Need help understanding the abbreviation "AND"
Thread poster: Thao Nguyen

Thao Nguyen
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:42
Member (2019)
Vietnamese to English
+ ...
Feb 3

Hi everyone,

This is a test piece for the position of a linguist reviewer. There are many parts in the test including one where I have to identify mistakes in the translation and give comment and revised translation. I spent my entire weekend searching for the meaning of the abbreviation "AND" in the sentence below and came up nothing. If anyone can tell me what it stands for, it would be great. I suspect this has something to do with Google ads. As it's a lone sentence so it's hard
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Hi everyone,

This is a test piece for the position of a linguist reviewer. There are many parts in the test including one where I have to identify mistakes in the translation and give comment and revised translation. I spent my entire weekend searching for the meaning of the abbreviation "AND" in the sentence below and came up nothing. If anyone can tell me what it stands for, it would be great. I suspect this has something to do with Google ads. As it's a lone sentence so it's hard to pinpoint the exact topic. It doesn't help that the sentence is quite vague and taken out of context as well.

This is the sentence:
"The top-level operator must be AND when using licensed lists."

Thanks so much.

[Edited at 2020-02-03 12:29 GMT]
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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Boolean algebra Feb 3

It sounds like a Boolean AND, as defined in Boolean algebra.

Teresa Borges
123Translations
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Something missing? Feb 3

I suspect it just means "and", but it's in block vapitals for emphasis. However, that supposes at least one word missing from either side of it. Perhaps along the lines of "qualified AND registered".

 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Nothing missing Feb 3

The convention in Boolean algebra is to write the operators in uppercase. This helps distinguishing them from similar words, such as 'and'. 'AND' is an operator. Other such operators are 'OR' and 'NOT'.

The sentence means, 'The top-level operator must be [the operator] "AND" when using licensed lists.' So both the conditions to the left and right of 'AND' must be true for the overall result to be true.


Teresa Borges
neilmac
 

Thao Nguyen
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:42
Member (2019)
Vietnamese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I asked the agency... Feb 3

and they said they didn't know either. Obviously it's a test so I am not sure if they could tell me what it stands for. They might not even know themselves being the middle person and the texts are quite technical.

I even thought "N" stands for "and" and "A" stands for "authorised" so I searched for A&D but came up empty.

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I suspect it just means "and", but it's in block vapitals for emphasis. However, that supposes at least one word missing from either side of it. Perhaps along the lines of "qualified AND registered".


 

Thao Nguyen
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:42
Member (2019)
Vietnamese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I understand what you meant Feb 3

I know a bit about coding myself and I understand what you meant but then the sentence is incomplete? Plus, the remaining of the test is about Google ads so this doesn't really fit in that much...

I don't believe the client made a mistake either as the remaining of the test is well written and structured.

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

The convention in Boolean algebra is to write the operators in uppercase. This helps distinguishing them from similar words, such as 'and'. 'AND' is an operator. Other such operators are 'OR' and 'NOT'.

The sentence means, 'The top-level operator must be [the operator] "AND" when using licensed lists.' So both the conditions to the left and right of 'AND' must be true for the overall result to be true.


 

Giuliana Maltempo
Argentina
Local time: 04:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree, but cannot confirm Feb 3

It is true that AND is a Boolean operator, and that it is commonly written uppercase. Also, Boolean operators are used by search engines. Therefore, it should make sense provided the text is about advanced searches or something similar.
However, I don't know what these "licensed lists" might be, so I cannot 100% confirm the answer. Also, as far as I know Google Ads does not use this.


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Why incomplete? Feb 3

Thao Nguyen wrote:

I know a bit about coding myself and I understand what you meant but then the sentence is incomplete? Plus, the remaining of the test is about Google ads so this doesn't really fit in that much...


'The top-level operator must be AND when using licensed lists.'

It just says that when licensed lists are used, that operator must be 'AND' (i.e. not 'OR'). We don't need to understand anything else here.


Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Anton Konashenok
Teresa Borges
Gerard de Noord
ahartje
neilmac
Alison Jenner
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
@Thao Feb 3

Thao Nguyen wrote:
"The top-level operator must be AND when using licensed lists."


In other words, written with better punctuation: "The top-level operator must be 'AND' when using licensed lists." The word "AND" is an operator (other operators include "OR", "NOT" and "AND NOT"). So, the sentence means that when you use licensed lists, you must use "AND", and not "OR", when you e.g. perform a search.

Thomas T. Frost wrote:
We don't need to understand anything else here.


Yes, but you gotta admit that it will probably be confusing to anyone until it "clicks".

Giuliana Maltempo wrote:
However, I don't know what these "licensed lists" might be, so I cannot 100% confirm the answer. Also, as far as I know Google Ads does not use this.


A quick bit of googling reveals that it may have something to do with the technical instructions for the Google Adwords API, in which certain types of lists can be e.g. owned, shared or licensed.

[Edited at 2020-02-03 15:45 GMT]


Philip Lees
 

Thao Nguyen
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:42
Member (2019)
Vietnamese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Feb 3

Thank you. It makes perfect sense now. I finished everything in just an hour but that particular sentence has given me headache all weekend. Thanks so much.

Samuel Murray wrote:

Thao Nguyen wrote:
"The top-level operator must be AND when using licensed lists."


In other words, written with better punctuation: "The top-level operator must be 'AND' when using licensed lists." The word "AND" is an operator (other operators include "OR", "NOT" and "AND NOT"). So, the sentence means that when you use licensed lists, you must use "AND", and not "OR", when you e.g. perform a search.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Aah -- click! Feb 3

Samuel Murray wrote:
"The top-level operator must be 'AND' when using licensed lists."

Right -- that makes perfect sense now.

I really think it needs to be punctuated like that for clarity. And/or edited to say "operator specified must be"


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Confusing or not Feb 3

Computer logic, programming languages, Boolean algebra, etc. can surely be confusing to anyone not immersed in this, but as an old IT specialist, I'd say it looks perfectly clear as it is, without quotes, which are often not used for such operators by those who work in the field, regardless of what linguists may think about it. It is presumed by writers of such texts that the reader has sufficient knowledge about the subject matter.

There's a dangling participle, but it doesn't make
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Computer logic, programming languages, Boolean algebra, etc. can surely be confusing to anyone not immersed in this, but as an old IT specialist, I'd say it looks perfectly clear as it is, without quotes, which are often not used for such operators by those who work in the field, regardless of what linguists may think about it. It is presumed by writers of such texts that the reader has sufficient knowledge about the subject matter.

There's a dangling participle, but it doesn't make it more difficult to understand this sentence.

As for the purpose of this particular AND, we just don't know. It doesn't need to be related to a search. There would be a whole host of criteria to determine which ads to show to which users, based on their keywords, country, device type, language settings, locale, and a lot of other stuff Google knows about them, and there would be a need for Boolean operators to specify if only one true condition is enough to show an ad (OR), or if all the conditions need to be true (AND).

We don't know precisely what a licensed list is, but it should be fairly easy to translate. We can only work with the information we get.
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Vi Pukite
 

Thao Nguyen
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:42
Member (2019)
Vietnamese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I was thick... Feb 3

I think it was because I understood "operator" as the person rather than the IT term and when you explained how the AND Boolean works, I thought the "The top-level operator must be" as the condition on the left and "when using licensed lists" as the condition on the right. Obviously I was thick.

Thanks so much Thomas for the clear explanation. It makes perfect sense now.

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

Computer logic, programming languages, Boolean algebra, etc. can surely be confusing to anyone not immersed in this, but as an old IT specialist, I'd say it looks perfectly clear as it is, without quotes, which are often not used for such operators by those who work in the field, regardless of what linguists may think about it. It is presumed by writers of such texts that the reader has sufficient knowledge about the subject matter.

There's a dangling participle, but it doesn't make it more difficult to understand this sentence.

As for the purpose of this particular AND, we just don't know. It doesn't need to be related to a search. There would be a whole host of criteria to determine which ads to show to which users, based on their keywords, country, device type, language settings, locale, and a lot of other stuff Google knows about them, and there would be a need for Boolean operators to specify if only one true condition is enough to show an ad (OR), or if all the conditions need to be true (AND).

We don't know precisely what a licensed list is, but it should be fairly easy to translate. We can only work with the information we get.


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
No one here is 'thick' Feb 3

There's no need to denigrate yourself. I know very well how getting stuck in the wrong interpretation of something can block the correct interpretation. It's not unlike those drawings where you can perceive two different figures, depending on how you interpret it.

You normally wouldn't use 'top-level' about a person acting as a computer operator, but it's easy to know what you do and don't when you've worked 20 years
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There's no need to denigrate yourself. I know very well how getting stuck in the wrong interpretation of something can block the correct interpretation. It's not unlike those drawings where you can perceive two different figures, depending on how you interpret it.

You normally wouldn't use 'top-level' about a person acting as a computer operator, but it's easy to know what you do and don't when you've worked 20 years as a specialist in a domain, and not always obvious to others.
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