We’ve established that space, time, and energy engage an aberrant behavioral repertoire.

I got the main idea, but I can't say for sure what the word "engage" exactly means in the aforementioned sentence. According to Longman, Oxford, and Webster dictionaries, these are accepted forms of using the verb "engage":

engage in/on/upon

engage in doing something

engage somebody's interest/attention

engage somebody in conversation

engage with somebody/something

engage somebody to do something

engage somebody as something

Plus one other form which is using "engage" without any prepositions, objects, etc. Just like the way "engage" is used in the first sentence of this question. The problem is that in this form, the description of the word is:

if you engage part of a machine, or if it engages, it moves so that it fits into another part of the machine Example: She engaged the clutch and the car moved.

It doesn't make any sense in my sentence.

  • You've asked a lot of questions in a short amount of time. For this one, I'm going to have to ask you to expound a little bit on what you already understand. Please tell us more about what you know and understand, and more about where you're still confused, and then maybe the community will be able to "enlighten" you. As the quesiton is phrased now, the first place we will scurry to is the dictionary, and you should be putting that information into your question, rather than sending us there.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 17:46
  • I'm sorry for having a lot of questions in a short amount of time.
    – user1555
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 19:03
  • No need to apologize for asking a burst of questions. However, if you ask many questions in a short amount of time, some in the community might (rightfully) look at the questions with a little extra scrutiny, wondering if perhaps you've rushed things a little bit. I'd rather have 8 very good questions spread out over a couple days than have 8 rather marginal questions posted in a single hour. I'm only concerned with quality, because too many mediocre questions diminishes the value of the site, as well as the experience of its users. Anyhow, nice improvement – I'm reopening this.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 19:20
  • 3
    It's an inquiry about the meaning intended by an eccentric use which appears to derive from a non-native speaker - see my CW Answer. Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 2:05
  • 1
    It's an interesting question, Nate, and a good "catch" of a Non-Standard usage; but I'm afraid it can't be answered! :) Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 2:07

2 Answers 2


This is a very odd sentence; in particular, it employs engage and repertoire in unconventional senses. I don't find the sentence itself on the internet, but I did find this, whose similarity can hardly be accidental:

Matter, space, time and energy engage a functional repertoire in this universe. The movement of celestial bodies, the influx of cosmic energies and the earth’s own geomagnetic force have a combined formidable effect on all creatures of the earth. The tilting of the earth by about 23½ degrees away from its axis and the north-eastward progression along its orbit around the sun provide us with the change in seasons, which can also create health issues. Harnessing the geo-cosmo-celestial beneficial effects to the advantage of mankind is what is endeavoured in Vastu Shastra.

The source is the website of an Australian "a focused integrative wellness solutions clinic specialising in Marma therapy". It grounds its practice in "Ayurvedic medicine", a therapeutic doctrine which appears to be of Hindu origin: the principal therapist, Manuel J Vivera, M.Sc.,M.App.Sc.(Toxicology).,A.Dip.Ayurveda "obtained his Masters in Science from India and [...] gained extensive clinical experience since his studies and internship in Ayurveda and Marma Therapy under a guru in Kerala, India."

Google finds a number of people with the surname Vivera in Cochin, Kerala, which was ruled for a century and a half by the Portuguese.

Although the copy on this website is well written, there are quirks here and there. I suspect that the sentence you are looking at represents the effort of an educated and fluent secondary speaker of Indian English to translate concepts from a radically different philosophical and linguistic tradition.

Consequently I don't think we can say exactly what the author means.


"Engage" just means to make some form of connection, typically one of interlocking or moving together. The sentence is referring to whatever connection was established. Presumably you know what the sentence is talking about because the sentence is referring to something you just read.

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