inserting probes into the fault ★<that> detected

Discussion in 'English Only' started by BlessyBee, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. BlessyBee New Member

    japanese
    "Seismologists made direct measurements leading up to temblors by inserting sophisticated electrical probes one kilometer into the fault ★<that> detected the tiniest stresses in rocks. "

    I can't translate this sentence into Japanese.
    I understand ★<that> is relative pronoun which stands for "probes".
    But I don't understand whether the probes detected the tiniest stress in rocks or not.
    Did these probes actually detected the tiniest stress in rocks?
     
  2. BlessyBee New Member

    japanese
    Does this sentence mean that the probes actually detected the stress?
     
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    They made direct measurements by inserting the probes: so the probes must have helped them make those measurements.

    In theory, 'that detected' could mean 'that could detect', i.e. possibly did not actually detect. But the earlier part of the sentence says they did make measurements, and there would be no logical connection with the ability of the probes to detect stress, if the probes didn't actually do it.
     
  4. Retired-teacher Senior Member

    British English
    Yes, they detect tiny stresses in the rocks. Why else would they be put there?

    Cross posted.
     
  5. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    It might be more easily understood turned round a little "Seismologists made direct measurements leading up to temblors by inserting, one kilometer into the fault, sophisticated electrical probes that detected the tiniest stresses in rocks."

    Certainly it's saying that the probes detected the stresses.

    If you put the relative pronoun right after its antecedent, you make the sentence easier to understand, in my view.
     
  6. BlessyBee New Member

    japanese
    I'm a bit confused.
    Does all of the Native English speakers recognize this sentence as ' Actually probes detected the stress' ?
    Couldn't be recognized as 'that could detect' ?
     
  7. BlessyBee New Member

    japanese
    In other word,

    "They used the probes and the probes detected the stress"

    or

    " They used the probes which had the ability to detect the stress"

    Which more properly represents the meaning of this sentence?
     
  8. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    What do you see as the outstanding difference between them, BlessyBee?
     
  9. Retired-teacher Senior Member

    British English
    Post #7. I hadn't thought about it this way. They inserted probes which were capable of detecting tiny stresses. Only if actual stresses occurred would they have detected them. It may well be that no changes in the rocks took place between the probes insertion and the writing of the article. Therefore the original article should perhaps have said " . . . probes one kilometre into the fault that could detect the tiniest stresses in rocks".
     
  10. BlessyBee New Member

    japanese
    Thanks a lot.
    I perfectly understood.
     
  11. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    It's an interesting idea. People often fail to distinguish between the two meanings.

    And even your suggested sentence, R-t, isn't entirely clear that they would be able to detect, as opposed to having in fact detected.
     
  12. dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - America
    This sentence means:

    1. Scientists made direct measurements using electrical probes.
    2. To do this, they inserted the probes 1 km into the fault.
    3. The probes detected very tiny ("the tiniest") stresses in rocks, whenever those stresses happened.

    4. "measurement leading up to temblors" -- This is bad grammar and confused. Measurements do not "lead up to" (cause) temblors. Measurements are harmless. Temblors are earthquakes.

    Here is my guess: an "of" clause has been accidentally left out, and "leading up to to temblors" modifies the noun in that clause. The noun is probably stresses . That is what the scientists are measuring. Here is how the sentence should start:

    "Seismologists made direct measurements of the stresses leading up to temblors by..."
     
  13. dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - America
    Note that "the tiniest" is a figure of speech meaning "very tiny". Literally "the tiniest" is not true. No instrument is infinitely accurate. So there must be stresses that are "too tiny for the instrument to detect".

    And since those stresses are tinier than others (the ones the instrumenbt can detect) those undetected ones are "the tiniest".
     
  14. Retired-teacher Senior Member

    British English
    My earlier post #9. There is another way of looking at it. Perhaps stresses in rocks are permanent and recorded by the probes. It is then changes in the stresses which indicate a tremor (I've never seen the word 'tremblor' before) is about to occur. If this is the case then the original article correctly indicated that the probes were detecting tiny stresses. (I agree about not using 'the tiniest').
     
  15. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    Yes, I wondered about that, but then I found this:

    Temblor, tremblor or trembler. A temblor is an earthquake or earth tremor. The word temblor first appears in 1876 and is an American word inspired by the Spanish word temblor, which means shake or tremble. The plural form may be either temblors or temblores. A tremblor is also an earthquake or earth tremor. Source
     
  16. Retired-teacher Senior Member

    British English
    My reaction to that is to ask - why invent a new 7- or 8-letter word when there is a perfectly good 6-letter one already available?
     
  17. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    It's not for us to reason why, surely. We are describing the language here, not altering it.
     

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