0

I wanted to know if two points are always accessed simultaneously, meaning that we will go for both at once or none of them at all. I wanted to confirm that the case of heading for only one of the points and not the other one, wasn't a case that might be considered feasible. (For math people, I'm asking if it's an exclusive disjuntion. For devs, it's XOR operation.) I asked the following question at a meeting.)

May there be a case of accessing A without accessing B, alternatively accessing B without accessing A?

That wasn't received the expected way and, to make the story short, I had to reformulate to focus on the cases that are expected (as opposed to the complement, i.e. cases that are infeasible). So I tried again.

Will there only be cases when we obtain data only to access either A or B (exclusively)?
Or is it that we never need accessing one without the other?

I intentionally avoided accessing the former without the latter, as such only would cover access to A without B and not the opposite, i.e. accessing B without A. However, the audience came to the consensus that those two were equivalent, hence imprecise. I can't tell if they're right or just horsing around.

...we never need accessing the former without the latter
...we never need accessing one without the other

I can't decide and I'm too chicken to stand my ground.

1 Answer 1

2

You are correct that "accessing one without the other" means either accessing A without accessing B or accessing B without accessing A. Stating "accessing the former without the latter" exclusively means accessing A without accessing B because A comes first in your question.

I think the first question you posed:

May there be a case of accessing A without accessing B, alternatively accessing B without accessing A?

is perfectly reasonable and completely understandable. It gives you all the details so you don't need to fill in the blanks. I'm not sure why your colleagues would not understand what you mean; maybe their misunderstanding comes from the process and not from any poor English on your part. Saying

Will there only be cases when we obtain data only to access either A or B? Or is it that we can never access one without the other?

also works too. "One" is short for "one of: A, B" and "the other" means whichever you don't choose the first time.

1
  • That confirms what I expected. Still, nice to be able to verify with an independent source so I'm not arrogantly posing my (possibly flawed) understanding of English onto others. And I agree with your speculation that the issue might be related to the process (powered by lack of devotion into the meeting) and not solely linguistically based. Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 14:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .