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According to my understanding, the correct use of "或者"(meaning "or"). But the character "者" means a person who specialized in something. Why isn't it "或则" similar to "否则". Since "则" has any meanings. Like: to follow, standard/norm, then, etc. Sorry if this is supposed to be something obvious.

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    或则 is used in old Chinese.
    – dan
    Oct 29 '21 at 7:55
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According to 百度百科或则 is a valid Chinese word (have similar meaning to 或者)

鲁迅《华盖集·“碰壁”之馀》:“平时憎恶我的却总希望我做一个完人,即使敌手用了卑劣的流言和阴谋,也应该正襟危坐,毫无愤怒,默默地吃苦;或则戟指嚼舌,喷血而亡。”参见“或者”。

In the above quoted text, 或则 can be considered as or else

或者 can also mean somebody or someone:

《初刻拍案惊奇》卷二十:“或者因一句话上,成就了一家儿夫妇;或者因一纸字中,拆散了一世的姻缘。”

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    “或者因一句话上,成就了一家儿夫妇;或者因一纸字中,拆散了一世的姻缘。” I don't think 或者here means someone. I think this is a case of ellipsis. “(someone)或者因一句话上,成就了一家儿夫妇;(someone)或者因一纸字中,拆散了一世的姻缘。” It's quite common in Chinese to omit the subject.
    – joehua
    Oct 29 '21 at 11:10
  • Nope, if you think this way, then 或者 is meaningless or redundant. You have “或曰” as “someone says”. Nov 16 '21 at 7:35
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Actually, “者” doesn't have to stand for a person. According to 新华字典, “者” can refer to either someone, like

读书者有几。——清·袁枚《黄生借书说》

where 读书者 means a person who reads,

or something, like

逝者如斯夫!不舍昼夜。——《论语》

where 逝者 means the passing time, and

二者不可得兼。——《孟子·梁惠王上》

where 二者 refers to “these two things mentioned above”.

There's much more examples, where 者 can also stand for "the reason of which", etc. So, I would consider 或者 as "something alternative" or something likes that.

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