RE: Another Grammar Q...

Subject: RE: Another Grammar Q...
From: "Sean Brierley" <sbrierley -at- Accu-Time -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 13:07:07 -0400

I recoomend Googling hyphenation and compound adjectives. But,
single-failure proof, meaning immune to one single failure, but not two?
The crane is single-failure proof.

However, I don't like the phrase.

And, if you describe a single-failure-proof crane, you might consider
two hyphens.



Sean Brierley
Technical Writer

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+sbrierley=accu-time -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+sbrierley=accu-time -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of jopakent -at- comcast -dot- net
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 1:02 PM
Subject: Another Grammar Q...

I'm trying to come up with the correct hyphenation of the term "single
failure proof" (SFP)

The term refers to a design capability for a heavy duty crane.

My translation of this regulatory term is: "If one important component
fails, (for instance the power fails or a gear breaks, or a lifting rope
snaps), the crane won't drop its load."

Unfortunately, the standards themselves and a Google search yield no
consistency whatsoever, within the same standard, I see multiple
variations. (S-F-P, S-FP, SFP, & SF-P)

What I'm stuck on is coming up with a grammatical case for one scheme
over the other. Here's the extent of my wit to date:

"failure-proof " is a hyphenated adjective modifying crane. But the
crane is not failure-proof, it's only single-failure-proof. That is, if
the power goes off and the brakes fail at precisely the same time then
the crane could drop the load.

I guess my grammar chops weakness is finally exposed with this question:

What is "single" in this case? Its modifying an adjective, right? I'm
guessing that Words into Type or Chicago Manual of Style might be
helpful, but I haven't brought my reference library into the office yet.
Gad I hate posting my ignorance like this, but I'm truly stumped.

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Another Grammar Q...: From: jopakent

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