From: John Cowan (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Aug 19 2003 - 08:40:31 EDT
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.reutershealth.com www.ccil.org/~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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