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47
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is “pound” (of weight) abbreviated “lb”?

Answers to Correct usage of lbs. as in "pounds" of weight suggest that "lb" is for "libra" (Latin), but how has this apparent inconsistency between the specific unit of weight "pound" and ...
32
votes
9answers
4k views

“1 in 10 are” or “1 in 10 is”?

Take the examples: "One in ten children are dyslexic." "One in ten children is dyslexic." "One in ten children has dyslexia." "One in ten children have dyslexia." The "one" is singular so 2 and 3 ...
24
votes
3answers
5k views

Is two-thirds plural?

Is 2/3 always, sometimes or never plural? E.g. 1a) 2/3 of the pizza were eaten. 1b) 2/3 of the pizza was eaten. 2a) 2/3 of the visitors were men. 2b) 2/3 of the visitors was men. I ...
21
votes
3answers
22k views

Should there be a space before a percent sign?

Should there be a space before a percent sign or not? Should you write 20% or 20 %? I'm not sure if there is any consensus about this or not. Is one way more common than the other?
20
votes
7answers
9k views

Should we use plural or singular for a fraction of a mile?

I have seen people say both 0.25 mile and 0.25 miles. Should we use plural or singular for a fraction of a mile?
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run”

Why are year, pound and mile in the singular form in the phrases below? five-year-old children 20 pound note 10 mile run Is that because they're acting as adjectives, which are always invariable ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

American 'cup' measurement — for cheese

One recipe states "one cup of cheese, shredded". Now, does this mean you need a "cup" of cheese (i.e. 8oz.) and then grate it (I am English), or do you grate it first and then measure your "cup" of ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is the unit of measure placed before the value for currencies? Are there other measures where the unit precedes value?

$1,000 is pronounced as "one thousand dollars". Reading from left to right, it seems like it would make more sense to write the value as: 1,000$. This way the pronunciation of the value follows the ...
15
votes
20answers
7k views

Are there other idioms like “a stone's throw away” that both describe an activity and act as a measurement?

If something is quite close by, it could be described as being a stone's throw away; even closer might be a hop, skip and a jump. I'm interested in these "units" of measurement based on human action. ...
14
votes
5answers
787 views

What Is the Real Name of the #?

I used to say "sharp sign" to refer to the # sign. Today a friend told me that the correct term is number sign or hash sign or even just hash. What is the difference between these options and ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How to write units?

In a scientific article, should I write "3m", "3 m", "3 meters", or "3 [meters]"?
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Punctuation with units

I remember reading somewhere that if a unit is abbreviated as one character, there must not be a space between the number and the unit (e.g., 5m, 26K). If the unit is abbreviated as two or more ...
10
votes
2answers
492 views

How flexible is “a dozen”?

How flexible is the measurement "a dozen"? If there are nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand people at a rally it is acceptable to say one million people attended, but if eleven people are arrested ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

More than 1000 gallons of paint is/are sold each day [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Plural/singular verb agreement with units Does modifying a collective noun with a number make the subject plural? Can anyone help me determine the correct verb in this ...
9
votes
2answers
411 views

Are there any common phrases in the English language that use metric units of measurement?

We've got things like 'inch closer' or 'miss by miles' but nothing common that uses the metric system as far as I know.
7
votes
3answers
15k views

“A total of 10 babies is…” vs. “a total of 10 babies are…” vs. “Ten babies in total are…”

Which one is the correct one? A total of 10 babies is sleeping. (A) A total of 10 babies are sleeping. (B) Ten babies in total are sleeping. (C) For me, both (A) and (C) are correct. ...
6
votes
3answers
973 views

“How much is/are the two fares?”

Which is correct? How much is the two fares? How much are the two fares?
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Are units in English singular or plural?

I am a little bit confused about using units in English, sometimes I hear that people use singular units for plural things, sometimes they use plural ones. Which one is correct? 3 meter(s) long? ...
6
votes
2answers
255 views

A quantity followed by a measurement (eg: 200 35mm circles)

If you have a quantity of items, where the items themselves are described with a measurement, how should you format this so it is unambiguous? For example, This diagram contains... two hundred ...
6
votes
3answers
486 views

Why don't we pluralize “foot” in measurements?

For example, to answer the question, "How tall are you?" valid answers include: Five feet. Five foot three. Five feet, three inches. Why the discrepancy between feet and foot, seemingly only in ...
5
votes
2answers
123 views

Mileage as unit-agnostic term

Is it appropriate to use the term "mileage" to refer to distance that is not measured in the literal units of miles? For example, would you say that a car "has a lot of mileage on it" in a country ...
4
votes
3answers
665 views

Term for measuring in fractions of 1 [closed]

When you measure in fractions of 100, you call it a percentage. When you measure in fractions of 1000, you call it promille or per mil. There are even words for fractions of 10000 or 100000. But what ...
4
votes
2answers
253 views

Including units of a measure in a range

When specifying a range of values that have a unit of measure associated with them, what is the best practice for where to include the unit of measure? 1lb - 20lb Or 1 - 20lb And how ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Plural/singular verb agreement with units

When writing about specific quantities, should the verb reflect a singular or a plural value? Do abbreviations vs. spelled-out words make any difference? I took 2 ml of water, which was/were then ...
4
votes
5answers
98 views

What measures the Byte unit? [duplicate]

Well, meters measures distances or lengthes, volt measures tension or voltage, , kelvin measures temperature, second measures time, ampere measures electric current, kilogram measures mass, But ...
4
votes
1answer
196 views

Should thin spaces be used between numerals and units

After starting to use the siunitx package for typesetting units (and the numerals before the units) in LaTeX, I noticed that it typesets a single space between a numeral and a unit (a space that is ...
4
votes
1answer
952 views

“A total of 0.0606 moles of NaOH was” or “were”?

I've been trying to work out which of the following make best grammatical sense but have been looking at them for so long now that my mind has turned to mush and they both seem wrong. Which is ...
4
votes
2answers
161 views

Hyphenating complex physical units

I have been reading about writing conventions for scholarly articles recently - specifically, physics - and have learned that when writing units, write them out if they are not associated with a ...
3
votes
1answer
459 views

Is “They all had 15 minutes waits” grammatically correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run” I was reading an article that used the phrase "15 ...
3
votes
3answers
167 views

The single word for “Volume per second”

Will anybody be able to mention the English word for "Volume per second (or preferably Volume per Time unit) or "Amount of task per a second"? Thank you.
3
votes
1answer
592 views

What is the span between the thumb and the little finger called?

According to Wikipedia, "[i]n English usage the palm, or small palm, also called handbreadth or handsbreadth, was originally based on the breadth of a human hand without the thumb," as it is shown in ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

How do you refer to grouping numbers in lots of 60? [closed]

We have the term "metric" for things measured in decimal or powers of 1000: millimeter meter kilometer And the term "hexadecimal" for things measured in base 16. What term describes grouping ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a word that means “a span of six months”?

Is there a word that means "a span of six months"? That is, I want to connote a stretch of time that lasts half a year, not an event that happens every six months.
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Terms for “half a decade”

Is "lustrum" (pl. lustra) an understandable (say, at least in academic publications) or valid/common term for a five year span, e.g. to use in a table summarizing data where space can be very ...
2
votes
2answers
17k views

“Rounded”, “heaping” and other types of teaspoon(fuls)?

Can you please elaborate what's "rounded" teaspoon, what's "heaped" teaspoon and what other "types" of teaspoons exists as a measures of volume? And is there any difference between, rounded teaspoon ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Forty foot” or “forty feet”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run” Is it correct to say "This is a forty foot drop" ...
2
votes
2answers
197 views

What is the unit measure used to detect magnetic indentations in a hard drive?

As the title states, what is the unit measure used to detect magnetic indentations in a hard drive? To clarify, what I mean by indentation is, what is measured to determine if a byte is a 1 or 0?
2
votes
1answer
5k views

One and a half minute/minutes [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run” Should we use plural or singular for a fraction of a ...
2
votes
1answer
234 views

Hyphen in physical quantities before nouns?

In cases where a physical quantity (consisting of a number and a unit) is used like an adjective to describe a property of an object, should it be written with or without a hyphen between the number ...
2
votes
0answers
118 views

What's the unit for a blueberry? [closed]

What is the unit for a blueberry? how do you count each blueberries? ex) 3 pieces of cake 2 slices of pizza 5 ?? of blueberry Edit: Do the following sentences sound natural? ...
2
votes
0answers
192 views

Why do we use a leading dollar sign? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: What is the difference between 20$ and $20? Why is the unit of measure placed before the value for currencies? Are there other measures where the unit precedes value? ...
1
vote
3answers
194 views

What determines whether a numerical prefix is allowable for a unit? [closed]

The prefix centi- means 10-2. But while centimetre is common, I have never heard of a centiwatt or a centisecond. The prefix Mega- means 106. Hence Megabytes exist. So why do we not have Megametres? ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

How to correctly express volume units

I have to replace imperial units with metric units in a text, and since this is not technical writing , I have to maintain the prose style and clarity. This is a troubling phrase: "...the air in 1 ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

Is the percent symbol okay in this construction?

Direct quote, so I cannot alter. He said, "We've seen a 10–20 percent a year increase in revenue." Could the percent symbol work? He said, "We've seen a 10–20% a year increase in revenue." ...
1
vote
2answers
28 views

Multiple quantities of an object that has a descriptor and units of measure

My question is probably best illustrated with an example: Four 2.25 hp electric motors were used to propel the vehicle. Is that correct? I feel like it can't be, but my friend is saying ...
1
vote
3answers
144 views

Should Units of Measure be capitalized? [closed]

I just created an inch to mm conversion calculator and I am writing a blog post announcing its launch. When should I capitalize the terms inch and millimeter? Does it matter if I'm spelling it out? ...
1
vote
2answers
432 views

Usage of hyphens with numeric measurements

What is correct: two 1-Gb links; two 1 Gb links; or two 1Gb links? I suspect the first, however I do not know the name of this situation, which makes it difficult to for me to find via Google. I ...
0
votes
4answers
5k views

What do you call “one hundredth of a second”?

As in: He broke the world record of 14.05 I tried searching Wikipedia and ended up with centisecond. It sounds so scientific. What is it called in colloquial English?
0
votes
2answers
86 views

“Half a cup of milk” or “half cup of milk”? “½ cup of milk” or “½ a cup of milk”?

I have two questions related to this topic. Since they are very closely related, I decided to group them in one thread. If it is better to separate them, please let me know and I will fix it. Thank ...
0
votes
2answers
124 views

I can speak a little bit of German

I was asked to introduce myself and what languages I spoke. So I mentioned all the languages I know and in the end, I added "... and I can speak a little bit of German" After I said that, I was ...