# Weird wording in our FAQ

This is completely minor, but it caught my eye in the signature section:

Please don’t use signatures or taglines in your posts, or they will be removed.

Maybe it's me, but the "or" feels redundant in there. It feels like "as", "because", . or ; would be better.

(Asking this here as opposed to meta, because it is about word choice)

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I think it's clear enough, but to me it does feel slightly strange to say "Please... or". "Please... as" also sounds wrong -- you're not saying "don't use them because they will be removed" you're saying "they'll be removed because you shouldn't use them." But a full stop or an ". If you do" sounds fine. –  Jack V. Aug 2 '11 at 9:53
I had a different question about this one. Does they refer to the posts, or the signatures? –  Peter Olson Aug 2 '11 at 16:01
@PeteroftheCorn: To the signatures. –  simchona Aug 3 '11 at 1:46

I think it's here worded as a simple warning, as a short form synonymous to “or else”:

or else
• used to warn what will happen if something is not carried out: you go along with this or else you're going to jail.

(New Oxford American Dictionary)

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+1 I agree. Even if maybe I would have used a different wording, it sounds like a legit choice. –  Alenanno Aug 2 '11 at 10:29
I think that's exactly why it seems a little funny to me. It's like saying, "Please don't be a bother, or else we will punish you by, um, cleaning up after you." –  aedia λ Aug 2 '11 at 20:56

I actually agree that the second 'or' seems a bit awkward. As you said, I would say 'as' instead (indicating the consequence of the prohibited action), or a semicolon:

Please don’t use signatures or taglines in your posts; they will be removed.

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That wording is common usage, however I think it's awkward. Changing or to as would work well, or the or could be dropped entirely and the comma replaced with a semicolon.

Please don’t use signatures or taglines in your posts; they will be removed.

Please don’t use signatures or taglines in your posts as they will be just be removed.

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There's nothing wrong with this sentence, and "or" is not being redundant. It has a different meaning as opposed to the earlier "or", and is necessary. Its meaning is "otherwise", that is :

Please don't use signatures or taglines in your posts, otherwise they will be removed.

There's nothing wrong with this sentence (repeated ad lib.)

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Hm, maybe it's the repetition of 'or' that bothered me. –  Benjol Aug 2 '11 at 9:23
Well, if repetition was a problem, then this sentence does actually have a problem.... but repetition, unless on a great scale, is not poor sentence structuring –  Thursagen Aug 2 '11 at 9:25