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Adjective question

Adjective question

Adjective question

In technical document I used a term "semi-conductive film". Most of my colleagues argue that I should have used a term "semi-conducting film". Any opinions on what is correct?

RE: Adjective question

Now this is only a swag, but I would opt for the second, 'semi-conducting', as the correct usage.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Design Solutions
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Adjective question

And what about textbook definitions that materials can be CONDUCTIVE and non-CONDUCTIVE?

RE: Adjective question

Conducting is not an adjective; it is a noun formed from the verb to conduct.  Conductive is the adjective.

Good Luck
As a circle of light increases so does the circumference of darkness around it. - Albert Einstein

RE: Adjective question

Conductive/non-conductive/semi-conductive all refer to a material property that exists regardless of whether a potential is applied. A conductive material becomes conducting when the potential is applied and without altering its conductive nature becomes non-conducting when the potential is removed.   

RE: Adjective question

"Conducting" a noun?  No way!  

A verb pure and simple, same action sense as swimming, hunting, talking.  No difference.

There is another term for this though, and it escapes me presently.  I', thinking "gerund" here, ...  Have to look it up.

However, being a verb or verb form, it cannot modify or describe a noun, which the word "film" is.  Only an adjective can.  Hence, I go with "conductive".  Same form as the adjectives agressive, passive, reactive, etc.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering


RE: Adjective question

All I know is that the foregoing is conducive to conducting further debate.



RE: Adjective question

Sorry...maybe that was a spelling issue...



RE: Adjective question

Participles are essentially adjectives, but they take the same form as progressive verbs.
They can modify nouns just fine.  ("festering wound")

A gerund is like a participle but it's a noun instead of an adjective.  Still takes the same form as a progressive verb.
("the awakening")

"Conductive" is an adjective.  "Conducting" is a participle doing duty as an adjective.

You could make the argument (as stevenal does) that "conducting" only works if it is conducting right at that very moment but there are plenty of examples of "-ing" used to mean what something can do, not what it is doing right then.  (A self-cleaning oven is still a self-cleaning oven even when the self-clean cycle is not running.)  One could argue that when participles do that, they have frozen into adjectives and are no longer true participles, but there ya go, "conducting" could be either participle or true adjective evolved from participle.  It all depends on what people mean when they use it.  There isn't an official list out there of participles that have become true adjectives; it's a case of "English is as she is spoke".

So it comes down to usage convention.  Whatever term more people use is more appropriate.


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RE: Adjective question

The oracle (the wise counsel definition, that is) has spoken.  Thanks, Hg.

RE: Adjective question

Thanks for the clarification.  I have a lot of cobwebs there.  bigsmile

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering


RE: Adjective question

I had a bad-car day.  Clearly "car" is not an adjective.  And, it doesn't matter - "bad-car" is being used as an adjective and it conveys a meaning.

I was behind a slow-moving vehicle. In this case slow is modifying moving so the hyphen is appropriate.

"It was a vibrant red image."  Contrast that to, "It was a vibrant-red image." The former conveys that the image was both vibrant and red.  The latter conveys that the red used for the image was vibrant.


¡papá gordo ain't no madre flaca!

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