Hi Tristan —

Happy to try and help —

If you saw that other post, I imagine you also saw my response to it — but in case you didn’t, here’s a link and maybe some of that will help —

In terms of the specific q you brought up —

wanting to draw something with the horizontal vs with the diagonals —

let’s try and break down exactly what that means —

There are two distinct parts of understanding the issue correctly:

**1.**

When you have a rule represented:

**“A -B – C”**

what that means, specifically, about the order of those three elements, is that

**A must go before B, which then must go before C.**

When you have a rule represented:

**“A with two diagonals to the right, one going to B, and one going to C” **

what that means, specifically, is that

A is before both B and C, but we don’t know the order of B and C relative to one another.

That’s the basic and fundamental difference between those two notations.

So, if you got the rule “B is after A but before C” it would be correct to diagram it** A – B – C**

But if you got the rule “A is before both B and C” it would be incorrect to draw **A – B – C.**.

Instead, you’d want to draw both B and C to the right of A, and that’s where the diagonal lines come into play.

Okay, so that’s the first key — and that’s the fundamental difference between notation that goes all in an order and the one with diagonals.

**2.**

The second concern is the “or” issue — so, if we are told:

“These three elements, A, B, and C, must be ordered in one of just two possible ways.

One way these three elements can be ordered is that A is after both B and C.

And the other way these elements an be ordered is that A is before both B and C.”

So, the first option would cause us to draw both B and C to the left of A —

and the second option would cause us to draw both B and C to the right of A.

And we’d end up with one of these situations, or the other.

It would be incorrect to represent the situation with a A – B – C linear chain, because again, nothing in the rules told us that B comes before C.

—

So those are the two separate concerns that add up to these complex or scenarios — I probably end up saying the same thing over and over again in the book and my various responses, but I hope hearing it that way helps clear things up a bit more —

Let me know if you have any follow-up — MK