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Every time I see the prepositional phrase held at being used, it is somehow related to a physical location. Suppose I'm in a process comprising many stages, is it possible/idiomatic to use the held at in the following way ?

The validation of the data provided will be held at stage X in the validation process.

Any advice regarding my question as well as any other suitable option will be appreciated.

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What do you intend the phrase to mean? Occur? –  bib Sep 17 '12 at 12:17
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Though a rather inappropriate use, here the word held seems to mean carried out. From the context, it is not very clear if you are writing, or referring to someone else's writing. If it's yours, and you mean carried out, then suggest you say so instead. –  Kris Sep 17 '12 at 12:22
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You can for example hold a meeting (in the sense of hosting, arranging), but I don't think you'd hold a data validation process (except in the sense of *delay, prevent something from completing so you can move on to the next stage). More likely that process would carried out (@Kris - "snap!" :) –  FumbleFingers Sep 17 '12 at 12:22
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held at need not refer only to place: "held at 6.00 pm" is fine. –  Kris Sep 17 '12 at 12:23
    
Repeating validation in the example is clunky. Can you say either “Provided data will be validated at stage X” or “Validation of provided data will be stalled at stage X”, depending on what you mean by held? Also, if this is part of a process description, you can use present tense. –  jwpat7 Sep 17 '12 at 14:29

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You apparently mean done, not kept in pending.

Though a rather inappropriate use, here the word held seems to mean carried out.

From the context, it is not very clear if you are writing, or referring to someone else's writing. If it's yours, and you mean carried out, then I suggest you say so instead.

The validation of the data provided will be carried out (or simply, done) at stage X in the validation process.

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There are numerous definitions for held (past participle of hold), but the one you reference seems to be the following (definition 8)

[with object] arrange and take part in (a meeting or conversation): a meeting was held at the church

Similarly (again, definition 8)

a: to assemble for and carry on the activity of: held a convention

b: to cause to be carried on : conduct: will hold a seminar

c: to produce or sponsor especially as a public exhibition: will hold an art show

This sense is specifically directed to an interaction between or among people, not a process relating to other objects.

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