June 4, 2013
Architecture, Engineering, ENGLISH LANGUAGE, History, Spelling, Vocabulary
anchor winches, car repair shops, lifting devices, sailing vessels, winches, windlasses
Windless and windlass are very close in spelling, but worlds apart in meaning.
Windless simply means without wind or calm. It is more often used to describe a lack of wind when some wind would be helpful. Sailing vessels must use auxiliary power on windless days, such as oars, poles or a motor.
Comparison of a differential pulley or chain hoist (left) and a differential windlass or Chinese windlass (right). The rope of the windlass is depicted as spirals for clarity, but more likely helices with axes perpendicular to the image. (Wikipedia)
A windlass is similar to a winch and provides lifting or pulling power by turning a rope or chain around a horizontal drum, converting rotary power into linear motion. Such devices can be found in car repair shops and are called motor or engine hoists. These are called differential windlasses and use two drums (as in the picture above). The main point of a windlass is to create a geared lifting or pulling device which enables the lifting of heavy objects by hand, or by using motors.
It was by the use of windlasses that heavy stones were lifted into place onto medieval church spires and heavy anchors were lifted back onto the deck of a ship. Simpler windlasses with a single drum made lifting the water bucket from the well much easier.
May 16, 2013
Business life, Vocabulary
Autos, Consumer, Consumer protection, Extended warranty, how to use guarantee, how to use warranty, Law, Manufacturing, Money back guarantee, Warranty
A guarantee is usually free and acts like a promise between the shop and/or manufacturer and you, the customer.
Within a stated limited time, the shop or manufacturer promises to fix any problems with a purchase, or replace it with the same or similar product, or simply to return your money.
In most countries, the consumers’ rights are protected by local legislation. These consumer protection laws vary from one country to another, and from one product group to another. For example, consumer electrical goods are generally expected to last at least a year and, with or without an explicit guarantee, the customer has the right to have faulty equipment repaired or replaced within 12 months.
The shop may also offer a ‘money-back guarantee‘ on anything it sells, which may be a better deal than the law demands.
Often a guarantee can be used simply by returning the goods with the receipt or proof of purchase, in other cases the guarantee is only valid if the shop has filled in the form which accompanies the purchase.
A warranty, sometimes called an extended guarantee, is a bit more like an insurance policy, sometimes adds to the price of the item, and offers better cover than the law demands.
A warranty is a legal contract between the seller and/or manufacturer and the buyer – so if the item is resold, for example, the warranty may become void.
If you buy a new car, it may come with, for example, a ten-year warranty on the bodywork, but a shorter warranty period on engine parts. Parts which are subject to wear, like tyres, or those with a short lifespan, like headlamp bulbs, may be difficult to get replaced under warranty conditions. You may have to go to court to prove that they were faulty.
Guarantees and warranties do not replace your consumer rights in any way, but they may improve them.
May 6, 2013
ENGLISH LANGUAGE, Grammar, Punctuation
Clause, Comma, how to use the comma, non-restrictive relative clauses, Punctuation, restrictive relative clauses
The comma is the most-used punctuation mark in English and, used properly, it will make your writing much easier to read and understand.
Straightaway, let’s look at the previous sentence. I have put commas before and after ‘used properly’ as they form a non-restrictive relative clause. What the xxxx! I’m sorry, you really don’t need to know fancy terms like that – I was just showing off. A non-restrictive relative clause is just extra information, and if you take this extra information out of the sentence the basic meaning won’t be changed. So if I take ‘used properly’ out of the sentence, the meaning is pretty much the same.
Removing a restrictive relative clause will change the meaning of a sentence, like this:
Restrictive (qualifying information):
The museum which is in the High Street is dedicated to natural history.
This sentence means that there is more than one museum, and that the one I’m talking about is in the High Street.
Non-restrictive (extra information):
The museum, which is in the High Street, is dedicated to natural history.
This sentence means that there is only one museum in the area, and it happens to be in the High Street.
Got it? Good! - READ MORE
April 20, 2013
Business life, Engineering, ENGLISH LANGUAGE, Technology, Vocabulary
brake, controller, electrical drive, electricity, Electricity generation, electricity grid, Energy, frequency converter, generator, how does a wind generator work, James Blyth, nacelle, smart grid, step-up transformer, transformer, Turbine, turbine blade, Wind, Wind turbine, wind vane, wind-turbine tower, yaw drive
Panoramic view of the Whitelee wind farm with Lochgoin Reservoir in the foreground.
Date: 24 October 2010 - Source: Wikipedia - Author: Bjmullan
NOTE: This is a language guide, not a thesis on wind turbines. My hope is that it will help those of you whose first language is not English to be able to discuss, or write about, wind power.
You can’t have failed to notice strange new trees growing up in windy places. They are usually white and only have three branches, and their trunks are straight and clean. They go by several names, but windmills and wind turbines are two of the most common. Wind power has been utilised for varous purposes, like pumping, irrigation and milling, for over two thousand years, but the first electricity-generating wind turbine was a battery charging machine installed in July 1887 by Scottish academic James Blyth to light his holiday home in Marykirk, Scotland (Wikipedia). There have been many designs of electricity generating windmills, but I shall concentrate on the horizontal axis, three-bladed type, pictured above, which have become the most common.
So, everyone knows what they do – they make electricity from the wind, but exactly how do they do it? First of all, let’s take a look at the component parts of a typical turbine.
Schematic diagram of a modern horizontal-axis, three-bladed wind turbine
Date: 30 November 2006 – courtesy of Wikipedia
Author: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – public domain
So, whatever the size of our horizontal-axis wind turbine, it must face into the wind in order for it to work. Very small turbines achieve this by having a big wind vane at the back, just like the one on the anemometer (wind-speed meter) in the drawing above, only much bigger. However, on larger models this is impractical as the vane would have to be absurdly large. However, whatever the design of any major wind turbine, the list of components remains pretty much the same, although their positions may differ. Here follows a description of the main parts and how they work …READ MORE
April 16, 2013
ENGLISH LANGUAGE, Job Titles, Vocabulary
assumption, Belief, conscience, creed, criterion, doctrine, dogma, honesty, Law, notion, Physics, principal, Principle, principled, rule, standard, Supply and demand
1. A principle (noun only) is a basic law or truth, on which we base other actions. For example:
Gravity is the principle (main or basic law) that holds our galaxy, and the rest of the universe, in an ever-changing balance.
The principle of supply and demand rules the world of commerce.
The principle of hydraulics allows force to be transmitted through pipes, using liquids to push pistons in order to move remote parts. This can be seen in well-known examples like brake systems and earth-moving machines.
2. A principle is a personal code of conduct. For example:
She is a very principled (ethical) person and her strong beliefs help her to decide how to act in any given situation.
On principle, I avoid violence at all costs, because I believe that one violent act only creates another.
3. A principle is a kind of jacket.
Principle Jacket: Assymetrical Zipper keeps chafing at bay! (Photo credit: lululemon athletica)
Principle has these basic synonyms (there are more):
1. assumption, belief, creed, criterion, doctrine, dogma, belief, law, notion, rule, standard
2. conscience, honesty,
1. A principal is the, for example, the head or most important person in an organisation. For example:
Principal (noun) is synonymous with head master/mistress.
2. Principal (adj) also means the main or most important part. For example:
The principal actor in a play plays the most important part.
The principal ingredient of bread is grain.
The principal component of butter is cream.
The principal cause of war is resources.
3. Principal is also the capital part of a loan, as separate from interest.
April 15, 2013
ENGLISH LANGUAGE, Vocabulary
Human sexual activity, Intimate relationship, Marriage, Relationships
© Phil Date | Dreamstime Stock Photos
Now here’s a pair of words that frequently get misused – they are not proper synonyms.
Did you know that in historical terms, 80% of marriages worldwide were to second, or even first, cousins. These days the figure is down to about 10%, and marriages with first cousins are outside so-called ‘Christian societies’. A more in-depth look at marriage can be found HERE.
Relatives are people that you are related to, either by bloodline or marriage etc. Close relatives is a slightly subjective term, but usually means, for example, one’s siblings (brothers and sisters), their children, your own children, and your own parents and grandparents. Those who have married into or joined the family, for example your own spouse (wife, husband, partner – whatever), are not really close relatives as they are not related by blood. You can’t enter into a sexual partnership with a close relative, as the risks of producing a deformed child are too great. As regards this latter point, how close is close can depend on different cultures and laws, and these vary greatly from one country to another. Examples:
Only close relatives were invited to the funeral.
She invited all of her friends and relatives to her wedding.
Jurors cannot be related to the accused.
Relations, although often used to refer to one’s relatives, is a word better applied to how people get on with each other in some kind of relationship. We can talk about diplomatic relations between countries, sexual relations between lovers, customer relations between a company and its clients etc. Examples:
Diplomatic relations between North and South Korea have reached an all-time low, and war is a possibility.
A member of the jury had to step down as they had had a sexual relationship with the accused.
Customer relations is one of the most important areas for competitive business.
April 12, 2013
Business life, Economics, Grammar, Vocabulary
Car rental, Landlord, Lease, Leasehold estate, Leasing, Renting, Vehicle leasing
Renting a Boat (Photo credit: kathleenleavitt)
First of all, hire and rent are often interchangeable, but not always. So, for example, car rental and car hire are the same thing, and the names of the companies that offer short-term vehicle hire or rent reflect this. Car leasing is different and refers to a long-term agreement, often over years, between the leasor (the owner of the vehicle) and the leasee (the person who will use the vehicle).
Vehicles etc are advertised as ‘for hire‘.
Buildings etc are advertised as ‘for rent‘.
Equipment is usually hired out to those who need it (not rented).
People are hired by companies and individuals to do work. This can mean long or short term, and as an employee or as a contractor. For example:
The company has received a big order and is now hiring production workers (relatively long-term, as employees).
We have received more orders than usual, so we are hiring agency workers to help out (short-term workers from an external agency).
The old lady could no longer look after her garden, so she hired a gardener (as a contractor).
We cannot talk about renting people, it sounds negative and de-humanising.
Buildings can be rented or leased (rent is more informal). The landlord (owner) makes a rental agreement or draws up a lease with the tenant (user) of the building. Both the landlord and the tenant are bound by the terms of the rental agreement or lease, and these usually include giving notice before terminating the agreement. Notice would, perhaps, be one month’s advance warning of the tenant leaving the premises, and probably a much longer time should the owner wish to terminate.
Rented property is referred to formally as leasehold, and property you own is referred to as freehold.