actual source characteristic

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Hara

Member
Greece & Greek
Hello everyone,
here is my phrase "Only in the case where the actual source characteristic is either linear or rectangular can the safety factor be derived from the diagram with a guarantee to be exactly 1,5". It's from a technical manual.

And my question is: does it mean the characteristic of the actual source or the actual characteristic of the source?

(This syntax in English always gives me a hard time :-()

Thank you
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    I would interpret "source characteristic" meaning "the characteristic that is the source."

    I would then interpret the entire phrase in question as "the actual characteristic that is the source."

    It takes a lot of work and training to write clear and comprehensible technical manuals.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The source characteristic - is a graph showing some aspect of the behaviour of this source. Not knowing what kind of source makes it impossibe to be more specific.
    If the shape of this characteristic graph is either linear or rectangular ...
     

    Hara

    Member
    Greece & Greek
    Thank you both

    The source characteristic - is a graph showing some aspect of the behaviour of this source. Not knowing what kind of source makes it impossibe to be more specific.
    If the shape of this characteristic graph is either linear or rectangular ...
    Actually this definition helped me a lot. So, "characteristic" is a graph. That explains a lot...
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Devices or pieces of equipment may have some measure of performance that can be plotted on a graph. If produced in quantity, the device or piece of equipment will have a characteristic graph showing the performance of a typical device, and usually the statistical variation from the norm.
    That characteristic (adjective) graph is usually referred to as a characteristic (noun):)
     
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