Cash-in-transit heists

Jawel7

Senior Member
Turkish
What's the exact function of "cash-in-transit" here?

Grammar books say that
"a state-of-the-art computer" is the equal to "a computer which is the state of the art" and "state-of-the-art" is an adjective phrase.

So, with the same idea, can I claim that
"cash-in-transit" is an adjective phrase and "cash-in-transit heists" means "heists that are cash in transit" ?
 
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "cash-in-transit" is a noun phrase use adjectivally. A brick wall, is a wall that is made of bricks. Both "brick" and "wall" are nouns, but "brick" modifies "wall.

    A jewellery heist is a theft of jewellery.

    A cash-in-transit heist, is a theft of cash that is in transit.
     

    Jawel7

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    "cash-in-transit" is a noun phrase use adjectivally. A brick wall, is a wall that is made of bricks. Both "brick" and "wall" are nouns, but "brick" modifies "wall.

    A jewellery heist is a theft of jewellery.

    A cash-in-transit heist, is a theft of cash that is in transit.
    So,
    a state-of-the-art computer" means "a computer which is the state of the art", although "cash-in-transit heists" doesn't mean "heists that are cash in transit" but mean "cash heists while cash is in transit".

    Why is this difference? Does it change by the context how to read them?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Yes, the context does indeed alter things, and every writer and reader needs to bear this in mind. There is no fixed rule that governs the relationship between a noun and its adjectival accompaniment, and you shouldn't waste your time looking for one. For instance:

    A brick wall = a wall made of brick.
    A garden wall = a wall around a garden.
    A frontier wall = a wall marking a frontier.
    A 19th-century wall = a wall dating from the 19th century.
    A honeycomb wall = a wall shaped like a honeycomb.

    The only thing these phrases have in common is that there is some kind of relationship between them and their noun.
     

    Jawel7

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Yes, the context does indeed alter things, and every writer and reader needs to bear this in mind. There is no fixed rule that governs the relationship between a noun and its adjectival accompaniment, and you shouldn't waste your time looking for one. For instance:

    A brick wall = a wall made of brick.
    A garden wall = a wall around a garden.
    A frontier wall = a wall marking a frontier.
    A 19th-century wall = a wall dating from the 19th century.
    A honeycomb wall = a wall shaped like a honeycomb.

    The only thing these phrases have in common is that there is some kind of relationship between them and their noun.
    Then, I think "state-of-the-art" functions as an adjective while "cash-in-transit" functions as a noun phrase, the modifier of "heists".

    I do not know if I can create these kinds of examples but I would like to try it.

    Let's say the normal phrase is "library books" and I want to shape it like the others above and turn it to "library-in-Cambridge books".

    When you read it, do you understand I try to mean "library books and the library is in Cambridge" ?
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm sure it is not natural, but I just tried to understand how it works. Can my sentence mean it theoretically or it can't?
    Do you mean it to say that there is one library in Cambridge and the books are from that one library, or do you mean that that there are many libraries and you want to include all the books in all the Cambridge libraries?
     

    Jawel7

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Do you mean it to say that there is one library in Cambridge and the books are from that one library, or do you mean that that there are many libraries and you want to include all the books in all the Cambridge libraries?
    The first one. I mean that "library-in-Cambridge books" refers to library books while the location of the library is in Cambridge. There may be many libraries in Cambridge but these books are from that library in Cambridge."
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The first one. I mean that "library-in-Cambridge books" refers to library books while the location of the library is in Cambridge. There may be many libraries in Cambridge but these books are from that library in Cambridge."
    I don't understand. What do you mean by "that" library? What library? You haven't specified.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Let's forget about "library-in-Cambridge books"; that's not the sort of situation that we would normally use a three-word compound adjective to describe. The reason why we can have such a compound to describe the heist (post #1, line 1) is that "cash in transit" is a frequently-used phrase of which everyone knows the meaning: "money in large quantities in the process of being transported between financial establishments". That is what makes it possible to insert hyphens and thus transform the phrase into a compound adjective.
     
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