This is about data classification done by computer. Data is classified into the A, B, or C rank and then the judgement result will be displayed on the screen. All the transaction is done by using "function x".

This is my attempt to explain the above:

Classify/display data in A/B/C by value x by using the function x

My questions: 1. Is my choice of the preposition "in" before "A/B/C" correct? 2. Does using "by" twice sequentially like this seem bad?

  • Please edit this to include some full sentences with the preposition options you're considering. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 3:50
  • Curiousdannii's point is irrefutable. Generally speaking, I would write "Given x, the value of A is ____", though one could also say "x implies ____ for A, ____ for B, ____ for C." Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 4:47
  • Hello, thanks for the comments. X is not implying or determining A/B/C. A/B/C are different levels of rank, and "data" is being classified into one of those ranks based on value x which is variable for each data. The function x is a tool to execute this process.
    – Jun Kyoto
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 6:09
  • 2
    I vote for rewriting from scratch. The fragment is unnatural and unclear. The choice of preposition is really just a red herring.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 9:59

1 Answer 1


"The multinomial variable Y -which takes on values A, B, C- was classified using algorithm Z using the variables x_1, x_2..." is how I would put it.

You can take this answer to the bank because part of my job is writing reports and papers involving such language, and nobody who has ever reviewed my work has suggested any other language.

  • The only time "display" is used in technical/scientific writing is in the phrase "as displayed in chart x".
    – JenSCDC
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 12:49
  • Thank you @Andy Blankertz for your answer. I appreciate advice with the professional background. Though, I am not sure if we are talking about the same thing. Perhaps my English is still at an elementary level. This is another try from me to explain what I want to express. I made it more specific. [Captured image data will be classified into grade A, B, or C based on their contrast level. The classification (A/B/C) will be displayed over the image on the measurement result screen.]
    – Jun Kyoto
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 6:00
  • As to the word "display", only restriction when using it is "not to use it as an intransitive word" according to "Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications--3rd ed." Here is an excerption: display Use display as a noun to refer generically to the visual output device and its technology, such as a CRT-based display, a flat-panel display, and so on. Use screen to refer to the graphic portion of a monitor. Do not use display as an intransitive verb. Correct The program displays the document. Incorrect The document displays.
    – Jun Kyoto
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 6:06
  • The data that will be classified A/B/C is one variable that could be one of three values, just like sex has two genders.
    – JenSCDC
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 6:41
  • For "display", I should has said used as a verb.
    – JenSCDC
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 6:42

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