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I am just curious if anybody can make head or tail of this sentence. It does not make any sense.

On the other hand, for cemented sand, a power function can fit as the relation between UCS and porosity (n) of cemented soil specimens as voids/volumetric cement content ratio (n/Cv) parameter that has been investigated by several researchers.

P.S. I am busy reading articles and I ran into this one. Either it is ungrammatically written, or I can't make sense of it.

closed as off-topic by user140086, sumelic, Mitch, BladorthinTheGrey, jimm101 Dec 5 '16 at 0:51

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  • It's terribly written - they should have just given the power function. I can guess that "For cemented sand, there is a power function relating UCS and porosity, with a key parameter of n/Cv. (reference 1, reference 2, reference 3)" But I'm not sure. – John Feltz Dec 2 '16 at 14:27
  • @JohnFeltz Hmmm well thanks for the comment and ur time. However, the original sentence is so terribly written that I cannot say that your interpretation of it sounds right or not. :D – Sajjad Dec 2 '16 at 15:17
  • @JohnFeltz Well, it was written by engineers. – Chib Dec 5 '16 at 0:30
  • After a bit of head scratching, I've got "On the other hand, for cemented sand, a power function fit can be used to relate UCS and porosity (n) of cemented soil specimens since the ratio of voids to volumetric cement content (n/Cv) has been investigated by several researchers." – Phil Sweet Dec 5 '16 at 0:44
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I am not knowledgeable about this particular field, but this is how I would parse the sentence:

A power function can fit as (the relation between UCS and (porosity (n) of cemented soil specimens as voids) / (volumetric cement content ratio (n/Cv) parameter that has been investigated by several researchers))

Functions are typically described like "the relation between X and Y", so I would assume X here is UCS, and Y is .. the rest of it.

If we interpret "/" as a division sign, then Y would be (porosity / volumetric cement content ratio), where volumetric cement content ratio is given in units of n/Cv, and has been investigated by several researchers [citation needed].

I would rewrite it something like:

This can be fit by a power function relating UCS to the porosity (n) of cemented soil divided by volumetric cement content ratio (n/Cv) parameter, which has been investigated by several researchers [1, 2, 3].

Main changes:

  • Explicitly stating "divided" instead of "/", which is ambiguous and (at least in papers I've read) inappropriate to include in text. (Too informal to use as shorthand for "or", and math equations should be math equations.)
  • "which" instead of "that": "parameter" can (presumably) be understood without the clause about being investigated, so it is a nonessential clause and should be used with "which".
  • Adding citations: that way the reader can verify exactly which part of the equation those researchers were investigating, and it's clear what reference goes with what.

Of course, I would also include the equation nearby, so the reader can correlate the description with the actual math!

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That's just a poorly written sentence. It sounds like they're saying that some people have been screwing around with fitting a power function to a set of data that shows UCS and porosity, by letting the void content vary. Either that or people have been screwing around with some definition of the void content that lets them fit a power function to a set of data showing UCS and porosity. It's really not clear what they're actually trying to tell you. :/

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