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Background to the sentence: a system activates itself after temperature has been deviated for [X] seconds.

Now I want to describe what X does and I just cannot figure it out. My best attempts are:

The value X specifies the time period for which the temperature has to be deviated.

The value X specifies the time period during which the temperature has to be deviated.

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I would say neither works, because deviate should be intransitive. You cannot deviate temperature. Or really anything. It can only deviate all by itself. What you can do is change it, or alter it, or influence it, or meddle with it, or what have you. But not deviate it.

X specifies the number of seconds for which the temperature has deviated from the norm.

With "the time period", I'd probably go with an in, but as you can see I don't use "the time period" in the first place. That's because then it's not clear what the time period is specified in (nanoseconds? weeks? centuries?). So I replace it with the actual unit, killing two birds with one stone. The temperature has deviated for X seconds.

Likewise, while it's possible to just end the sentence after the "deviated", it sounds more natural when you specify what it deviated from. I just went with a boilerplate "the norm" here, but I suppose you can be more specific and replace it with the actual number. Of course if you have done that in a preceding sentence, you can omit it here.

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