I have a question about my English Language & Usage Stack Exchange post: How can I express logical AND unambiguously but simply?

I'm asking a question here about the better use of English, viz how to rephrase something so it passes the "Plain and Simple English" test.

That appears to fall squarely within the remit of the group, as expressed on https://english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic:

Questions on the following topics are welcomed here:

o Word choice and usage

1 Answer 1


The question was put on hold by five members of the community voting for the custom close reason

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a well-studied problem in user interface design, and can be better answered elsewhere

The edit you made following its hold placed the question in the "re-open" queue where members who have the re-open vote privilege can consider whether the edit is sufficient to address the close reason. Five re-open votes will re-open a question, although while it's in this queue, three "Leave closed" votes are sufficient to remove the question from the queue. Your question received three "Leave closed" votes and no "re-open" votes, although it's still possible to get them.


  • Your question received an answer, and your commented query was also answered
  • Other comments on the question indicated that and here wasn't actually a "Logical AND" at all, or even if it was it's still the normal use of the word. It can only be construed in one way.
  • Because of that, how and is presented is a user-interface question. You even reinforced this line of reasoning by including a screenshot of your user interface.
  • Your edit didn't address the closure reason, which stated it was a well-studied problem in user interface design. Your edit ignored this completely, when it should have made the question explicitly fall into the ELU remit (or "even more explicitly", depending on your point of view).

The last point is probably why the review result was a 3–0 defeat.

The reason that the question wasn't simply migrated to User Experience is that the question was first asked there in 2010 and already has many duplicates listed in the "Linked" sidebar. There would be no real point in adding another.

Even if you disagree that your use of and here is not the normal use of and to join two attributes, there really is no other word to do that. So presentation of the idea to make that understandable falls into the User Interface camp.

And, had you improved the question by including examples justifying the opening assertion that and and or are frequently confused, it may have helped; or it might even have strengthened the case that it is ultimately a user interface question.

  • 2
    Damn, it's a tough audience around here. I used to go downstairs and talk to my senior technical writer about such questions and never came away feeling like a punch bag.
    – Ian
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 14:44
  • I've voted to reopen the question. It seems to me the obvious way to disambiguate is simply to reinstate one "deleted" word from Find places that are [condition #1] and are also [condition #2]. This explicitly forces also to apply to both instances of are, ruling out the possibility of it applying to and also find (which alternative gives rise to the or interpretation). That point isn't made in the only answer (which I think is at best unhelpful, if not actually misleading). Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 16:47
  • @IanWorthington Feeling like a punch bag Feature of the site, not a bug.
    – deadrat
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 4:25
  • Thanks @FumbleFingers. Agree the only answer isn't so helpful. I'm liking your suggestion.
    – Ian
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 20:37
  • @deadrat: Seems to be a SE-wide issue. Joel doesn't apparently believe there's a problem though so I don't see it being fixed any time soon.
    – Ian
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 20:39

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