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)

  • 2
    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)

  • +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.


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.


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.)

  • 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

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