# "We do not read the letter or the message."

## Translation:Noi nu citim scrisoarea sau mesajul.

November 19, 2016

## 13 CommentsThis discussion is locked.

What is the difference between "sau" and "ori"?

Generally, they mean the same thing and you can use whichever you want.

BUT, there is an exception that comes to my mind. When you want to say "Either X or Y", you say "Ori X, ori Y". In this context, "sau" sounds unnatural. It's the only thing that I can think of. Hope that's helpful. ^_^

So ori is OR and sau is XOR?

I think that's the other way around. If "either X or Y" is XOR, then "ori" can be either and "sau" is strictly OR.

The problem is, English doesn't make a strong enough distinction, so "either X or Y" is an ambiguous phrase. If a company tells you "sign this employee contract or be fired", then we assume there is no overlap between those two choices: it won't happen that you'll both sign the contract and also be fired. (At least, you won't be fired strictly because you signed the contract.) On the other hand, if someone serves you coffee and asks if you'd like "creamer or sugar", they're probably not willing to only give you one; both creamer and sugar can be put into coffee simultaneously and a hospitable host probably won't deny you one just because you first selected the other.

What I'm trying to say then, I guess, is that the English word "or" is too nebulous - when you say "either X or Y", I can't tell whether you mean the "no overlap" company contract meaning or the "overlap allowed" coffee meaning - which is why I'm trying to define sau and ori in terms of logic gates.

XOR = true if and only if the inputs are different: if one is true and the other is false, or else if one is false and the other is true, which is akin to "X or Y, but not both, and not neither one, either". OR = true if at least one input is true: "X or Y or both, but not neither one".

That in mind, is your ruling still the same?

We can abstract my previous statement to `if P then Q`. However, if the truth value of P is false, this tells us nothing about the truth value of Q.

But everyday speech can't be boxed into logical propositions like that. As you pointed out, sometimes X can mean one thing and sometimes X can mean something else. Or sometimes A can mean X and sometimes B can mean X.

But in general, and particularly among people who never took a logical analysis class, attempts to differentiate between OR and XOR are more often than not phrased as "X or Y" vs "either X or Y" respectively.

So given common parlance, yes. I stand by my analysis, assuming the data provided by MonicaMindru is accurate and further assuming that such usage is the same in Romanian as it is in English. I would be willing to modify my stance in light of more information.

What's the difference between Citim and Cititi?

One of the best features that Romanian kept from ancient Latin. In Latin you had "aut X aut Y", where you could have only one of the two options, and as well "X vel Y", where you had to have at least one of the options.

Now "aut" has become "ori" and "vel" has become "sau". Love it!

Just has mesajul underlined and flagged wrong when the answer showed mesajul as the correct word. There are definite bugs in Romanian.

If you can verify that your answer is correct and error-free even though it marked you wrong, you can flag it and report "My answer should be accepted."

How can I express neither... nor... ?

nici X nici Y