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"Disengageable" - Has anybody got a better adjective for a device that can be switched off?
Thread poster: pk75
pk75
Local time: 02:45
English to German
Aug 26, 2010

Has anybody got a better adjective for a device that can be switched off?

I find 'disengageable' terribly clumsy and can't imagine any English speaker actually using that term.

How about 'switchable'?


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2010-08-28 13:24 GMT]


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Jennifer Barnett  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:45
Dutch to English
+ ...
can be inactivated, disabled, disconnected, turned off Aug 27, 2010

All produce an ugly adjective (if not an non-existant word) except perhaps for 'disconnectable'. Is it not possible to change the sentence to enable (ha ha) using 'which can be ...'?

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 07:45
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Releasable Aug 27, 2010

I suggest "releasable." Is this forum going to be a Kudoz derivative?

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:45
Russian to English
+ ...
Swichable... Aug 27, 2010

...is perfectly acceptable, although it means the thing is capable of being switched on and off. Here's a sample sentence:

"The detected change may be used to switch a liquid crystal display cell ON or OFF, used to switch a light source, switch a sound source, or switch any other electrically switchable device." http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4529968.html

If you want to limit the statement to say that the device can be switched off (but not on?), then a single word won't do -- use a phrase.


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Ronald van der Linden  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 19:45
German to Dutch
+ ...
use Kudoz Aug 28, 2010

Have you tried Kudoz (English-English) for this question?

Cheers,
Ronald

[Edited at 2010-08-28 02:13 GMT]


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 21:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
interruptible Aug 28, 2010

MediaMatrix

Edit: Oops! Sorry....
I got cut off in mid stream.
I guess that means I'm not 'uninterruptible'...

[Edited at 2010-08-28 02:07 GMT]


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Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:45
Danish to English
What can't be switched off? Aug 28, 2010

I have been reading these posts, and thinking about the literally thousands of electrical items that I have either specified or installed in both domestic housing and more particular on ships, and I cannot think of any item that was fast-wired in a way that it could not be switched off, or have its circuit broken. "Releasable" Is one term I have never heard. I agree that a phrase of some sort is probably necessary. Things are either connected or disconnected, on-line or off-line, active or inactive, on or off. I think the default is that any electrical item can be either switched on or switched off. So I can't imagine that it should even be necessary to specify that. Even fuses can be either in active mode, or disabled. Almost any conceivable electrical item is in a circuit with a fuse or circuit breaker. I would simply not bother with such a description, unless there was an unavoidable reason for doing so. Then I would use a phrase, such as this item can be - turned off, switched off, disabled, taken off-line, or just turned off. I have never seen that this explanation has ever been necessary. I would be interested to learn what electrical device is installed in a manner that it could not be "turned off"?

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Christina Paiva  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:45
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Good Question, Brian! Aug 28, 2010

What about this:

Standby Power in Electronic Devices

Reducing standby power to save electricity and save money

One of the most obviously ways in which electricity is wasted, is within equipment which is never completely switched off.

Many types of electronic equipment can be placed in a "standby" mode whereby they are not operating fully, but they are still consuming some power.

Some equipment does not have a true on/off switch, and can only be truly switched off by turning of the wall socket or removing the mains plug

http://www.energy-saving-electronics.info/standby-power.htm


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Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:45
Danish to English
can though be switched off! Aug 28, 2010

Thanks. And a good point, There are in fact too many items that are essentially always on. We realized recently, in our own little office, that just six computers, in "sleep mode" generate so much heat that the AC unit has to run all night.
So now we just shut them all down, manually. The power companies seem to have conspired with the equipment manufacturers to make sure we all use as much energy as possible, even when we are not even at work.
Thanks, good observation, But even these devises can be taken "off line". They just make it so difficult that many people don't bother. This reminds me of hair curlers. My granddaughter has one, and I am constantly asking he if she remembered to turn it off. It is an ongoing struggle.

[Edited at 2010-08-28 11:42 GMT]


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 21:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
What can't be switched off - examples... Aug 28, 2010

Brian Young wrote:
I would be interested to learn what electrical device is installed in a manner that it could not be "turned off"?


The sujbect of this debate seems to have drifted from 'devices' to 'electrical appliances' but there was nothing in pk75's original question to suggest that 'device' refers specifically to domestic or professional consumer equipment.

In the wider sphere of 'electrical devices', there are, indeed, some which cannot be 'switched off' - at least not in any conventional sense of the expression. One example is a photoelectric panel, which will generate a voltage when exposed to light even if it has been disconnected from all external circuits. Hence the need for special precautions when installing these things - they are always live! Does covering the panel with a sheet of thick black plastic count as 'switching it off'? Surely not...

Another example is a piezo-electric crystal. Same problem - always live! The safety precaution is different - the output leads should be shorted together while installing a piezo-electric device. Now that's certainly not 'switching it off'.

Oh! - and what about a battery? Whether it's in your car, in your lantern or in your wrist-watch. Yet another example of an electrical device that cannot be 'switched off'. And again, because batteries are 'always live' (except, of course, when they're 'dead' ), care must be taken when manipulating them (but preferably not the same solution as for the piezo-electric device... )

In industry there are several situations where electrical equipment is carefully designed so it cannot be 'switched off' - obvious examples are in mission-critical monitoring systems (hospitals, nuclear power stations...). There's no point having elaborate, costly (and energy-consuming) UPS ('U' as in 'uninterruptible') hardware if the monitoring device can be un-plugged by the janitor when he comes along with the vacuum cleaner.

MediaMatrix


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Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:45
Danish to English
Good examples, but! Aug 28, 2010

All of these can be taken off line, or disconnected. Of course, batteries continue to be potential power supplies, even if you take them out of your car and throw them in the dump. I don't see that that makes any difference. Sure, solar panels produce electricity, as long as the sun shines. Almost all solar panels are installed with one way diodes, so that they are automatically taken "off line" in the evening, as they would otherwise actually drain electricity out of the system.
And UPS's can be switched off, whether it's a good idea or not.
Later:
I finally did think of one item that is designed NOT to be taken off the power supply. That is a modern car radio which, if disconnected, even for just a second, cannot be turned on again without access to a secret code. It is an anti-theft mechanism. But, it can be disconnected if necessary.

[Edited at 2010-08-28 18:03 GMT]


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pk75
Local time: 02:45
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
ABS Aug 28, 2010

Brian Young wrote:

I would be interested to learn what electrical device is installed in a manner that it could not be "turned off"?


It's an automotive antilock brake system (ABS).

On most vehicles you can't switch those off, but on off-road vehicles it makes sense as the control isn't sensitive enough to allow for operation on reduced traction surfaces - it would just keep your brakes open.

So on this vehicle, it is usually on but you can switch it off at will, and that makes it a USP, so it needs to be pointed out in a (short and succinct) bullet point.

In German it works perfectly because 'abschalten' is a regular verb, but 'switch off' is a phrasal verb, which is causing the trouble here.


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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:45
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Perhaps a cue from airline safety... Aug 28, 2010

As the flight attendants are fond of repeating in simple language for those travelers unclear on the concept of shutting off portable electronic devices:

"If your device has an On OR Off switch [emphasis mine], it must be turned off for take-off and landing".

Which causes me to wonder, what has an On switch, but not an Off switch?


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:45
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Disengageable ABS Aug 29, 2010

It seems to me that this would be a good fit for a KudoZ question in English monolingual.
But is "Disengageable ABS" really that terrible?

It seems to be OK with the Michigan State Police for their vehicle evaluation (see Page 65):
"BRAKE SYSTEM Hydraulic 2-channel ABS brake system. ABS disengageable"
http://www.justnet.org/Lists/JUSTNET%20Resources/Attachments/1944/VehicleTestBook2009_NLECTC_web.pdf

Also, in an article about a bike:
"It also seems certain that the “S” model will get the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) system, Ducati Data Analyzer (DDA), and a disengageable anti-lock brake system (ABS)."
http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/rumors/ducati-multistrada-1200-not-stradaperta/

Here, too, see Page 10:
"Air over hydraulic dual circuit disk brake with 4-channel anti-lock brake system (ABS, disengageable)"
http://www.scribd.com/doc/35994118/uhn-b-U5000-gb-dez04



[Edited at 2010-08-29 02:18 GMT]


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pk75
Local time: 02:45
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Maybe Aug 29, 2010


But is "Disengageable ABS" really that terrible?



Maybe it just takes some getting used to.


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