Is the word "or" exclusive or nonexclusive when used between words.
I believe it all depends on the context; The inflection of the speaker, the words written before and after, even the cultural differences, speech patterns, language and writing of the author, etc.
Here are three examples (with a few others mixed in):
"Kids, I bought a huge steak. For the side which do do prefer? We have corn, beans or carrots?"
-this "or" would be exclusive. Corn or beans or carrots. Not two or all three of them.
Now if I'd heard or seen this question written as below:
(The word "or" in this sentence, non-exclusive. If I'd heard "and/or" seen it written. Both are choices.)
"Hey, kids, I'm making dinner? I bought a huge steak. We have corn, beans or carrots? Hello?! There you are! You guys are really silly. Now please stop playing for 2 seconds and tell me what you all want to eat with your steak"
It's a little more ambiguous but I belive it is not non-exclusive. It is not saying you have the choice between corn or beans or carrots, but a choice between having one,the other or even all 3. Seems like mommy doesn't care which, she just wants to know what they want as quickly as possible. But I'm not sure she'd be very happy if they said they wanted "all three" and I'm pretty sure she'd tell them to pick two at most.
Now if the question was asked like this:
- Kids, get down here NOW! I'm making steak for dinner. We have corn, beans or carrots? What do you want?
From the way it's written: it's curt, the sentences are short but not sweet and mommy "sounds" harangued. This scene conveys a different emotion than the last one. In this setting, whether written or spoken (non-exclusive "or" again) the word "or" is exclusive. These kids need to pick one of the three. And if it were me, I'd choose fast "cause momma don't sound happy!" :)
So as you can see, from my experience with the spoken and written word, a lot of our meaning comes from our inflection, the words spoken or written before or after (non-exclusive) and depends a lot on the emotion conveyed by the person(s) saying or writing them.
An important lesson for writers, public speaker's and even interpreters (non-exclusive) to learn.