a motor that moves in a straight line, and moved it.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by SuperXW, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Hi, guys!
    Here's an original sentence I'm reading: "We made a linear motor, a motor that moves in a straight line, and moved it."
    Do you feel it sounds odd?
    How about my modified version? "We made and started a linear motor that moves in a straight line."
    Better?
    Thank you for your precious opinion!
     
  2. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Hello SuperXW.
    Your version says something different from the original:
    original
    we made a linear motor
    a linear motor is a motor that moves in a straight line
    we moved our linear motor

    yours
    we made and started a linear motor
    our linear motor moves in a straight line

    See the difference?
     
  3. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Thanks, ewie!
    But do you feel the original sentence is not idiomatic? Or it's totally ok?
    I don't like it because it used "move" twice, sounded very redundant and confusing to me. (Although I can fully understand it after a careful analysis.) I want to know how you native speakers like the sentence.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  4. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    I agree with you: it's a bit 'clunky'. It would feel a bit less clunky (to me, anyway) if the middle bit was in parentheses: "We made a linear motor (a motor that moves in a straight line) and moved it." It's also not absolutely necessary to repeat 'a motor': "We made a linear motor (one that moves in a straight line) and moved it."
     
  5. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    Ewie, ermm.............oderator. ............... Wouldn't it be a good idea to ask for context and the source?

    If this was written by the chaps who developed the practical linear motor, it was quite a marvel, and the way the text is written would seem about right - sufficiently full of awe at the achievement. (I'm old enough to remember it being introduced as a practical device for transport)
     
  6. grubble

    grubble Senior Member

    South of England, UK
    British English
    "We made a linear motor, a motor that moves in a straight line, and moved it." means "We made a linear motor (that is to say a motor that moves in a straight line) and picked it up and moved it to a new location." :cross:

    "to run a motor" = to start a motor and keep it running for a while (usually for testing purposes)

    My suggestion

    "We made a linear motor (a motor that moves in a straight line) and successfully ran it."
     
  7. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Thanks, all! The sentence is from a physical experiment manual for children, which is translated from Japanese into English. There are some obvious mistakes in the manual, so I shall always question its correctness.
    Thanks, grubble! Of course, the sentence doesn't mean to say "relocated the motor". "Ran it" looks so much better. :)
     
  8. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    The problem with that alteration to the sentence is that you can't run a linear motor for very long in a classroom experiment - it hits the wall. The original sentence gives a very clear explanation of what the experiment involves. You make the linear motor, you put it onto a non-ferrous metal plate, you switch it on, and it moves. As soon as it gets to the end of the plate, it stops. "Run" does not fit the context. I agree with Ewie's "We made a linear motor (one that moves in a straight line) and moved it."
     
  9. grubble

    grubble Senior Member

    South of England, UK
    British English
    I disagree. It is very common to say "We ran the experiment..." and no motion is implied at all. Similarly we can "run" a car engine without the car going anywhere. I maintain that "we moved it" means that we picked it up up and placed it in a new location. The run may be short, maybe only a few centimetres, but that doesn't stop it being a run.
     
  10. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    Well, we'll have to agree to disagree.

    I agree that we routinely run an experiment. In this case, they ran the experiment and the motor moved. Being able to run a car engine without moving the car is irrelevant to this thread. However, if you move a car, you don't pick it up and place it in a new location, you run the engine, select a gear, engage a clutch and the vehicle moves. If you switch on a linear motor you move it to a different location. That's the whole point of a linear motor - unlike a conventional motor, it is the motor that moves without itself having any moving parts.

    Here is a group of children. They know that motors (clockwork, electric, internal combustion) have moving parts. Here's something different - an experiment in which they build a motor with no moving parts. (Thinks - well that isn't going to do anything, is it?) They build it. They connect it to a battery. Wow - it moves!

    For me the original sentence expresses exactly the purpose of the experiment.
     
  11. grubble

    grubble Senior Member

    South of England, UK
    British English
    Well, let's disagree then but try typing Linear motor test run into YouTube and watch the video. I think you will see that the motor doesn't go anywhere but the verb "run" is still appropriate.

    Also Google seems to agree and produces entries such as:

    How do I configure my Gemini drive to run the linear motor?
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?aq=f&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=google#pq=google&hl=en&cp=23&gs_id=3b&xhr=t&q="run+the++linear+motor"&pf=p&sclient=psy&source=hp&pbx=1&oq="run+the++linear+motor"&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=ecab6763be4ab2c&biw=1483&bih=929
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  12. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    @ grubble
    Yes. You can also Google "maglev" and find many examples where the earth stands still and the linear motor moves at speeds of up to 581 kph. I'm referring in my posts to the specific language question that was asked initially, not to the practical application of linear motors. The first one I saw was in Birmingham Science Museum some 55 years ago and the motor did, indeed, stand still and a disc of aluminium rotated, but that is not the point.

    Unless I have grossly misunderstood the context, this refers to an experiment involving a demonstration of the principle of a linear motor in which the aim of the experiment is to show that the motor moves. The more general use of "run" as in "run an experiment" is not relevant to the question. The point of the experiment was to show that the motor moved. They ran the experiment and the motor did what it should - they moved it. The original sentence was a perfectly reasonable way of describing the experiment.
     
  13. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    It seems to me that the sticking point here centers around differing uses and understandings of the word motor itself, specifically with regard to which bits need to be in motion for there to actually be a motor (though I'm sure that you would be in agreement over the use of "search engine", maybe).


    Why not side-step the issue: "We built a fully operational linear motor (definition of linear motor goes here, if needed)"
     
  14. grubble

    grubble Senior Member

    South of England, UK
    British English
    That makes no sense whatsoever. They did not move the motor, the motor moved itself - presumably after they pressed a button.

    At this, I see no point in continuing the discussion and bid farewell to this thread never to return.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  15. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    I only return to comment that this response is ridiculous. If I want to move my car I get into it, start the engine etc. By your logic, I cannot say "I moved my car" - I have to say "the car moved itself" - after I turned a key, moved a lever and pressed some pedals. I'd like to understand the difference between one machine and the other.
     

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