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  1. #1
    johnvt is offline Newbie
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    Default Monitor vs. monitoring: which is correct?

    My employer offers a software product that can remotely communicate with our installations no matter where they are located around the globe.

    Currently, we call this software the "Global Monitoring and Control System." Some, however, argue that the name is incorrect and that it should be the "Global Monitor and Control System."

    The second option seems incorrect to me, but I'm incapable of explaining why. The best I can come up with is that the adjectives to do not distribute correctly; that is, while I would say a "global monitoring system" and a "global control system," I would never say a "global monitor system."

    A quick Google search for the phrases "monitoring and control system" and "monitor and control system," however, shows that the second choice is used far more commonly. This, of course, doesn't mean that it is correct.

    Can someone please weigh in so I can end the debate? Thanks in advance for the help.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Monitor vs. monitoring: which is correct?

    Your instincts are correct, in my opinion. I would never call something a "monitor system." It's a "monitoring system."

    On the other hand, it is a "control system" not a "controlling system."

    So, put the two together and you have a "monitoring and control system."

  3. #3
    azcl is offline Member
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    Default Re: Monitor vs. monitoring: which is correct?

    I also think you are correct.

    In the IT world, objects are generally classified by the either service they provide or what they actually are. An example of the latter would be 'A RedHat satellite server'

    In your case, however, you are classifying according to the service that is provided.

    A patching server provides a patching service
    An installation server provides an installation service
    My heating system provides a heating service to my house
    and so on

    So in your example, your system is providing two services. Firstly monitoring and secondly control. I would not say it is providing a monitor service or a controller service or a controlling service, but it is providing monitoring and control as services.

    So I agree that you are right 'Global Monitoring and Control System' is the way to go - unless you want to invent a couple of new words and make it a 'Global Monitoration and Controllation System'.

    Ade

  4. #4
    johnvt is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Monitor vs. monitoring: which is correct?

    Thanks for your help Dave and Ade. It seems both intuitive and logical to me to go with "monitoring and control." I guess I'm just very surprised at (and confused by) the prevalent usage of "monitor and control" online. One example I saw online was a "temperature monitor and control system;" another was a "pressure monitor and control system." There were 17+ million hits for "monitor and control system" versus 5+ million for "monitoring and control." It makes me think that either there is a lot of bad grammar out there or I'm missing something. I do like Ade's suggestion of 'Global Monitoration and Controllation System,' however.

  5. #5
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Monitor vs. monitoring: which is correct?

    Well, a "temperature monitor" is one thing. In that case "monitor" is a noun. It's not an adjective describing the control system.

    Used alone "temperature monitor" or "vibration monitor" are perfectly valid. They just would not be "monitor systems."

    In your use, you say "global monitoring." But you are not monitoring the globe in the way a "temperature monitor" monitors the temperature. So it can't be called a "global monitor."

    You have a monitoring and control system. What type? A global monitoring and control system.

    In the other example, you have a temperature monitor AND a control system.

  6. #6
    johnvt is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Monitor vs. monitoring: which is correct?

    Thanks Dave for the further insight. I do believe, however, that you might be excusing improper grammar by saying that the "temperature monitor and control system" is actually two separate items--a temperature monitor and a control system. I believe it is actually a single system that does both.

    There are many similar usages on the Internet, including the AD7294 "12-bit monitor and control system." That is a 12-bit system that both monitors and controls. Another is the "Telemetry Monitor and Control System." Many such examples exist. These examples are just like my case, where I want a compound adjective to describe the system. Even in my case, we could drop the word global to avoid confusion and the debate would be simpler... "monitoring and control system" versus "monitor and control system."

    While I agree the former is the proper usage, I'm confused as to what would lead so many others to chose the latter. I always believe I must be missing something rather than to believe that that many people have it wrong. I'm sure it's like many sloppy ways of expressing things that become accepted.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Monitor vs. monitoring: which is correct?

    How about reversing it:
    Global control and monitoring service.

  8. #8
    johnvt is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Monitor vs. monitoring: which is correct?

    Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, we're stuck with that word order because of trademark issues. Since the product really doesn't do much control, mostly monitoring, it really should have been named something else...but that's another story.

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