Re: [Way OT] Beer measurements (was: Re: Handwritten EURO sign)

From: John Cowan (
Date: Tue Aug 19 2003 - 08:40:31 EDT

  • Next message: John Cowan: "Re: [Way OT] Beer measurements (was: Re: Handwritten EURO sign)"

    Marco Cimarosti scripsit:

    > You could generalize it a bit: Alignment Of Metric And Imperial Units Whose
    > Difference Is So Small As To Be Pointless.
    > E.g., I never understood why on earth metres and yards should be kept
    > different. In a public park somewhere in UK or Ireland I have seen the
    > following sign:

    Because the yard isn't just an isolated unit, like the pound in various
    European countries. It's part of a coherent (if profoundly messy) system.
    If we reduce the yard by 9%, the inch has to shrink too, and the last
    thing we want is to try to fit a 1/4 inch bolt (6.35 mm) into a nut
    whose inside diameter is only 5.81 mm. It's bad enough to have to have
    two kinds of hardware already: having incompatible things both labeled
    "1/4 inch" would be the facilis descensus Averno indeed.

    John Cowan
    "The exception proves the rule."  Dimbulbs think: "Your counterexample proves
    my theory."  Latin students think "'Probat' means 'tests': the exception puts
    the rule to the proof."  But legal historians know it means "Evidence for an
    exception is evidence of the existence of a rule in cases not excepted from."

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