Looking for a succinct word that describes something that has been measured simply because "that is the way things have been done". Something exists more for historical reasons than for practical ones.
Criteria for best word:
- noun is preferred, ideally a noun that can act like an adjective (e.g. priority, necessity)
- should have a neutral connotation (or at the very least, not too negative)
- compound phrases considered but single words are preferred
- formal or informal
some words that almost fit:
- residual (best of the bunch)
Example sentence: We have many measurements of elbow diameter not because it is particularly useful, but because the measurement is a "word"; all British ship logs from 1750 to 1899 were required to take such measurements.