Please have a look at this: The part-time clerk in the copy center didn’t know how to add paper to the copying machine.
Which is wrong and why? I personally find the phrase “the copy center” fishy and think it should be “the copy/copying department”. Am I correct?
Besides, which is more natural: “copy machine” or “copying machine”? “copy department” or “copying department”? I"m rather confused because I found 5 results for “copying machine”, 3 results for “copy machine” but 3 results for “copy department” and only 1 for “copying department” :shock: :shock: :shock:
My head wasn’t on straight yesterday, and i completely forgot “copy center” – this is another good way to refer to the place in an office in which copies are made. (or simply a room with [a] copier[s], with or without the office).
I’m thinking that a copy room might be (generally) somewhat smaller than a copy center – I picture one or two copiers working in a copy room, while the standard copy center may have more than five.
…but this is an exercise in splitting hairs and depends on the eye of the beholder, at that – I didn’t state a rule, but an opinion/preference, regarding the difference between “center” and “room”.
The part-time clerk in the copy center didn’t know how to add paper to the copying machine.
This sentence is fine as it stands. But if a problem has to be discovered, I would first exclude “part-time clerk” and “paper”, as we can’t put other words in their place without changing the meaning.
“Part-time clerk” seems to imply a stranger, and thus a print shop in the high street, as opposed to e.g. the photocopying room in an office; “copy center” is fine, in that context.
So that leaves “copying machine” as the possible problem. Perhaps the question-setter preferred the everyday word “photocopier”. (If someone referred to a “copying machine” in an everyday context such as this, I would assume that they’d forgotten the right word.)
For the other choices:
a) the copy department / the copying department ] These suggest a department devoted to printing services within an organisation. I would expect the first to be more popular; the second sounds more like a loose description than an official name for a department.
b) copy machine / copying machine ] Might be used for photocopiers; but also for other kinds of machine that copy things. I would expect the second to be more usual!