In Portal, GLaDOS says, "You are kidding me. Did you just stuff that aperture Science thing we don't know what it does into an Aperture Science emergency incinerator? That has got to be the dumbest thing that- woah wOah WoAH~" and something about that full sentence, "we don't know what it does" used as an adjunct really bothers me. People do this a lot too. Removing 'is' might make it a little better, but I'm pretty sure that still wouldn't be correct. In that particular case, she could have said, "...thing whose function we don't know..." (Although something shorter and without the inanimate 'whose' would be nice) but I don't know what word one would use like that in place of 'purpose' for what something is. There are some that kinda work, but they're all a little too specific: type, variety, specification, and classification all imply a set of possibilities, into one of which our thing fits, identity is mostly for people, and other words have other problems. (I did do some thesaurus and dictionary seeking.)
Do y'all have a better phrase than, "whose ___ we don't know," or a better word than the ones I listed? Thanks.