worth or reliability

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piggy94

Banned
Korean&English
I think I can use both reliability and worth, but my answer sheet says only ' worth' is correct and I wonder why.

In cloths shops magnetic tag marking systems that set off an alarm have proved their ___________
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I would say that it can only be worth here.

    We can make the assumption that a tag marking system that catches unpaid-for goods being carried out of the store would be financially beneficial to the store-keeper (and thus prove their worth). But without any engineering evidence, we cannot know how reliable those systems are -- they may break down once a week for all we know.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think I can use both reliability and worth, but my answer sheet says only ' worth' is correct and I wonder why.

    In clothes shops, magnetic tag marking systems that set off an alarm have proved their ___________
    I think I agree with you, Piggy: both nouns would produce satisfactory sentences, with different meanings.

    If you say reliability, you mean that the systems effectively stop people stealing the clothes.

    If you say worth, you suggest that the systems more than repay the cost of installing and running them, that the clothes which are not stolen are worth more than the cost of installing and running the system.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I would say that it can only be worth here.

    We can make the assumption that a tag marking system that catches unpaid-for goods being carried out of the store would be financially beneficial to the store-keeper (and thus prove their worth). But without any engineering evidence, we cannot know how reliable those systems are -- they may break down once a week for all we know.
    I don't understand this, Copyright. We aren't considering an untried system here. The sentence says they have proved their ___________ ; in other words the writer has experience of the systems and is in a position to make claims both of their reliability, and of their worth (the relationship between the costs and benefits of running them).

    Maybe I've missed something.:)
     
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