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Does "the 900-strong collaboration" mean "the collaboration of more than 900 scientists/people"?

 
 
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2016 06:07 am

Context:

What are physicists involved in the LIGO experiment saying?
They're giving nothing away. “We are still taking data, and we’re not done reviewing even the analysis of early-run data,” says Gabriela González, a physicist at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and the spokesperson for the 900-strong collaboration.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gravitational-wave-rumors-in-overdrive/
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 722 • Replies: 16
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View best answer, chosen by oristarA
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 07:23 am
@oristarA,
It looks like that nobody likes to answer this question.
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 07:27 am
@oristarA,

i'll take a crack at it...

"900-strong" probably means that it's a large group, and a powerful one at that...
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 08:12 am
@Region Philbis,
Region Philbis wrote:


i'll take a crack at it...

"900-strong" probably means that it's a large group, and a powerful one at that...


Thanks.
Exactly how many are "a large group"?
700-strong would imply a large group too. Are they the same?
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 08:49 am
@oristarA,
No, because a "700 strong" group would mean that approximately 700 people are carefully examining the data. Instead, there are approximately 900 people carefully examining the data, so it is a "900 strong" group. If they had 50 people carefully examining the data, the group would be "50 strong". If they had approximately 20,000 people carefully examining the data, they would be "20,000 strong".

And so on.
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 09:56 am
@Blickers,
Thanks.
I just failed to get the meaning of "-strong." What does it mean?
parados
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 10:12 am
@oristarA,
900 strong would mean that there are at least 900 in the group.
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 10:22 am
@oristarA,
Think of an army or fighting force back in the Middle Ages. Everybody with swords and shields going into the middle of a field and trying to hack the other side up. The side with the larger number most likely will have the most men standing when the whole thing is over. Hence, using the number of people in the group as "strong".
parados
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 10:23 am
@Blickers,
900 strong means the strength of 900 men.
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 11:02 am
@parados,
Yes, that's a very good way to put it.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 01:15 pm
@parados,

sexist.
0 Replies
 
Tes yeux noirs
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 01:40 pm
@Region Philbis,
Quote:
"900-strong" probably means that it's a large group, and a powerful one at that...

The word 'strong' used as suffix to a number in this way has nothing to do with strength or power. It just means 'in number'. A 900-strong collaboration simply means a collaboration of 900 people.

Older people may remember the "Woodstock" song by Joni Mitchell? "By the time we got to Woodstock we were half a million strong"...
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 04:24 pm
@Tes yeux noirs,
But the reason that word got to be used for numbers is because numbers=strength in warfare, if both sides are similarly equipped. Once the word became used that way for warfare, it then got used for non-war phrases.
Tes yeux noirs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 05:51 pm
@Blickers,
Quote:
Once the word became used that way for warfare, it then got used for non-war phrases.

Yes, my very point. Originally the -strong form was used to express strength, but not any more. The present usage carries no default implication of power or coercive capability. A fifty-strong flower arranging club is no threat to anyone.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 06:43 pm
@Tes yeux noirs,
The daffodils might disagree.
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 08:32 pm
@Tes yeux noirs,
Maybe to a thirty strong flower arranging club who had hopes of expanding.
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2016 08:57 pm
@Tes yeux noirs,
PS: In an earlier post, oristar wanted to know how the word originally came about.
0 Replies
 
 

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