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Units of Measurement

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I agree with all the points of view stated :!:

My first job after leaving the British education system was in the Actuarial Valuation section of a Group Pensions department within an Insurance company. All my work on monetary units was carried out in decimals. That was long before that fateful decimal-day in Feb '71 (I think that was the year) when the UK offically started to count money in units of ten instead of 1/240 of a pound. So, I was happy in the knowledge that, for example, in the "old money", 4 pounds 16 shillings and 10 pence was simply £4.84 or £4.84166 (recurring) for greater accuracy.

But a measure such as 2 1/8 inches, expressed as a metric equivalent, was meaningless to me - becuase, as others have said, my visualisation of distance (and volume) was based on the UK imperial units.

I think it would have been better to have started to count distance and volume in units of ten at the same time as the change for monetary units. At least, most folk would only have needed to be confused once.

Anyway, for more practical purposes relevant to this discussion, I believe that metric measures should be a standard for all eBay (and other online) sales of Paperweights. In may not be so important for general glassware, but the size of a paperweight is crucial to many collectors and even a small difference of just 1/8 of an inch (0.28 cm) in the diameter is very noticeable. When seeing only an image and having a brief general description including "diameter approx 2 1/2 inch", it is easy to imagine a size that is greater than the actual. This was true for one weight that I bought off eBay. It was the "approx 2 1/2 inch" size that I neglected to have confirmed. When I received it, it looked smaller than I expected. The actual diameter is a shade under 2 3/8 inch and it is not surprising that the seller rounded up to the nearest 1/4 inch. Had the diameter been stated as 6.0 cm (or perhaps 60 mm), I could have easily checked that against actual weights for a proper size appreciation.

So, if only for the paperweight problem, I would prefer that all imperial measures have the metric equivalent included, at least as an extra, but preferably as the main measure - and this must be a taken measure, not a derived one!

I agree with Glen that the audience is always a major consideration, regardless of convention. I may be giving a talk on paperweights in the future to a group of (older) ladies - and size may be important to them. If they are only "metric ladies", I will use metric, otherwise I will use (or include) imperial.

However, in my web pages, I have used both metric and imperial and I have not always included both. :!: I think I need to make some updates, but whether that wil be to metric only or a mix of both, is somethig I have not decided.

David E:
On a slight diversion from the topic of glass, the Imperial system is still being used in two areas.

In printing the term 'dpi' (dots per inch) is still prevelant – whether for the rest of the world, I have no idea.

Television and monitor screens (back to glass!) around the world can still be found using the old imperial 'inch' as a term of reference. Admittedly, centimetres are becoming more widely used nowadays. I seem toermember the Germans were using 'ca' as the unit: a 17-inch monitor was referred to as 17-ca, I believe. Perhaps Pamela or Ivo can enlighten me?


--- Quote from: "DenCill" --- I seem to remember the Germans were using 'ca' as the unit: a 17-inch monitor was referred to as 17-ca, I believe. Perhaps Pamela or Ivo can enlighten me?
--- End quote ---

Strictly centimeters here. Some uninformed monitor makers seem to think that "37""or "17"" convey a meaning to us. It does not. Nobody here (or in Germany or anywhere else in Europe) has a clue about inches - so TV shops are full of confusion.  Obviously most people know they should multiply by 2.5 to get real figures, but few will have a double concept or take the trouble to convert the figure. Same thing goes for Fahrenheit or a double complex one like MPG. It means precisely nothing to us. Nothing@all.


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