The meaning of the word "supervise" with a PLC Is it possible to say that a PLC supervises a process without adding the words "controls and monitors the process"? In the Oxford Dictionary ( it's said: "supervise: Observe and direct the execution of (a task or activity)" To me it means that the word "supervise" can replace the words "controls and monitors" if I talk about the programmable logic controller (PLC). Am I correct?
Nov 6, 2018 4:06 PM
Answers · 4
The dictionary is telling you that in theory the answer is yes: observe=monitor and direct=control. In practice, these terms may be used very specifically in documents from relevant domains, e.g. company law, branches of management theory, economics, regulatory/standards documentation etc. If the terms are known to be synonyms in your chosen domain then yes, you can substitute them. If they are not, this is more risky, and possibly downright wrong. Why do you want to do it? My personal view in everyday language is that at a corporate level, monitoring and controlling are what management do. Supervision is more hands-off, and would be carried out by an independent supervisory body with powers to observe; they would only act exceptionally, e.g. if there were some breach - regulatory, financial, legal etc. - within their remit.
November 6, 2018
Thanks for your answers! But I'm not talking about a person here but a programmable logic controller (PLC).
November 7, 2018
The meaning of supervises is essentially to monitor and control. If you're referring to someone in power or in a position of authority who controls and monitors something else or someone else you could always replace those two words with supervise since it has the same meaning. You can use monitor, controls and observe if you want to be more specific but if you'd like to express all three together at once then you can just use the word supervise.
November 6, 2018
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