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At least two or more

Is the “or more” bit above ever not redundant? Seems absolutely redundant to me, but it gets about 170 million Google hits, and many from government sites and university sites.

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2 Answers 2

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I suppose it’s conceivable that there should be a situation in which I might want to indicate a requirement of “at least two or more” of something (for example, “Elements of this kind must be defined as requiring at least two or more attributes”), but I’m really stretching credibility here. I’m inclined to suggest that in upwards of 99.9% of those 170 million occurrences this usage will prove to be an inelegant redundancy.

edit:

The fact that this concept seems to be a bit difficult for some people to understand amply demonstrates the obscure nature of the stipulation!

The set of “things that require at least two or more of something” may be defined as the union of the set of “things that require two or more of something,” the set of “things that require three or more of something,” the set of “things that require four or more of something” and so on. An unusual thing to want to say, certainly, but not totally inconceivable (in the context, for example, of formal language schemes or similar constructs).

Is that perhaps a little clearer?

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I don't understand your example. Is it meant to mean "Elements of this kind must be defined as 'requiring at least x attributes (x = 2,3,4...)' "? I'd say 100% of those 170 million occurrences. –  Edwin Ashworth Aug 29 '13 at 8:12
    
if i am defining, say, XML elements, then those that require "at least two or more attributes" is the set of elements that includes those that require two or more elements, those that require three or more elements, those that require four or more elements, and so on. It’s not the same as your example at all. –  simon Aug 29 '13 at 10:52
    
Yes, another meta-level. We have a set with 0 or more elements, a set with 1 or more elements, a set with 2 or more, and so on. Then, we define another set containing some of these sets (a set of sets): with at least 2 or more elements. (although I'd say this might account for <1% occurrences and the rest is plain redundant.) –  SF. Aug 29 '13 at 11:12
    
@SF < 1% – indeed, that’s what I’d hoped to convey! –  simon Aug 29 '13 at 11:17
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I wonder if there will ever be an actual need to take that one step further and define things that require “at least two or more or more” of something. I tried to figure out what that even meant, but my brain exploded before I got very far. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 29 '13 at 12:11

To answer your specific question, i.e. is the "or more" bit ever not redundant - it would not be redundant if the "at least" bit was redundant :-)

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