {{f|or}}:
 
There is no grounds for this fear. Logically, this is how one defines {{f|and}} and {{f|or}}:
  
{{box|
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:{{and}}  
*{{and}}  
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:{{or}}
*{{or}}
 
}}
 
  
And/or is not just ugly; it’s defeatist, because of the presence of the [[virgule]], that whoreson {{tag|slash}}, which is not even a part of idiomatic punctuation in the English language. It’s a decoration. It has no fixed grammatical meaning. That slash admits that the plain, punctuated words of the English language have defeated you.
 
  
In fact, that slash means - and can only mean - “{{f|or}}”. So by saying “{{f|and/or}}” you are really saying “and, ''or'' or”. But to be hermetically sealed and consistent, shouldn’t you make one further clarifying step, and say “{{f|and}}, {{f|and/or}} {{f|or}}”?
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Besides, [[and/or]] is not just ugly; it’s circular. It presents as a {{t|paradox}}, because of that {{tag|slash}}. Now the slash is not a part of idiomatic punctuation in the English language. It’s a decoration with no fixed grammatical meaning. To use a [[slash]] in legal writing is to confess that the ordinary, punctuated words of the English language have defeated you.
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In “[[and/or]]”, that slash means can ''only'' mean ''{{f|or}}''”. So by saying “{{f|and/or}}” you are really saying “and, ''or'' or”. But to be hermetically sealed and consistent, shouldn’t you make one further clarifying step, and say “{{f|and}}, {{f|and/or}} {{f|or}}”?
  
 
AND DO YOU NOW SEE THE INFINITE REGRESSION YOU HAVE SET IN MOTION?
 
AND DO YOU NOW SEE THE INFINITE REGRESSION YOU HAVE SET IN MOTION?
  
 
Go back to your draft and strike all examples, and we shall never speak of this again.
 
Go back to your draft and strike all examples, and we shall never speak of this again.
{{published}}
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{{seealso}}
 
{{seealso}}
 
*{{tag|profound ontological uncertainty}}
 
*{{tag|profound ontological uncertainty}}
 
{{plainenglish}}
 
{{plainenglish}}
 
{{c3|conjunction|Plain English|ISIA}}
 
{{c3|conjunction|Plain English|ISIA}}

Latest revision as of 05:40, 11 October 2019

Plain English Anatomy

for extra cosmological points, try the preferred EU formulation.

George Orwell on plain English | SEC guidance on plain English Plain English Anatomy Noun | Verb | Adjective | Adverb | Preposition | Conjunction | Latin | Germany | Flannel | Legal triplicate | Nominalisation | Murder your darlings

And/or is the lawyer’s equivalent of a damp kipper handshake. Avoid it.

And/ormeansor”, because “orincludesand”.

That’s it.

In tedious detail

And/or” has a face only a mother could love. It is borne of the fear that, when considering alternatives any of which leads to a given outcome, things might somehow be different if they all occur.

There is no grounds for this fear. Logically, this is how one defines and and or:

And” is a logical operator which gives the value one if and only if all the operands are one, and otherwise has a value of zero.
Or” is a logical operation which gives the value one if at least one operand has the value one, and otherwise gives a value of zero.


Besides, and/or is not just ugly; it’s circular. It presents as a paradox, because of that slash. Now the slash is not a part of idiomatic punctuation in the English language. It’s a decoration with no fixed grammatical meaning. To use a slash in legal writing is to confess that the ordinary, punctuated words of the English language have defeated you.

In “and/or”, that slash means — can only mean — “or”. So by saying “and/or” you are really saying “and, or or”. But to be hermetically sealed and consistent, shouldn’t you make one further clarifying step, and say “and, and/or or”?

AND DO YOU NOW SEE THE INFINITE REGRESSION YOU HAVE SET IN MOTION?

Go back to your draft and strike all examples, and we shall never speak of this again.

See also

Plain English Anatomy Noun | Verb | Adjective | Adverb | Preposition | Conjunction | Latin | Germany | Flannel | Legal triplicate | Nominalisation | Murder your darlings