...a tool in a machine such as a drill.

sam_net

Member
Russian
"A chuck is a device for holding a tool in a machine such as a drill."
What is "a drill" - a tool or a machine? Can you say that there is no ambiguity here?
 
  • Toadie

    Senior Member
    English
    I would definitely say that if you didn't already know what a chuck is it would be completely ambiguous. However, because I do know what a chuck is ;) I can tell you that "such as a drill" refers to "a machine".
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    In this case, the terms have been used with quite specific meanings.
    A tool is the part of a machine that contacts the workpiece and does the cutting or drilling.
    A machine is a device that holds a tool and does the work.

    In this very specific context, a drill is a machine. It holds a tool, that we often call a drill bit, that actually does the cutting.

    There is no ambiguity if you are living in the right context.
     

    sam_net

    Member
    Russian
    I would definitely say that if you didn't already know what a chuck is it would be completely ambiguous.
    Well, it's a definition of a word "chuck" in a dictionary for leaners of English. :)


    Thanks for the answers.
    Although, I still don't understand why a tool cannot be a drill here (a drill is a tool, isn't it? Or is it?), unless the reason is purely grammatical, as Natalisha suggested.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    From the point of view of grammar "a drill" refers to "a machine".
    Not always.

    A "drill," also called a "twist drill," is also the tool that makes the hole. You need context in order to separate the terms.

    "Drill bit" has become popular usage, but horrifies traditionalists (I, among them) who know that "drill bits" are for a "brace and bit" for boring holes in wood and "twist drills" are something different. This was drummed into me in an aircraft mechanics school run by the U.S. Navy, many, many years ago.

    I'm afraid, however, that purity will never conquer popular usage in this case.

    If you look at this tap and drill size chart, you will see that "drill" in this context has nothing to do with the machine that turns it.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ...
    Thanks for the answers.
    Although, I still don't understand why a tool cannot be a drill here (a drill is a tool, isn't it? Or is it?), unless the reason is purely grammatical, as Natalisha suggested.
    No, a drill is a machine, in this quite specific world.
    The thing that you put into the drill-machine, the thing that cuts the material, is a tool.

    In many situations, words have very precise meanings that are not the same as the meanings they have for the external world.
     

    SwissPete

    Senior Member
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    This is really quite interesting!

    In the case of a hacksaw (with a removable blade), the blade is a tool, but the hacksaw frame (without a blade attached) is a machine?
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Grammatically, it is ambiguous. If a drill is a tool, it is badly written, but it is still possible grammatically. The potentially ambiguous part is this:

    a tool in a machine such as a drill

    Now, what does the 'such as' phrase refer back to? A tool, or a machine? It could be either: it could be a tool such as a drill, that is a tool (in a machine) such as a drill; or it could be a machine such as a drill, that is a tool in [a machine such as a drill]. But precisely because it's ambiguous, we have to assume that 'such as' refers back to the closest likely word. It is closer to 'machine', so it probably means "a machine such as a drill". If it skipped 'machine' and referred to 'tool', it would be badly written and confusing.

    You can change this simply by inserting a comma:

    a tool in a machine, such as a drill

    The comma adds an extra pause, a bit of distance. So instead of 'such as' being linked to the closest reasonable thing, 'a machine', there's now more of a chance that it's linked to 'a tool'. But it's still badly written: ambiguous with a genuine amibiguity.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    No, a drill is a machine, in this quite specific world.
    The thing that you put into the drill-machine, the thing that cuts the material, is a tool.

    In many situations, words have very precise meanings that are not the same as the meanings they have for the external world.
    Well maybe across the pond, but see THIS CATALOG.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "A chuck is a device for holding a tool in a machine such as a drill."
    What is "a drill" - a tool or a machine? Can you say that there is no ambiguity here?
    Getting back to the original post, the definition is inadequate.

    A "chuck" in the world of machining, is a device with three or more jaws designed to hold something by its periphery.

    While various drilling machines have chucks to hold the drills, i.e. cutting tools, lathes, for example, hold the material being cut in a chuck while the tool is stationary.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I think the definition is being over-analysed, for meanings that are not there and should not be expected to be there.

    Two of the words used have a wide range of meanings, tool and drill.
    I know how I understood the definition when I read it. There was no ambiguity because I was, at one time, familiar with the use of tool to refer to the cutting part of a machine. I also know what a chuck is in this context.

    Others understand the terms differently. From the perspective of someone who doesn't know what a chuck is, and who has a more general understanding of the words tool and drill, the definition is not so clear.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I do not think that the definition is ambiguous, but it is incomplete since a chuck may hold a workpiece or a tool, depending on the type of machine to be used. Some of the subsequent discussion has become too specific - for example, a chuck does not necessarily need three or more jaws; some chucks have no jaws - Morse taper chuck and SDS chuck.

    The definition specifically refers to a machine, and drill as an example. Like many words, drill has more than one meaning, but in the definition its meaning is restricted by the word "machine". The answer to the original question is "in this specific context, a drill is a machine because the definition has already said that machine is the meaning of drill to use"
     
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