It isn’t that and/or isn’t sometimes correct; rather, it has become a way for an author to fudge. Basically and/or adds drama to a manuscript because it leaves the reader wondering what precisely is meant (assuming the reader thinks about it at all). And/or gives at least two options, both of which are true, both of which should be exclusive of the other.Adin does not consider that drama to be a benefit to readers. Instead, it's a benefit to lazy writers who don't take the time and effort to state clearly what they mean.
I include a brief item in Garbl's Editorial Style and Usage Manual on this vague shortcut:
and/or Jargon. Avoid this ambiguous, awkward, overused phrase. Change: Use gold and/or purple beads in your project. To: Use gold beads or purple beads or both colors in your project. Or simply use or alone.Following an idea in Adin's blog, I plan to add an example to my manual entry that emphasizes the distinction between the choices (using both and either):
Use both gold beads and purple beads in your project, or use either gold beads or purple beads.