I’m trying to write an “instead” rule which applies to all actions other than a few specified actions. The specified actions (i.e., those to which the instead rule does not apply) include some actions that take no objects, some that take one object and some that take two objects.
I first tried “Instead of doing something other than looking, examining the gadget or putting the gizmo on the table . . .” This did not compile; the error message indicated that it can only handle mutiple actions in this context where they involve the same set of nouns. It also suggested using a definition.
For my next try, I defined a term to include each of the specified actions (Looking is QQQQing. Examining the gadget is QQQQing. Putting the gizmo on the table is QQQQing) and then wrote the instead rule as “Instead of doing something other than QQQQing . . .” It still didn’t compile.
Interestingly, “Instead of QQQQing” does work (well, it compiles – I didn’t test to see if it actually behaves as expected). Unfortunately, that doesn’t help me, since in order to use that formulation I would have to define hundreds of actions as QQQQing, instead of the few that I want as exceptions to the rule.