Would the same also apply to other abbreviations such as km (kay-em) instead of kilometer?

I can see an advantage to reading millimeter as mm (em-em) because it's quicker to say.

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    To pronounce kilogram as kay gee? Sure, why not? Soldiers in the US Army pronounce kilometer as klick. But don't write kilogram as k g; the standard calls for kg. – Dan Bron Aug 27 '15 at 11:14
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    Are you suggesting that one should pronounce them as "kug" and "kum"? Or not abbreviate them at all and always say the unit in full? "Is it proper...?" is always opinion-based and circumstance-dependent: could you make this question a bit more objective? – Andrew Leach Aug 27 '15 at 11:18
  • @AndrewLeach my objective is to reduce the amount of effort needed when saying them :) – user 147593 Aug 27 '15 at 11:23
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    @skillpatrol Native speakers (of any language) are very good at finding shortcuts to pronunciation. So you might want to look into what shortcuts other people have already developed: for example, saying kilos, kays, or keys for kilograms. In my industry we talk about microseconds a lot and call them mikes. But no one says kay gees or em esses. – Dan Bron Aug 27 '15 at 11:25
  • It's properly pronounced 'kigs', but whatever works for you is OK. I call pounds (lb) 'lubs". – Wayfaring Stranger Aug 27 '15 at 12:07

Kilograms can be referred to using the terms "kilos" or "kaygee". In Ireland we use kilos instead of kaygee.

Never heard of "kayem" before, but "kays" is used as slang for kilometres.

  • I think you will find many English-speaking countries use metric units; only the US routinely does not. – Andrew Leach Aug 27 '15 at 11:35
  • Not really. In Ireland the speed limits are in kms but stones and feet are still used otherwise. A person is six foot long and weighs 12 stone. In the UK, if I'm not mistaken, miles are still used, as are stones and feet. And we still drink pints! – Baz Aug 27 '15 at 11:42
  • In the UK, we haven't gone through the expense of changing road signs. Most consumer foods are sold in kilos, though -- which is what I was particularly taking issue with. While people may still use feet and stones, they are becoming less common as the population ages. – Andrew Leach Aug 27 '15 at 11:46
  • In the US I've never heard "kaygees" (plural) used. It's always "kaygee", as in "twentyseven kaygee". This is because the abbreviation is "kg", not "kgs", even for multiples. – Hot Licks Aug 27 '15 at 12:48
  • @ Hot Licks Updated by answer accordingly. – Baz Aug 27 '15 at 12:54

Aussies say k-g but it depends if it's ok to use slang in the situation.

  • I agree, it does seem like a slang. – user 147593 Aug 27 '15 at 12:32

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