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Thread: have a measure

  1. #1
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    Default have a measure

    I'm not sure of "have a measure" in the following.

    We have a measure for the amount of plant mass-produced each year: it's called primary productivity. As every animal on Earth eats plants or animals that eat plants, this number is a good metric for examining the impact that human food consumption is having on the planet.

    Does this mean "we have a way to measure the amount of plant..."?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: have a measure

    Quote Originally Posted by unpakwon View Post
    I'm not sure of "have a measure" in the following.

    We have a measure for the amount of plant mass-produced each year: it's called primary productivity. As every animal on Earth eats plants or animals that eat plants, this number is a good metric for examining the impact that human food consumption is having on the planet.

    Does this mean "we have a way to measure the amount of plant..."?

    Thank you.
    Where does this text come from? It's not very clearly written.

  3. #3
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: have a measure

    Does this mean "we have a way to measure the amount of plant..."?
    Yes. In this context clearly so, because the measure we have is called "primary productivity".

    But be careful. The phrase "have a measure of X" can also mean "we have some X, a certain not very large amount of X", as in "We begin with loving ourselves, for unless we have a measure of this unconditional love and acceptance for ourselves, it is difficult to extend it to others."

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: have a measure

    "We have a measure for the amount of plant mass-produced each year:"

    What, in your opinion, is the meaning of the part in red?

  5. #5
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: have a measure

    My opinion is that the hyphen is mis-located. It's the amount of plant-mass produced each year.

  6. #6
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: have a measure

    It seems clear there's a misplaced hyphen: "the amount of plant-mass produced each year".

    PS, Oops, SoothingDave beat me to it.
    Last edited by abaka; 24-Aug-2012 at 18:31. Reason: added PS

  7. #7
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: have a measure

    I had rather hoped that unpakwon would answer.

  8. #8
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: have a measure

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Where does this text come from? It's not very clearly written.
    It's from the book <Abundance>>.

  9. #9
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: have a measure

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "We have a measure for the amount of plant mass-produced each year:"

    What, in your opinion, is the meaning of the part in red?
    I thought I understood it because it was easily translated at least literally, "the amount of plant that is produced on a large scale each year."
    But was it actually plant-mass? What does this mean? "A very large amount of plant" or "the whole amount of plant"?

  10. #10
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: have a measure

    I think you should focus your attention on the re-punctuated sentence

    We have a measure for the amount of plant-mass produced each year: it's called primary productivity.

    (There's a consensus the original sentence had a misprint. No big deal, such things happen.)

    1. What are we trying to measure? What is the period of time we are measuring it in?

    2. What is primary productivity?

    3. How does primary productivity relate to what we are trying to measure?

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