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  1. #1
    Shenfeng's Avatar
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    Default the systems juggling - what is this from a grammatical point of view

    Hey,

    the setting for the following sentence is a computer center:

    "Our system was complex enough that we had special programs which automatically did the paperwork and the systems juggling."

    I'm a bit confused about the 'the systems juggling' part, since I've never come across such a construct before.

    Couldn't I also rephrase this sentence into "Our system was complex enough that we had special programs which automatically did the paperwork and the juggling of the systems." ?

    Is there a rule that explains how transformations of this kind ('juggling of the systems' --> 'the systems juggling') work, or is this just a singular occurrence?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: the systems juggling - what is this from a grammatical point of view

    Quote Originally Posted by Shenfeng View Post
    Hey,

    the setting for the following sentence is a computer center:

    "Our system was complex enough that we had special programs which automatically did the paperwork and the systems juggling."

    I'm a bit confused about the 'the systems juggling' part, since I've never come across such a construct before.

    Couldn't I also rephrase this sentence into "Our system was complex enough that we had special programs which automatically did the paperwork and the juggling of the systems." ?

    Is there a rule that explains how transformations of this kind ('juggling of the systems' --> 'the systems juggling') work, or is this just a singular occurrence?

    Thanks.
    I don't think it's a set phrase, but maybe someone more into computer systems will have heard of it.
    "Juggling" can be used generally in this sense to mean organising a lot of complex things at once. Women these days have to juggle the competing demands of a career and a family.
    In this sense, it would mean that there is a special program to integrate the systems: apportion memory and CPU time between them, allocate time to end users, do backups, and the rest.
    In this case, "systems juggling" is a compound noun.It is not the possessive "system's juggling". It is only this latter which would be exchangeable for the "juggling of the systems", even though it would mean almost the same thing in this case.

  3. #3
    Shenfeng's Avatar
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    Default Re: the systems juggling - what is this from a grammatical point of view

    Ah, thanks for clearing that up.

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