Semantics of "can" and "may"
Hello Gerwyn and others,Originally Posted by Gerwyn
Hmm... I'd say the second part is (empirically) meaningless and either devious or stupid:
While CBT is frequently prescribed as a coping strategy, it can also improve function and activity levels.
The usages of "can" and "may" in the social sciences as in politics are very, VERY slippery and they are usually used to produce waffle or something that "may" be so or "can" be so because anything whatsoever that is no logical contradiction "may" be so or "can" be so.
This is one of the reasons I rarely read or listen to politicians and why I avoid the social sciences mostly, apart from the classics: Too much "may be" and "can be", on the pattern
"It can be affirmed that therapy X may be the cure for all diseases".
P.S. "We all labour against our own cure, for death is the cure for all diseases."
Sir Thomas Browne, 17th C