LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||28/JUN/2018 11:44 PM|
It seems like you have seen the topic of correlative conjunctions and that it seems like going against the grain in the current usage of the conjunction OR. It´s really a bit puzzling, I must admit.
Indeed the usage or OR instead of NOR (when it doesn´t make the sentence ambiguous or difficult to understand) is increasingly gaining traction. Even "NEITHER... OR" is becoming acceptable, see this presentation:
"NEITHER...NOR" (or increasingly NEITHER...OR)
It somehow goes against the accepted wisdom that OR would come with something positive and NOR with a negative word or expression before it.
So, I suggest you download the following presentation for future use.
There, we can see a combination of examples:
"They do not gamble nor do they smoke.")
Here they don´t do both things (it somehow works like "AND"). You can think "eles não jogam/apostam e NEM fumam. Não fazem nem uma coisa nem outra.)
You could also think of it somehow like the opposite idea of "they gamble AND they smoke". (that is, they do one thing and the other - that is, they do both things).
Or - presents an alternative item or idea ("Every day they gamble or they smoke.").
Well, by "alternative idea" in this particular case doesn´t mean that the gambling and smoking are exclusive habits.
That is, one could be tempted to think that they would gamble one day and the next they would smoke or that if they did one they wouldn´t do the other thing.
No, it´s not that way. What we can infer from the sentence is that they are heavy gamblers and they are heavy smokers. So, they are at any given day, doing one of those things or doing both. But that at any single day they are doing something of those habits.
What they don´t do is being "teetotaler", abstaining from doing at least one of those "activities" for a single day. So, every day they do some of those activities: gamble, gamble and smoke, smoke or gamble, etc.
The presentation also states that:
The conjunction NOR is not extinct, but it is not used nearly as often as the other conjunctions, so it might feel a bit odd when nor does come up in conversation or writing.
Its most common use is as the little brother in the correlative pair, neither-nor.
I am not saying that it´s banned, but that OR is becoming common and in the case we are analyzing it´s okay.
With sentences or expressions like "books or magazines; to be or not to be." it would be a completely different can of worms. The conjunction presents "alternate ideas" but then the words/items are exclusive in kind.
Mainly with "to be or not be", either you choose one or the other, one can´t apply both at the same time, at least that is not common, normal or expected.
I hope this helps!
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