Can an encounter be between non-human objects?

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Angli

Senior Member
Hebrew
Can I use "encounter" for the purpose of mentioning an encounter of two non-human objects?

for example :

"If encounters of moving parts in the machine are detected, make sure to turn off the machine."
 
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  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I would speak of the encounter between a space probe and an asteroid, planned by people, but not between a ship and a rock.
     

    Angli

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    "Encounter" (verb) might be used for a sensor detecting a part, but "an encounter" (noun) probably requires sentient beings. What do you want it to mean in your sentence? It is not at all clear.
    Unplanned encounter between physical moving parts of the machine.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I see.

    So you think it would be ok to write it:

    "If contacts of moving parts in the machine are detected, make sure to turn off the machine."
    "Contact" is uncountable in this context,, so you need the singular form and "is", and you probably need "between" rather than "of", but it seems to be an odd thing to say. It is difficult to imagine any machine where there is not contact between its moving parts, such as shafts rotating within bearings or one gear driving another. However, even if you change it to say something like "unwanted contact", how is the person meant to check for this or to know when this happens?

    It is usually better to base instructions around what a person can see or hear: "If you hear knocking or unusual noises coming from the machine then turn it off".
     

    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    If moving parts of the machine come into contact, turn it off.
     
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