As I now continue to transition along my 180° pivot away from boundary dispute law after going deep down its rabbit hole for a decade, I realize I have developed an incredibly unique skill which has broad application.

I can look at exactly where a decision has been sliced through by the knife of reason, and whether that knife was dull or sharp.

This concept is not easy to explain singularly, but I might be able to relay it over time by means of examples.

Today on my run, I thought of how how one of these examples might be assisted by pondering the construction “and/or”.

In law school, I was advised that use of “and/or” really isn’t appropriate writing form.

Instead of indicating something along the line of “A and/or B” the proper way to express this idea is to write “A, B, or both”. Alternatively, one could write “A, B, or both A and B”.

If true, proper style serves to elongate at the expense of brevity. This seems somewhat akin to the effort to say “www” – which is nine syllables – whereas simply stating “world wide web” is only three.

But, it’s not style that I am interested in exploring. Instead, consider if the construction was reversed?

What if instead of indicating “And/Or” the commonplace parlance was “Or/And”?

What I am suggesting is that the very representation of the concept serves a deconstructionist mental framework.

Is it possible that a reversal to “Or/And” would drive us to think in a more integrative and cooperative fashion?

I don’t know if it’s quite that simple because integrative thinking is not commonplace.

We have some incredibly divisive fissures all across the world and I dare say at most levels of our lives.

That’s the nature of conflict. But, instead of pursuing conflict, wouldn’t it be much more worthwhile to pursue integration instead.

Clarity as to boundaries from both sides will always be important. But, providing a gate for appropriate unification across boundaries is probably even more important.

Perhaps the ampersand, a stylized “et” which is French for “and” should be vested with this new meaning.

After all, French is the language of love and it is the very act of lovemaking which generates the world’s most wonderful results. Cheers!

Photo Credit: Dianne Gottsman Modern Manners and Etiquette Expert blog post 2018.09.08 [HERE].