0

Let's take the following sentence:

X has recovered to within the maximum threshold of Y.

What's really the right way to say this? Some ideas that come to mind are:

to within the maximum threshold
to the maximum threshold
within the maximum threshold
to be within the maximum threshold

But as a native speaker, something just honestly seems a little bit off about each of these, as if there's some sort of semantic disconnect. If there's some sort of threshold - or limit - and if a certain measurement has gone past that limit somehow for a certain amount of time, then has come back within it, then what's really the right way to make the sentence above (or a similar one) work?

EDIT

I'm about to accept the currently posted answer, and I want to add a little bit of context. When the measurements fall out of range in this particular scenario, things like this are logged:

X has dropped below the minimum threshold of (an average of?) at least Y.
Y has dropped below the minimum threshold of (an average of?) greater than Y.

And the equivalent for maximum thresholds. If it falls back into range, it has to do so consistently for a certain amount of time without failure, then it'll yield logs like this:

X has sustainably recovered to within the minimum threshold of (an average of?) at least Y.
X has sustainably recovered to within the minimum threshold of (an average of?) greater than Y.

And the equivalent for maximum thresholds.

So now, with the accepted answer, in the recovery log lines, recovered to within the minimum/maximum threshold of would become recovered to be within the minimum/maximum range of, though this might get tweaked slightly later.

  • 1
    It's not a particularly pretty construction, however Option 4 seems to be the least bad one, not least so that the intransitive use of the verb "recovered" is not asked to do too much. And in most normal English, you are "within limits" or "below a threshold" (or above one). – Cargill Dec 7 '15 at 22:23
  • 1
    I think you need to tell us an example of what X and Y are. Engine RPM has recovered to within the maximum threshold of <what> the Safe Operating Range?> Why not just say "X has recovered to within tolerances." – Jim Dec 7 '15 at 22:25
  • 1
    Yours is probably a hi-tech application where the following wouldn’t apply, but it would seem that in normal-speak, “within” would require the mention of a “range” (a Min Max Threshold Range [MMTR], for example) as opposed to “maximums”/“minimums.” If the status prior to re-entering the permissible range was “too high” (as I’m guessing is your case), then you could perhaps indicate this by using “has fallen to just within the permissible/threshold range” (& “has risen to just within the permissible/threshold range” in cases where you want to indicate that it was previously “too low”). – Papa Poule Dec 7 '15 at 22:33
  • 1
    Agreed: "within" implies max and min. How about something like "X has pulled back under the maximum threshold of Y"? – ralph.m Dec 7 '15 at 22:52
  • 1
    Of course an operator in the field would likely just say, "X is back in the green." – Jim Dec 7 '15 at 22:59
1

You have a problem with simultaneous usage of recovered and maximum. "Recovered" implies that X is increasing. So if X is increasing, how can it be "within the maximum threshold"? Either X is increasing to within the minimum threshold, or X is DECREASING (from some higher number) to within the maximum threshold.

After decades of flirting with extinction, the tiger population has recovered to be within the minimal range of survival.

Since the development of cell fusion inhibitors, HIV-afflicted individuals can now expect the recovery of their immune system to reach at least the minimal threshold of viability.

Taking his foot off the gas, Randy took a sigh of relief as the RPM needle dialed back to within the maximum range of safety.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    I disagree that "recover" necessarily means increasing. If we've recovered the balance between two factors, we've reduced one and/or increased the other. A car driver can recover from a high-speed excursion - a stuck throttle for example. – Jim Dec 8 '15 at 0:25
  • 2
    I think the critical (and usage) problem is that "within" is never used with a threshold, only with limits or parameters of range. – Cargill Dec 8 '15 at 2:18
  • 1
    Indeed I used "range" in two exanples. – Stu W Dec 8 '15 at 3:15
  • Indeed you did ... I expect there was a cross-over in posting! – Cargill Dec 8 '15 at 3:51
  • Huh, cool, glad I could help – Stu W Dec 8 '15 at 15:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.