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Posted by GPP on August 20, 2003

In Reply to: A change posted by Henry on August 20, 2003

: : I am proofreading a sentence that reads "A change in the speed and/or a change in the load generate a dynamic situation." To me it sounds odd; I would prefer 'generates'. I suspect the perfect solution would be 'generate/s', but this is too weird, and 'generates or generate' is silly. I hesitate to recast the sentence. Can you support my feeling that 'generates' is preferable to 'generate'?
: : Thanks
: : Anders

: And/or is an awkward construction and it is difficult to phrase elegantly.
: "A change in the speed or load, separately or together, generates a dynamic situation."

Grammatically awkward, perhaps, but I think not in terms of its being understood or widely used. I would always use the singular. Perhaps that's because the 'or' is probably the more inclusive term, while the 'and' really means you're hedging your bet.

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