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Is it "Profit and loss" or "profit or loss" in the income statement?

An income statement is commonly called a P&L, which stands for profit and loss. Semantically, it does not make sense, since a single accounting period (month, quarter, year-to-date) can only result in a net profit or a net loss. Income statements are commonly presented with more than one accounting period, comparing a current period to a comparable accounting period in the prior year. It is possible that one period shows a profit, while the other shows a loss. It's also possible that both periods show a loss or that both periods show a profit. One may assume that profit or loss makes better semantic sense, but the income statement is never called a P or L. Don't ask me why. I did not make up the rules.

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