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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Use of 'off' to indicate quantity. Acceptable usage or not?

    Hi.

    I frequently encounter the use of 'off' to indicate quantity in lists of parts in an engineering/technical context (see example below). Please would you confirm whether this is considered to be grammatically acceptable. I can't find any reference to this usage by searching online dictionaries and am convinced it is incorrect and is being confused with 'of'. However, the usage is so common, an authoritative opinion is required.

    Example:

    415V AC induction motor (3 off)
    Centrifugal pump (5 off)
    1 metre section of pipe (2 off)

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Use of 'off' to indicate quantity. Acceptable usage or not?

    In a list of parts, such as you cite, this usage is traditional - at least in Br Eng. I've never seen it in any other context.

    There's a related noun, back-formed from this: when something is unique, it's a "one off".


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    #3

    Re: Use of 'off' to indicate quantity. Acceptable usage or not?

    [Edited because someone else knows much better than I do. I was screaming "wrong"! I live and learn.]

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    #4

    Re: Use of 'off' to indicate quantity. Acceptable usage or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Hi.

    I frequently encounter the use of 'off' to indicate quantity in lists of parts in an engineering/technical context (see example below). Please would you confirm whether this is considered to be grammatically acceptable. I can't find any reference to this usage by searching online dictionaries and am convinced it is incorrect and is being confused with 'of'. However, the usage is so common, an authoritative opinion is required.

    Example:

    415V AC induction motor (3 off)
    Centrifugal pump (5 off)
    1 metre section of pipe (2 off)
    While preparing engineering specifications, the term MTO is quite commonly used where quantities of items are listed. The acronym MTO stands for Material Take Off.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Use of 'off' to indicate quantity. Acceptable usage or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sus View Post
    [Edited because someone else knows much better than I do. I was screaming "wrong"! I live and learn.]
    Not to worry, Sus. It's an odd usage - the sort of thing that you've probably met before in learning English!

    b

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