Problems of analysis

The correct analysis of text is not always possible for these reasons:

This page shows some problems of grammatical and semantic disambiguation. Rule numbers refer to ASD-STE100 issue 7.

Use a word only with the approved part of speech (rule 1.2)

The term input is approved only as a noun. Input can be analysed in 2 different ways in "This is input to show you the problem":

The term operating system is approved as a technical name (rule 1.5.19). Operating systems can be analysed in 2 different ways in "Operating systems that are slow can cause problems":

The term level is approved as an adjective and as a noun. Level can be analysed in 2 different ways in "Make the aircraft level":

The term damper is approved as an technical name. The adjective damp and its inflections are not approved. Damper can be analysed in 2 different ways in "Use a damper sample":

Use a word with its approved meaning (rule 1.3)

Each approved word in ASD-STE100 is approved with a specified meaning. For example, the word about means concerned with, not approximately. For other meanings, the specification gives the alternatives approximately (adv) and around. The term checker gives a message for this type of problem. Usually, the term checker cannot tell you if you use a word correctly. It can only find the word and tell you to make sure that it is correct.

Many approved words in ASD-STE100 have meanings in standard English that are not approved, but the specification does not tell you about these meanings. The table gives some examples:

The words are approved in ASD-STE100, but the meaning is incorrect
WordApproved meaningCorrect STEIncorrect STE
abrasive (adj) That can remove material by friction This material is abrasive. The manager is abrasive.
break (v) To cause to separate or become separated into parts by force Do not break the glass. Do not break the rules.
capacity (n) The maximum quantity that something can hold or make The capacity of the tank is 50 litres. In your capacity as manager, you must ...
conscious (adj) TN rule 1.5.14 implied, no definition If the person is not conscious, get medical aid immediately. If you are conscious of a problem, tell your manager immediately.
drain (v) To remove liquid Drain the system before you disconnect the components. Drain the battery before you disconnect the wires.
feel (v) To touch to find Carefully feel the heater to make sure that it operates. If you feel that the indication is incorrect, do the test again.
give (v) To provide This table gives examples of words that are used incorrectly. If the rope gives, stop the test.
go off (v) To become dark when an internal power source is de-energized The light goes off. If the milk goes off, discard it.

For the type of problem that the table shows, the term checker does not usually give a warning. If necessary, to give warnings to the technical writers in your organization, add the words to grammar-projectterms.xml.

Use technical names (rule 1.5): proper nouns

"The dictionary does not include technical names as approved words, because there are too many, and each manufacturer uses different technical names" (ASD-STE100 issue 7). Thus, you must customize the rules to include the technical names and the technical verbs that your organization uses.

Some technical names are proper nouns:

To minimize the initial customization, the term checker does not show an error for these proper nouns:

The screen shot shows an example:

Frequently, capitalized text is a proper noun

Possible problems are as follows:

Do not use emphatic do (by rule 3.2)

Emphatic do has this structure: do + verb (www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/ask_about_english/071112/). Emphatic do is used to emphasize the primary verb.

Emphatic do is not approved. Refer to rule 3.2 (use the approved forms of the verb to make an approved tense).

Although emphatic do is not a large problem with most technical texts, the term checker has a rule to find emphatic do. Examples of emphatic do:

Sometimes, text can be analysed in 2 different ways. For example, "When you do work on the engine, make sure that…" has 2 grammatical interpretations:

This ambiguous text is not a problem. The term checker does not find do work.

Use only the active voice in procedural writing (rule 3.6)

The sentence, "The wire was disconnected by the technician" is in the passive voice. Sometimes, text can be analysed in 2 different ways. For example, "The wires were disconnected" has 2 grammatical interpretations:

Sometimes, people can use their knowledge of the world to disambiguate text:

Typically, a spelling checker can disambiguate these texts, because knowledge is put into the rules. For example, the term waiter can be specified as a human agent.

Knowledge of the world is not in the term checker. Thus, the term checker cannot disambiguate the passive voice and the past participle as an adjective.

Use an approved verb to describe an action (not a noun or other part of speech) (rule 3.7)

The term checker does not have sufficient 'intelligence' to know when a word is used correctly. For example, think about these sentences:

The message in the term checker tells you that possibly, you can use an approved verb as an alternative to the approved noun. That message does not mean that you must use an approved verb.

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