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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
From: techwr-l-bounces+sbrierley=accu-time -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
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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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