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Dear Sir,
i am having a problem with the following sentance as it is a bit ambiguous.

the sentance is :
They are the designers and builders of the mechanical, thermal and fluid-flow related aspects of all such systems

Does the related word apply to 'mechanical', 'thermal' and 'fluid flow' OR does the related word apply only to the last word 'fluid flow',
looking fortward to your reply,
Thanking You,
Brendan Menezes BEng Chemical Engineering (UK)
Comments  
Hi Brendan,

I am confident that 'related' is related to all the adjectives. A better writer might have written:

'of the mechanical-, thermal- and fluid-flow-related aspects'

This does, however, create a confusion of commas in the third term.
I feel some oddness in the construct of the form <adjective+related+aspect>. Isn't an adjectival phrase <X related> is an attributive form of <related to/with X>. If it is so, I think an adjective couldn't be the word X.

Google result



  • mechanical aspect(s) 70,770 / mechanical related aspect(s) 5



  • thermal aspect(s) 11,101 / thermal related aspect(s) 1
paco
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It sounds a little odd to me too; but perhaps the sentence was hastily composed.

I'm inclined to think that if 'thermal-related' has a meaning, it's in any case much the same as 'thermal', in this context!

MrP
Because the sentence is not well-written (which always leads to ambiguity), why might it not be interpreted to mean 'mechanical aspects, thermal aspects, and 'fluid-flow-related' [ie. 'hydraulic'] aspects'?
[quote=Daveket] why might it not be interpreted to mean 'mechanical aspects, thermal aspects, and 'fluid-flow-related' [ie. 'hydraulic'] aspects'?


That was exactly the way I interpred the sentence.

paco
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Me too.