# Talk:Measurement

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## The definition is not accurate

I think the definition is not accurate. The essence of measurement is not assigning numbers. Say, let x=2. It's not a measurement. Or, you ask "how many", I say "2". It's not a measurement either. Measurement should be directly connected to the objects/phenomenons. --Jflycn (talk) 00:04, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Is the current definition

"measurement is the process of estimating or determining the magnitude of a quantity"

any better? It's easy to fall into philosophical holes but isn't "estimation" a statistical procedure? Measurement is the acquisition of data according to a specified procedure. Wjastle (talk) 15:00, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Estimation can be statistical processes, but that is not the only sense of the word. Measurements are estimated in plain, everyday language terms. You don't exactly determine the magnitude relative to a unit with total certainty. However, as I said below, I don't think it really matters all that much because, on the other hand, most people are pretty unaware that even good (indeed the best) instruments can only "determine" magnitudes with a certain level of precision. Holon (talk) 04:32, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
The definition given in 'International vocabulary of metrology — Basic and general concepts and associated terms (VIM)' (http://www.bipm.org/utils/common/documents/jcgm/JCGM_200_2008.pdf) is: "Measurement is a process of experimentally obtaining one or more quantity values that can reasonably be attributed to a quantity." It is a bit convoluted, but very precise. It emphasizes the experimental nature of measurement, and the attribution of predetermined units of measurement to a physical quantity. Any reason why that definition shouldn't be used? Tupars (talk) 20:48, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Not sure if this discussion is still active but, if it is, what do people think about the following proposal? I would like to add a sentence in the introduction that states that all measurements inherently have three parts; magnitude (i.e. a value or number), dimensions (units), and uncertainty. I might have to put in a second sentence that explains how most people tend to ignore the uncertainty part, despite the fact that it is always there. Any comments/suggestions? Sirsparksalot (talk) 16:43, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
I like the definition found by Tupars - Given its source, it is the one that would most probably be accepted in a court of law. I also agree with Sirsparksalot and suggest that his idea of introducing magnitude, dimensions and uncertainty shodul form the second sentence of the article. Maybe wording such as "Such quantities should always have a magnitude, dimension (unit of measurement) and an uncertainty". Martinvl (talk) 17:31, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't mind Sirsparksalot's suggestion that we add another sentence describing all three parts (magnitude, dimensions, and uncertainty). The VIM definition does not contradict the present definition and is much better than the previous definition. In terms of style and readability, I find it to be unnecessarily convoluted and not an improvement. danielkueh (talk) 18:42, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
On the other hand the current definition dates back to 1991. The group who set up the organisation behind the VIM definition was only set up in 1997, so their definition is a much newer one. In addition, the group concerned includes International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Organization of Legal Metrology OIML) - all heavyweights in the field. Furthermore tbhe BIPM and OILM are inte-governmental organisations. Martinvl (talk) 19:01, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
The current definition dates back even further than that. It is accurate enough to suite all purposes, whether it is measurements that are being done by a layman or by a scientist. The question is readability. The VIM definition as proposed by Tupars a little more than year ago is simply not reader-friendly. Quite frankly, it is overkill for a general encyclopedic article on measurements. danielkueh (talk) 19:21, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
In that case is it not better to paraphrase the definition in the lede and to quote the full definition in context in the body of the article? After all, the VIM definition carries a lot more weight than does the one currently in use. Martinvl (talk) 16:05, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I think it appropriate that somewhere in the text we quote (and attribute) the formal VIM definition of "measurement". Moreover I think it appropriate that we should ensure that all terminology used is consistent with the terminology used by VIM. I believe that this is consistent with the WP:Free use WP:Fair use rationale - after all the whole reason of the publication is to ensure consistent use of language. Martinvl (talk) 19:48, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Two things. 1) I don't understand the need to quote anything if we have already defined it, albeit in paraphrased form. If we can just elaborate on a few words here and there, then that would be easier. Unless of course, you are thinking of adding another sentence (right after the first lead sentence) that defines measurement in exactly the same way as the VIM definition. That would be a different discussion. 2) There is no WP:Free use page. Regardless, it really doesn't matter. We still have to paraphrase and cite. danielkueh (talk) 21:09, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I meant WP:Fair use.

I don't see the relevance of this but if you are talking about consistency with respect to using specific terms such as "quantitative values," then that should not be a problem. danielkueh (talk) 23:44, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

I am actually looking at a total overhaul of the article, but I have a few other things to do first. Also I haven't given it much thought yet so I do not have any real ideas. Martinvl (talk) 21:30, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Ok. Should you come back to revisit this, I recommend starting a completely new thread. danielkueh (talk) 23:44, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

## Josiah Ingalls

Who is Josiah Ingalls? What is Unified Measurement Theory. I Googled "Ingalls Measurement Theory. " and all I could find was a half-finished Master Thesis. I beleive the additional notes about Ingless in this artcile to be non-notable and unless a proper citation is added, I will removbe it. Martinvl (talk) 06:26, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

## Bust, waist, hips

I have re-instated the dab note. It is probably true that there are many types of measurement, but if this is the case, then we should be using a disambiguation page. Maybe we should also be looking at a rewrite of this page and splitting it into three:

• Measurement (concepts)
• Measurement (physical)
• Measurement (economic)

Martinvl (talk) 07:19, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

## Old French derivation

The full version of the OED has following: Old French mesurement (late 13th cent.) is attested only in the sense ‘moderation, just measure’. (NB - this URL is behind a paywall). Perhaps this could be part of the etymology of the word (assuming that "just measure" is synonymous with "honest measure" rather than "judicial measure"). Martinvl (talk) 13:25, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

You're making a peculiar type of etymological fallacy. It really doesn't matter what the term (mesurement) use to mean (just measure vs judicial measure). What matters is where the term, "measurement" originated from. That is the whole point of inserting that little etymology line (in parenthesis), which is standard practice in many WP articles. danielkueh (talk) 15:18, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Please provide an evidence that English word was derived from French directly, rather than via standard word-formation from 'measure' (which is from French indeed, but this is a different story). Staszek Lem (talk) 04:04, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Did you not check the Oxford English Dictionary source that Martinv provided above? It is quite explicit. danielkueh (talk) 09:27, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Apparently Martinvl does not think so. Staszek Lem (talk) 16:45, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
When I wrote the above posting, I had not fully read the OED entry on "measure" (which I have now done). After reading both entries, it appears to me that the word "measure" comes from the Norman-French "mesure" and that the conversion of the verb "measure" to the noun "measurement" (within the meaning of this article) occurred during Tudor times in England. I suggest therefore that the Old French definition be removed and that a section "Etymology" be created which describes the origin or the word "measurement" from the word "measure", citing the Norman-French origins of "measure" and the Latin form "mensura" (I think that is the spelling). Martinvl (talk) 17:09, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I really don't know what on earth you are going on about. If you search the word "measurement" in OED, it gives you the definition and the etymology of the term as follows:
Old French mesurement (late 13th cent.) is attested only in the sense ‘moderation, just measure’.
So unless you have another secondary source that states that measurement is not derived from mesurement, there is really nothing more to discuss. Here in wikipedia, we go with what the sources say and not with what we think the sources should say. See WP:V. danielkueh (talk) 18:09, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Colleague, from your explanation it does not at all follow that 'measurement' is derived from 'mesurement', but exactly the opposite: the old word 'mesurement' had totally diffenet meaning. Ther are such things as false friends, homonyms, homographs and whats not. So again, unless you give the direct quote that "Meas't" is derived from "Mes't", I would second Martinvl. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:47, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Like Martinvil, you are committing an etymological fallacy. Meanings of words evolve. That is not in dispute here. In fact, it is completely irrelevant. The whole point is where did the term come from? I have already given a source , it states it clearly and explicitly. You're just choosing to ignore it. And in case you don't have access to OED, here's a PDF printout of the page [1] Again, where's your source? The burden of proof is not on me. It is on you. danielkueh (talk) 01:10, 1 February 2013 (UTC)