Discussion:
Need to use "or" and commas to connect alternatives
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Tim Striker
2021-04-06 13:05:58 UTC
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I realize that it is necessary to use "or" before "both" in the
sentences below, but I was wondering whether it is necessary or
optional to use "or" between A and B.

The phenomenon can be produced by A, B, or both.
The phenomenon can be produced by A or B or both.

In addition, I was wondering whether putting "or" between the
alternatives eliminates the need to also insert commas between them,
and whether using "and/or" is still frowned upon or verbotten.

Thanks very much in advance for the correct answers, your opinions, or
both. ;-)

Tim
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Jerry Friedman
2021-04-06 14:29:05 UTC
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Post by Tim Striker
I realize that it is necessary to use "or" before "both" in the
sentences below, but I was wondering whether it is necessary or
optional to use "or" between A and B.
The phenomenon can be produced by A, B, or both.
The phenomenon can be produced by A or B or both.
Both are fine.
Post by Tim Striker
In addition, I was wondering whether putting "or" between the
alternatives eliminates the need to also insert commas between them,
The one with two "or"s generally doesn't get commas.

ObVocab: That one is an example of hypersyndeton.
Post by Tim Striker
and whether using "and/or" is still frowned upon or verbotten.
I'm not fond of it, but I think it's more widely accepted than it used to
be. That probably doesn't help you. (By the way, there's only one "t"
in "verboten".)
Post by Tim Striker
Thanks very much in advance for the correct answers, your opinions, or
both. ;-)
You've come to the right place.
--
Jerry Friedman
Stefan Ram
2021-04-06 16:20:36 UTC
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Post by Jerry Friedman
The one with two "or"s generally doesn't get commas.
ObVocab: That one is an example of hypersyndeton.
Or, more traditionally, "polysyndeton".
Ken Blake
2021-04-06 16:25:58 UTC
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Post by Stefan Ram
Post by Jerry Friedman
The one with two "or"s generally doesn't get commas.
ObVocab: That one is an example of hypersyndeton.
Or, more traditionally, "polysyndeton".
Both words are new to me. As with all new words I come across, I'll try
to remember them, but these days I usually forget them quickly.
--
Ken
Stefan Ram
2021-04-06 16:35:19 UTC
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Post by Ken Blake
Post by Stefan Ram
Post by Jerry Friedman
The one with two "or"s generally doesn't get commas.
ObVocab: That one is an example of hypersyndeton.
Or, more traditionally, "polysyndeton".
Both words are new to me. As with all new words I come across, I'll try
to remember them, but these days I usually forget them quickly.
My expression was an attempt at a polite euphemism for
"the correct term is 'polysyndeton'.". So now, you need
to learn only 50 % of these two words!

I am using a flashcard program and have just created two
new flashcards for that word.

First card, Front side:

polysyndeton >
“And Joshua, and all of Israel with him, took Achan the son
of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of
gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his
asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had.”
Post by Ken Blake
a stylistic device in which several coordinating
conjunctions are used in succession in order to
achieve an artistic effect.

Second card, front side:

polysyndeton [

Second card, back side:

ˌpɑ lɪ ˈsɪn də ˌtɑn ]

(I am still working on this last back side.)
Jerry Friedman
2021-04-06 17:33:58 UTC
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Post by Ken Blake
Post by Stefan Ram
Post by Jerry Friedman
The one with two "or"s generally doesn't get commas.
ObVocab: That one is an example of hypersyndeton.
Or, more traditionally, "polysyndeton".
Both words are new to me. As with all new words I come across, I'll try
to remember them, but these days I usually forget them quickly.
"Hypersyndeton" was new to everybody; it was just my error for
"polysyndeton". Thanks, Stefan!

The opposite is "asyndeton", not using an expected conjunction.

"He stumbled, tumbled, fumbled to and fro"

Yeats, "The Tower"

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57587/the-tower-56d23b4072cea
--
Jerry Friedman
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