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Thread: ...at the SETICon 2 conference, during a panel discussion...

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    ...at the SETICon 2 conference, during a panel discussion...

    MSNBC reports that Filippenko was speaking at the SETICon 2 conference, during a panel discussion called 'Did the Big Bang Require a Divine Spark?' ©

    It's obvious that the conjunction "and" is sort of left here. I mean "...at the SETICon 2 conference and during a panel discussion..." was possible to say there. If I'm right, which kind of speech (spoken or written language or both of them) is common this mmmm... thing in? And you often use it when speak yourself?
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    In this case, using the conjunction "and" or not using it is NOT merely a "question of style" -- in fact, it gives the sentence quite a different meaning.

    With the "and", it would generally be understood that the "SETICon 2 conference" and the "panel discussion" are two separate events at which Filippenko appeared -- possibly even taking place in different locations and different years:

    Filippenko spoke at the SETICon 2 Conference in Los Angeles in November 2011, and during a panel discussion about the Big Bang in New York in March 2012.
    Without the "and" (as you quoted it from MSNBC), it's understood that the "panel discussion" was a specific part of the larger "SETICon 2" event. Furthermore, it's implied that Filippenko only spoke in the "Big Bang" panel discussion, but not at other discussions or meetings that took place during the SETICon 2 conference.

    If Filippenko spoke at various events during SETICon, but you want to particularly emphasize that he took part in the Big Bang panel, then you could say something like:

    Filippenko spoke at the SETICon conference, most notably during a panel discussion called "Did the Big Bang Require a Divine Spark?"
    OR you could say:

    Filippenko spoke at the opening ceremony of the SETICon conference, and during a panel discussion called "Did the Big Bang Require a Divine Spark?"
    This second example is different from the MSNBC quote because you're mentioning two separate events that were on the program during the course of the larger event, both of which Filippenko spoke at. (But the MSNBC quote, as I said, implies that he spoke only in the panel discussion.)

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Oh, since the continuous "was speaking" is used, I can guess that the full context was something like: "He was speaking at the SETI conference, during a panel discussion about the Big Bang, when a baby alien suddenly punched its way out of his chest." (Or whatever happened while he was taking place in the panel discussion at the SETI conference.)

    But my general remarks about "and", above, would still apply. You could say "A baby alien popped out of Filippenko's chest when he was speaking at a SETI conference in November 2011, and during a panel discussion in March 2012 -- seriously wounding him on the first occasion, but killing him the second time." But leaving out the "and" implies that the panel discussion was a part of the SETI conference.
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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    What an oaf I am!!! ))

    Yeah, I thought that Filippenko called (=~claimed) 'Did the Big Bang Require a Divine Spark' but it's actually that a panel discussion was called (=named) like this.

    Thank you, Throbert McGee!
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Oldboy: Aha, I see what you mean! Yes, you're totally right. If Filippenko had claimed that "the Big Bang required a divine spark" (i.e., reported speech), then the "and" would be mandatory before "during". ("He was speaking [at the conference]... and [during a discussion] he claimed...")
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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