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I just came across this sentence -

"Scientists have long believed that comets and, or a type of very primitive meteorite called carbonaceous chondrites were the sources of early Earth's volatile elements -- which include hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon -- and possibly organic material, too."

I was wondering what does "and, or" mean here? Does it mean either comets, or meteorite or both?

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    It means the author could have used a good copy editor. – MetaEd Jun 28 '16 at 16:19
  • Probably means "comets and chondrites" but it's rather poorly written. – Martin F Oct 16 '18 at 5:08
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Your assumption is correct; it does mean 'either or both.' However, it's normally written with a slash instead of a comma:

and/or

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    And it is even more usually (and better) written "or". In most such cases, "or" means inclusive or (not XOR). – Drew Jun 28 '16 at 17:04
  • Using "not XOR" in everyday writing or speeches tends to confuse people. Even XOR is rare enough to cause problems. – Wayfaring Stranger Jun 28 '16 at 19:18

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