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The sentence is: The device will transmit a message at a rate nominally set at 1hz.

According to google the definition of nominally is: "in name only; officially though perhaps not in reality." So, would the sentence given in my example be saying that the message rate might be "1hz". Therefore, "1hz" is just being used as a placeholder "value/name"?

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“Nominal” here means the actual value is not expected to be exactly correct (or within specified tolerances) but rather close enough for most practical purposes.

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  • Your supposition may be correct. If, however, the writer actually tested the device, it would have been much clearer to write "closely approximates the nominal frequency" or "roughly approximates the nominal frequency." – Jeff Morrow Oct 1 '20 at 23:10
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"Nominally" probably means here that the manufacturer of the device claims that the device has a frequency of transmission of one cycle per second (one hertz, abbreviated hz), but that the person writing the sentence has not confirmed that assertion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hertz

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