It could mean either one; the correct meaning has to be determined from context.
The meaning of "the resulting set may only have one element" may be either
that it is possible for the resulting set to have only one element, or
that it is mandatory for the resulting set to have only one element.
Since the sentence is talking about "the resulting set," it ...
Sure, strange man could (rarely) mean stranger
In older use, strange man could mean stranger, since strange meant unfamiliar, alien, or unknown. For instance, in a retelling of the story of Huon of Bourdeaux from 1601 (via Early English Books Online), the hero enters a new city and talks to a man he is unfamiliar with. After a few exchanges where ...
I think you (and Fraser) have missed an important point: the objectionable thing is not that the men of the North would wish to "make common cause with" the slaveowners, and "put down at the point of the bayonet" any slave rebellion, but that "By the Constitution of the United States...they are bound" to do so, since their "physical power is pledged for [we ...
No. In these usages, the may has the deontic meaning of "permission", not the epistemic meaning of "possibility".
The resulting set may only have one element.
The resulting set is permitted to have at most one element.
The resulting set may not contain any element.
The resulting set must be empty.
In normal language, these would be ambiguous, and ...
What you described as a strict adherence to an ideological orthodoxy, and is used as a cudgel to castigate others whose opinions are merely different from your own is sometimes called censorship.
"In our current state of radical polarization, censorship has
made rational, adult conversations about important sensitive topics
nearly impossible to have."