Re: Handwritten EURO sign (off topic?)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sun Aug 17 2003 - 00:51:41 EDT

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    From: "Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2003 10:22 PM
    Subject: Re: Handwritten EURO sign (off topic?)

    > On 2003.08.14, 05:24, John Cowan <> wrote:
    > > Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin scripsit:
    > >
    > >> Some habits are indeed language dependant, but some others are just
    > >> tradition (some of it imposed as logic and correct decades ago,
    > >> compulsive caseless singular for SI units in speech), and should
    > >> necessarily apply.
    > >
    > > "Compulsive caseless singular"? That *is* language dependent.
    > It is -- but I twisted my words less than my reasoning: I meant that
    > *even things clearly language dependent*, like case and number, were
    > (still are) legislated as part of the SI (in terms that SI units
    > be always nominative singular), and yet widely ignored.
    > > You just can't say "four meter" in English; it has to be "four
    > > meters".
    > Yet, according to the SI, you should. Actually, we joked about a 10th
    > grade Physics teacher who would say (in Portuguese) «fifty kilogram»
    > class and «fifty kilos» in the corridor.

    SI units already have several names, which are language dependant.
    the English "meter" is a French "mètre" (which also has the plural form
    "mètres" according to the French grammar and all dictionnaries,
    including the official terminology based on the historic Dictionnary
    of the French Academy.) I bet that Japanese also writes "meter"
    phonetically with a square Katakana symbol (ME-TE-RU?), and that
    many languages include their translation of this basic unit.

    The SI system is fully described and maintained by the French
    "Bureau International des Poids et Mesures" (
    under the International Organization of the Convention of the Meter
    signed in Paris in 1875, modified in 1921, last amended in 1998 and

    In 1997, 48 countries had adhered to this convention:

    - In Americas & the Caribbeans:
    Argentina, Brasil, Canada, Chile, Dominican Rep., Mexico, Uruguay,
    Venezuela, USA,

    - In Western Europe:
    Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy,
    Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom,

    - In Central & Eastern Europe:
    Bulgaria, Czech Rep., Hungria, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation,

    - In Africa:
    South Africa, Cameroun, Egypt

    - In West-Central Asia:
    India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Turkey,

    - In East Asia:
    China, Korean Rep., Korean Dem. Rep., Japan, Singapore,

    - In the Pacific:
    Australia, New Zealand.

    All "big" countries (notably the G8) are members, and most
    others have already accepted to apply it for international
    interchange (notably all the other WTO members, and the
    missing Luxembourg in the E.U.).

    Note that USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand are members,
    even if they often can use legally or most usually the British
    system (miles, weight pounds, gallons, degrees Fahrenheit...)

    The basic French names, their symbols, are listed here on the
    previous web site:
    The English names are listed here too.

    And the official 1998 text is here, with its 2000 supplement: (French, official) (English) (French & English)

    It describes the convention, the unit system, its names, symbols,
    Prefixes are defined between 10^24 and 10^-24 (extended in 1958)
    There are some references to undimensional units defined in ISO 31,
    which will be integrated later in SI.

    It is translated officially in English since 1985.
    This brochure is also translated into: german, english, bulgarish,
    chinese, korean, spanish, japanese, portuguese, romanian, and

    For the English version, visit:
    notably its brochure:

    Note however that currency units are *not* SI units as they
    have no stable definition and they are not universally
    convertible (each currency defines its own measure system)

    One note finally: the term "degree kelvin" and the symbol "°K"
    was used in the SI before 1968...

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