Talk:Metric system

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Contents of the article lede[edit]

My changes to the lede were revoked by User:Chetvorno with the comment that they did not meet the WP:NOTE criteria. I disagree.

There is (or there should be) a considerable degree of overlap between the article SI and the article on the metric system. The article on the metric system should, in my view, be written so as to describe the features that are common to SI, to the CGS system and to all the other metric systems, to a lesser extent to show why the different systems evolved and how this is currently being handled. The use or otherwise of metric units on British roads signs possibly has a place in the article Metrication and certainly has a place in Metrication in the United Kingdom, but I do not think that is has a place in the article “metric systems”, and certainly not in the article lede.

The revocation that was done by User:Chetvorno was to reinstate such material into the lede. Martinvl (talk) 16:40, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree with the removal of the irrelevant material about whether metric units are used on road signs and soft drink bottles (which was left over from a previous edit war). But you've also removed (or downplayed) the reasons why the metric system is important in the modern world: that it is the official system of measurement of all but 3 nations, that it is universally used in scientific work and also dominates commercial and personal use. This is more important than details about the retirement of prototype standards. --ChetvornoTALK 18:10, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
I have reinstated the bit about the three countries. The paragraph that I moved from the lede into a section lower down was inadvertenly deleted by me in a later edit for which I apologise. I trust that I have the balance correct. I agree that the lede could do with a bit more work, but more imprtantly the entire article needs an overhaul, if only to allow it to pass the Class B test. One item that I will be looking at more closely is the section on the history of the metric system and seeing if I can write a serparate article and just summarise it in this article. (Half the material for such an article already exists in Wikipedia, just a matter of copying those sections and massaging them into a single article). Martinvl (talk) 21:18, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
The new article is under development here. Martinvl (talk) 09:37, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
What is "lede"? SpencerCollins (talk) 02:03, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
... an alternative spelling for "lead" - see WP:LEDE. Martinvl (talk) 06:52, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Removal of non-essential material[edit]

I intend deleting the subsection "practicality" as it is subjective and unsiourced. I also intend deleting the section "Coincidental similarities". This section is close to trivia. I am planning a total overhaul of the sections "Overview" and "history", so at this stage I do not plan to make any suggestions regardign these sections. Any comments? Martinvl (talk) 09:37, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Millimetre-newton-second systems[edit]

Is the mmNs "system" really a system, or is it just a computer interface? If it is really a system, what are the units of force, energy & power? If these do not exist, then it is really just a user interface with computations being done with whatever normalisation the programmer sees fit. Having been a computer programmer in real life in engineering applications, I suspect the latter. Unless anybody can offer explanation to the contrary, I plan to delete this sub-section (it is unreferenced).Martinvl (talk) 13:05, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Future shape of article[edit]

My view of the future is:

  • The section "Overview" will disappear - its contents being moved into other parts of the article.
  • The section "Features of the metric system" is moved to the top of the article.

Any comments? I don't think that this will affect its current class. Martinvl (talk) 14:46, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Is Overview Section redundant?[edit]

I woudl like to remove the section "Overview" as I believe that anything of consequence in that section is now redundant (either in the lede or in the rest of the article). I am currently working a new article User:Martinvl/History of the Metric System. It is still in draft form in my work space, but other editors can see what material I am covering. It is possible that certain snippets from the Oversiew section of this article which would otherwise be lost, will have found their way into my new article. Any comments? Martinvl (talk) 14:15, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

I have restructed things such that the Overview section is redundant. The overview itself is (or should be) in the lede. I have also answered the question of lack of references which prevented this article from becing classed as a "B-class" article. Other than tidying up, I plan to add another section which will catalogue the most important cgs and SI units. Martinvl (talk) 19:59, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Is this article too high-brow?[edit]

I have now more or less finished overhauling this article. I believe that I have met most, if not all of the criteria for this to be rated as a "B-class" article, but I still need to go through it with a fine-tooth comb - all help and second opinions appreciated. On reading it, I believe that although it is encyclopeadic, it may be too high-brow for a large class of readers. To this end, I propose writing a parallel article "Metric System overview" which will be targeted at the non-specialist reader. My target audience will be the non-technical reader who has had minimal exposure to the metric system but who is otherwise an average Wikipedia user. To this end, I will mention in passing that electrical units are also part of SI, but I will not labour the point. However, the treatment of prefixes will be given much more prominence than in this article.

Does anybody had a better suggestion for a name - I thought about "Metric System for the layman", but felt that it might be too patronisong. Any suggestions? It is still a few weeks before I start the article as I still need to finish off "History of the Metric System" (Draft in progress at User:Martinvl/History of the Metric System). Martinvl (talk) 17:45, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

I would like to suggest a different course of action: go through the wording of this article and see if it can be expressed in simpler English. I think another article on broadly the same topic would be redundant.Michael Glass (talk) 22:37, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
I recently assisted at a dayschool for would-be editors sponsored by the Institute of Physics. One of the topics that came up was the need for articles "Introduction to XXX", an example being the complementary pair Special Relativity and Introduction to special relativity. In light of this, I have written an article Introduction to the metric system. My target reader is a typical Wikipedia user who, for whatever reason, has studied very little science. Martinvl (talk) 19:47, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Base 10 or Base 100[edit]

By base 10 arithmetic (or decimal arithmetic), I mean arithmetic where there are 10 digits - 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. This contrasts with base 16 (hexadecimal) arithmetic which is often used in computing and which uses 16 digits - 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E and F or with binary (base 2) arithmetic which used 2 digits - 0 and 1 or actoal (base 8) arithmetic which uses 8 digits - 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Martinvl (talk) 12:53, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Non-English info do not belong in "English-speaking countries" section[edit]

In the Metric system#Usage in English-speaking countries section, in the "Variations in spelling" subsection, it lists the translation of kilometre in Italian, German, Malay, French, Greek, Portuguese, and Bulgarian. What do these have to do with "English-speaking countries"? -- (talk) 00:38, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

This was added to show that the word "kilometre" can be specific to the country concerned, but that "km" is international and is a "symbol", not an "abbreviation". Martinvl (talk) 06:48, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if it's a bug in Google Chrome or not, but the Russian word for kilometer (километр) is showing up as киломеmр. Screenshot here if you can't see a difference like me. mcklucker (talk) 11:36, 21 January 2014 (UTC)


This section of the article currently reads as follows (delinked & dereffed).

The metric system is a coherent system - the various derived units are directly related to the base units without the need of intermediate conversion factors. For example, the units of force, energy and power are chosen so that the equations

force = mass × acceleration
energy = force × distance
energy = power × time

hold without the introduction of constant factors. Many relationships in physics, including Einstein's mass-energy equation, E = mc2, do not require extraneous constants when expressed in coherent units.

In SI, which is a coherent system, the unit of power is the "watt" which is defined as "one joule per second". In the foot-pound-second system of measurement, which is non-coherent, the unit of power is the "horsepower" which is defined as "550 foot-pounds per second", the pound in this context being the pound-force.

Other defined units are derived in a similar way building up on the base units.

This is not correct.

  • Foot-pound-second systems are coherent.
    • Gravitational fps systems they are based on the foot, the pound-force and the second. They use the foot-pound force per second not the horsepower as the unit of power.
    • Other fps systems are based on the foot, the pound-mass and the second. The unit of power in these is the pound square foot per cubic second (lb·ft2·s−3).
  • The imperial and US systems are not coherent.
    • The BTU (1 BTU ≠ 1 lb·yd2·s−2), horsepower (1 hp ≠ 1 lb·yd2·s−3), the psi and the inHg (1 psi ≠ 1 lb·yd–1·s−1 ≠ 1 inHg), the gallons (1 imp gal ≠ 1 yd3 ≠ 1 US gal) don't match with the pound and yard.
  • Some versions of the metric system are also incoherent.
    • The calorie, the metric horsepower, the are (0.01 ha), the litre, the mmHg don't fit in (not into any system in use).

When talking coherence we must refer to specific versions of the metric system. Coherence is a property of the specific version related to the base units chosen. The SI and the cgs system, for example, use different base units. Each are coherent unto themselves. Talk of cohenence between the two is meaningless. JIMp talk·cont 10:18, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Revocation - 25 August 2011[edit]

I have undone the changes made by an annonymous editor who left the comment "Correction of a POV statement, as there is no consensus over the paternity of the metric system among the official international organisms(One source given is from the website of an Australian biologist and the other is a TV show from the BBC"

The paper written by the "Australian biologist" (the late Pat Naughton) is in fact a reproduction of a published work by one of the founder members of the Royal Society. Naughton's contributions were to publicise this paper. The BBC video was a report on Naughton's findings. If the annonymous editor can find a reputable source to sho that somebody else made contributions to the metric system before 1668, please amend this article. If you can't find any such references, don't go around accusing people of POV. Martinvl (talk) 19:32, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Should the 'bar' be in the last table?[edit]

Martinvl, by reinstating the bar, you've changed the intent of the table, and thus had to change the text. Sure the SI Brochure catalogs lots of non-SI units, but so what? The table (and text) was clearly based on Table 6 in the SI brochure, "Non-SI units accepted for use with the SI". I was just correcting it. Once you include the bar, where do you stop? There are dozens of other non-SI units. The whole point of the SI is to reduce the proliferation of units used in diferent industries, countries and disciplines. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:37, 30 August 2011 (UTC).

I wrote the part of the article concerned. My apologies if the intent was unclear. My intention was to catalogue those units of measure in Tables 6, 7, 8 and 9 that people see in daily life - for example, my car's handbook quotes tyre pressure in bars (I live in the UK), road signs show maximum allowable weights (masses) in tonnes.Martinvl (talk) 06:47, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Fair enough, since the article is about the metric system, not the SI. I'd personally profer to wean people off SI-deprecated metric units, by discontinuing references to them. Adamtester (talk) 05:27, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Text on first picture[edit]

The text strikes me as a bit pompous and lengthy. For a start, I don't think a 1 kg mass is a 'measuring device' - it's a reference artefact. The distinction between domestic and 'tradesman' use is unnecessary here. Can someone rustle up a new picture on their kitchen table, replacing the mass with analog or digital kitchen scales? Adamtester (talk) 07:40, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

...or maybe change the wording. The previous picture was a slightly blurred black-and-white shot of the US prototype kilogram with a rather messy backdrop. Thwe words "domestic" and "tradesmen" were chosen to emphasise that metric units were not soley the domain of sceintific laboratories. Martinvl (talk) 07:59, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Daily express stories[edit]

I removed the updates that reference the Daily Express.

Firstly, this article has been crafted so that everything in the lede is repeated in the article. If the articles from The Daily Express and the Manchester Evening News were of any consequence, they should have been in the body of the article, not the lede.

Secondly, the articles concerend were very vague about "EU rules". The newspapers were in fact reporting on posturing by politicians before the publication of consultation prior to the review of EU directive 80/181/EEC, but the reporting was wildly inaccurate. It should be noted that Wikipedia advises newspaper stories should be treated with caution when cited as sources.

Martinvl (talk) 06:26, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Unreliable sources (13 Sep 2011)[edit]

I removed material that was sourced from the British Weigths and Measures Association website.

The Wikipedia guidelines on reliable sources states:

Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for checking the facts, or which lack meaningful editorial oversight. Such sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely acknowledged as extremist, or promotional, or which rely heavily on rumor and personal opinion.

The BWMA has as one of its aims the retention of the imperial system of measure and this source must therefore be classed as being a "promotional" and hence, from the point of view of Wikipedia, unreliable. Martinvl (talk) 19:55, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Should we also remove content sourced from the website of The U.S. Metric Association (USMA), Inc, an organisation that apparently "advocates U.S. conversion to the International System of Units, known by the abbreviation SI (ess-eye) and also called the modern metric system."[1] on the same grounds? -- de Facto (talk). 20:22, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
They should be looked at with caution. You will notice that the reference to their website is backed up by another reference which states the same thing. Martinvl (talk) 07:24, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
Should they be used at all, and if so; why? -- de Facto (talk). 07:51, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
The comments by Which? were taken out of context. This section has been extended to put it into context and has been moved to a more appropriate article Metrication in the United Kingdom. Surveys are always dubious - in the case of this survey, the store onloy asked its customers for their view. The selection of respondents was biased towars the socio-economic group that patronise Asda and are therefore not representative of the UK as a whole. Moreover, the article did not state the exact question asked - at this stage I cannot discount the possibility that Asda were trying to justify a "downsizing" exercise by producing a third-rate survey, not can I discount the possibility that only a certain section of their customers were questioned (the surveys might have been taken when they knew that most of their shoppers where pensioners). In short, surveys of this nature are dubious. Martinvl (talk) 07:19, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
The context was correct - the UK may be officially metric for some measures, but the vast majority of the population still prefer, and use, imperial measures - even for measures which have been metricated. The section now gives an unbalanced view of the UK situation. -- de Facto (talk). 07:58, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
This article gives a world-wide view of the metric system - the English-speaker's view is merely a small section of the article as a whole and metrication in the United Kingdom is a small section of that. It has not gone into depth as there is an article entitled Metrication and a number of other articles that deal with metrication in specific countries. I must therefore ask you to justify why you claim it to be unbalanced. Martinvl (talk) 09:18, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
The section in question, on usage, omits the significant balancing fact that although the UK administration may have been officially partially metricated, that the vast majority of the population still use imperial measures in everyday life, and would prefer it if goods were all labelled and sold in imperial. -- de Facto (talk). 15:23, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
It is well established that reliable sources do not have to be unbiased, see WP:V#Neutrality. However, one must be careful when using biased sources. The things to consider are somewhere between WP:V and WP:NPOV.
Regarding the Which? source, that's actually pretty balanced. It seems to take the Asda survey with a grain of salt ("if Asda’s research is anything to go by") and stresses that there are also younger people who think in terms of kilogrammes. And it only talks about pounds. Also, the situation for miles (more support) and degrees Fahrenheit or many of the more obscure imperial units that have fallen out of use (less support) is clearly different. Therefore this summary, while accurate, was slightly misleading. Hans Adler 09:47, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

The crore and the lakh[edit]

The article says "India is mostly metric (though the use of the crore (100,000) and the lakh (10 million) is widespread)". Why are we talking about the crore and the lakh? These are just numbers, they're not non-metric, they're not units. Why are we even giving India special attention at all? JIMp talk·cont 02:17, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

I guess it's because most metric prefixes are for multiples of 1000, so the metric system is informally tied to thousand, million, billion etc., making it fit less well into Indian practices. This creates an unusual tension between ordinary language and the metric system, and perhaps that should be made clearer. (The article confused lakh and crore. I fixed this.) Hans Adler 06:57, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes ... but it is still a different thing. East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, ...) numbering systems are based on 10,000, if we're mentioning Indian numbers, we'd have to mention these also ... but these are numbers. JIMp talk·cont 05:18, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
I have classed India as an English-speaking country. I agree that only 0.25 million Indians who use English as their mother-tounge, but English is the ligua franca of the country - the country's largest newspaper being The Times of India which prints 8 million copies a day. All other languages such as Hindi, Punjabi etc are regional. The same argument can of course be adopted to most of Southern Africa, Nigeria and Ghana. Martinvl (talk) 06:04, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
English may be an official language of India but I would disagree with classing the country as English-speaking. However, my main point is that the use of the crore or lakh is in no way in conflict with the use of the metric system.
  • "The Sun is 15 lakh kilometres away." ... metric
  • "The Sun is 93 megamiles away." ... not metric
Whether you have six bottles of beer or you have half a dozen you're still counting your beer by the bottle. JIMp talk·cont 06:41, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Aren't we perhaps making a mountain out of a mole hill? The article had a single reference to India (and to the Commonwealth countries of Africa). All of these countries (apart from Mocambique) were British colonies, have English as an official language and used the imperial system of measure until some time after the second world war. Martinvl (talk) 07:08, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps we are but how should we bulldoze our mole hill?
  • The section is entitled "Usage in English-speaking countries".
    • If the government decides to declare English as an official language but the people don't decide to speak English, is the place an English speaking country? The US has no official language, is it not an English speaking country?
    • In the "Degree of usage" subsection we speak of "all nations in the world except for Myanmar (Burma), Liberia and the United States". Then we go on to talk specifically about Liberia (which like India is officially "English speaking" but the reality may be different) and about Burma which is not English speaking by any measure. We then go back to a general discussion of metric in the world in general with a Hong Kong example.
    • In the "Variations in spelling" subsection we talk about the word for the kilometre in Italian, German, Malay, French, Greek, Portuguese and Bulgarian. Then go on to note that "Similar variations are found with the spelling of other units of measure in various countries ..." before returning to English language usage.
The solution is simple: the section is not really about usage in English-speaking countries but about usage around the world so change the title.
  • There is no conflict between the Indian numbering system and the metric system. You're still using the metric system whether you have ten litres, three dozen litres, four score and eight litres, two and a half myriad litres or five crore litres. These are numbers not units. Delete the talk about the lakh & crore.
I'm going ahead and editing. JIMp talk·cont 07:57, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Extent of metrication[edit]

The key within the map (of the global reach of the metric system) and the key under the map appear to be inconsistent with each other. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:45, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

I have undone [[User:DeFacto]'s changes.

The metric system is used in the United Kingdom for “for economic, public health, public safety or administrative purposes” except

  • Where international conventions or agreements in the field of air and sea transport and rail traffic requires otherwise.
  • Pints may be used for dispensing draught beer and Cider or for the sale of milk in returnable


  • Miles, yards, feet and inches may be used for “Road traffic signs, distance and speed measurement”.

The above wording has been paraphrased from relevant EU directive. I believe that my wording encompasses the above. User:DeFacto's wording stretches the point. Martinvl (talk) 19:28, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

The article contains the sentence: "In the Commonwealth of Nations the imperial system has officially been replaced by the metric sytem." I have flagged it as dubious because it is factually incorrect. We know that the UK, at least, far from having replaced the imperial system with the metric system, it still mandates imperial units for some measures. Pages from Adler [sic] are cited in support - can someone (preferably the original contributor) please supply the quote from the book that supports that assertion so that we can verify the accuracy of the statement, and decide how to rectify the clear anomoly. -- de Facto (talk). 20:12, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
The Wikilinks for "Australia", "Canada" etc link to articles Metrication in Australia, Metrication in Canada etc. Regarding the UK I do not intend typing out four pages. Within the UK, the law permits the use of imperial units for anything that falls outside the scope of the EU Internal Market, for road signs and distances (miles, yards, feet and inches), for the sale of draught beer and cider and for the sale of milk in returnable containers. Imperial (or US) units may also be used anywhere as supplementary units. Note that in many cases, retailers remain within the law by writing "568 ml - 1 pint". Martinvl (talk) 07:30, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
I've re-worded the factually inaccurate statement - in the absence of a supporting RS. The imperial system hasn't been totally replaced in all countries of the Commonwealth. -- de Facto (talk). 08:42, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
On the extent of metrication, there are some issues that the following sentence in the article raises: "The United States is the only industrialised country that has not adopted the International System of Units as its official system of measurement, although it has been sanctioned for use there since 1866."
What exactly constitutes an industrialized country? Is there some sort of list of industrialized countries somewhere? Who says that all industrialized countries have an official system of measurement? Where does it say that? Some citations would be very helpful I believe.YouMakeMeFeel: (talk) 02:44, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
The simple answer is to look at all the countries that have not metricated. According to the CIA handbook, they are the United States, Liberia and Burma. This is a case where WP:COMMONSENSE rules. Martinvl (talk) 19:43, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
You still failed to answer the question of what constitutes an industrialized country among other questions. So Somalia uses the metric system? Who says so? It is definitely not common sense that every country in the world, let alone every industrialized country of the world uses the metric system, and it is bogus for you to claim such a thing. I raised completely valid points that need to be addressed. YouMakeMeFeel: (talk) 23:17, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
NIST, as US Goernment Agency said so - you had better ask them what their criteria was: for me to hazard a guess would be WP:OR. Martinvl (talk) 08:43, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
If a country has switched from being an primarily agrarian one to an economy that focuses on the production of non-agrarian goods, then it has industrialized. It is not that difficult to understand. Without having an official system of measurement (metric, imperial, cubits and hands, doesn't really matter what the system is based on) it is difficult to industrialize (not impossible, but it is really difficult to successfully industrialize without it), as a result, each country has historically gone to an official system of measurement before they became industrialized, thus the reason for the assertion that all industrialized countries have and official system of measurement. However, that does not translate to say that that-system is the metric system (most of the present industrialized countries were not on metric when they became industrialized — the US and UK as two examples; UK began industrializing in the 18th century, but didn't begin officially switching to the metric system until 1965). — al-Shimoni (talk) 03:27, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
To give some further background on why the cited NIST document said what it said: Before industrialisation there was the occasional merchant's handbook that contained the conversion factors for the various local weights and measures. With industrialisation, the proliferation of standards became a problem due to increased mobility. E.g. many of the first railroads in Germany were built by English engineers. That's when a consensus developed that more uniformity was required, but no consensus how to achieve that or which country should lead the efforts. Metrology became a fashionable field of research, and the writers of the era wildly exaggerated how complicated the old systems actually were, e.g. with incorrect claims that a unit called the "King's foot" was adjusted to each new king. A process of consolidation started in which many of the old local units were superseded by more common units used for other purposes in the same region, or for the same purpose in neighbouring regions. Existing systems were reformed and simplified (England) or completely replaced by new, 'scientific' systems (France and Prussia). The French system was the simplest and most radical. Even in the radical context of the French Revolution, the first attempt to make it mandatory for the entire population, supported by the systematic destruction of all old measuring instruments and distribution of new ones and conversion tables, ultimately failed. France and territories under French occupation reverted to a system in which certain easily remembered multiple had the traditional names, e.g. the pound of 500 g. (Some of these conventions were so successful that they I are still used today. Older Germans still buy "half a pound of butter", i.e. 250 g.) All these efforts were made for economic reasons which, for industrialised countries but not for pre-industrial countries, outweighed the cost of switching. Hans Adler 09:17, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

duh u should remember this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Less convenient non-integer quantities for common divisions[edit]

The following was added by DeFacto.

The use of decimal multiples also results in less convenient non-integer quantities for common divisions. A foot can be divided in four different ways (by 2, 3, 4 and 6) with an integer number of inches resulting and a yard in seven different ways (by 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12 and 18).

There are 22·3 inches in a foot and 22·32 inches in a yard so actually there are five ways of dividing the foot and eight ways of dividing the yard with an integer number of inches (not counted above was division into single inches, i.e. into twelve and thirty-six respectively). However, there are 22·52 centimetres in a metre so there are likewise eight ways of dividing the metre into an integer number of centimetres: 2, 4, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50 and 100. Furthermore there are 23·53 millimetres in a metre thus fifteen ways of dividing the metre into an integer number of millimetres.

Thus doesn't it somehow miss the point to be counting the number of ways this unit can be divided into an integer number of that? I think that the real issue here is that it can be more useful to be able to dive something into thirds (sixths, twelfths, etc.) than fifths (tenths, twentieths, etc.). Now we come to the question as to how many threes are there in the other system ... what other system?

The inches, feet and yards example given is just that: an example from another system. The metric system has replaced (and is continuing to replace) a variety of customary systems (not just one) which use a variety of different ratios between units (fourteen pounds to the stone, five and a half yards to the rod). The use of decimal multiples can result in less convenient non-integer quantities for common divisions, sometimes it goes the other way and sometimes the customary system was (partly) decimal to begin with.

JIMp talk·cont 14:02, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

I deliberately excluded division by 1 (and by itself) - for the obvious reasons. As you say the "common divisions" (useful divisions) are by 2, 3, 4 and 6. Feel free to re-word the paragraph if you think it could be put more clearly. -- de Facto (talk). 14:14, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
One, obviously, but I'd've included 12 or 36; though it may be moot if you agree that it's not really about the count. Let's work on some kind of rephrasing. JIMp talk·cont 14:22, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
And see below - this could be considered as part of an initiative to add some balance. -- de Facto (talk). 14:41, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

More 'cons' required to counter the 'pros'[edit]

Following on from the discussion above I feel we, to give a more neutral POV and interest to the article, need to add more of the 'cons' of the metric system - the article feels unbalanced in favour of the metric system to me at the moment. We shouldn't be writing a purely promotional article. We need some more examples of disadvantages. One avenue, possibly, is that typically, proponents of English unit based systems mention the advantages of the human-friendly, intuitive and readily comparable size of their units: 1 inch is about a thumb width, 1 foot (unit) is about a foot (human) length, 1 yard is about the length from outstretched-thumb-to-chin or a man's stride, etc. Are there any other ideas for what might be considered to be disadvantages of the metric system over English-unit systems that we can work in? -- de Facto (talk). 14:39, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

This is a fair call, however, let's take care not to equate the disadvantages of the metric system with the advantages of the English systems. I'm suggesting a more general view: it's not the metric system vs the imperial and/or US system but the metric system vs the various alternatives. The customary systems it has replaced (and there are many of these), are, of course, of particular interest but what of other systems: systems proposed but not adopted, natural systems of units, hypothetical possibilities etc.? Let's focus on the pros and cons of the metric system. JIMp talk·cont 15:29, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Lets not get too carried away by this. First of all, how many fluid ounces in a pint? 16 or 20? Depend whether you are talking about US or UK fluid ounces. Which are the larger, US fluid ounces and pints, or UK fluid ounces and pints? A contorted question to which there is no simple answer as the US fluid ounce is the larger and the UK pint is the larger. If we are to go into a discussion about the ease of multiples, we also need to go into the question of consistency of units between countries - just visit the article foot (unit) and you will get a feel for the problem. Now ask how we measure very small quantities in imperail units - we don't. Next ask how we equate mechanical power and electrical power in the imperial system - which partcular mechanical power are we talking about - if it is horsepower, which units of force are we using to define the equation
power = force x distance/time.
The metric system handles this in a very simple way - power is measured in watts regardless of whether it is electrical, mechanical, radiation or any other form. British car reguistration certificates have the car's power in kilowatts, not HP. The manufacturer's plate on kettles likewise have power in kilowatts.
As DeFacto was saying about ease of multiples? If he wants a discussion about that, then we need to include all the rest which will make the artcile appear so one-sided as to be very POV.
Martinvl (talk) 16:04, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

It's no even as simple as metric vs imperial or US. There's the imperial pint (~568 ml), the US liquid pint (~473 ml), the US dry pint (~551 ml) but what about French pint, the German pint, the various other pint-sized units formerly in use. To be fair, though, the metric system is not completely immune to inconsistency: power is measured in watts, yes, and in calories per minute and kilowatt-hours per year (no, these are not SI but they're still metric). As for consistency between countries, is this a pro of the metric system? This consistency could also have been achieved by the global adoption of the furlong-firkin-fortnight system. List the pros of the imperial system as pros of the imperial system on the article about the imperial system not here as cons of the metric system. List the cons of the US system as cons of the US system on the article about the US system not here as pros of the metric system. List the advantages, disadvantages, misadvantages and whatever of metrication on the article about the pros and cons of metrication (yes, there is such an article). What's wanted here is a focus on the metric system itself and if we're to look at alternatives, a very general view of them. JIMp talk·cont 00:30, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Jimp, I agree that the pro/con contents of this article should be based on the pros and cons of the metric system itself (and not simply the SI vision), and not of some idealised "other" system and certainly not of some falsly construed "other" system. Fair comparisons may be informative though. I see that some other editor has already removed the paragraph that I added, and that we were going to work on here. Perhaps we can review what's left first, and see if it complies with this "fair comment" (NPOV) scenario. -- de Facto (talk). 08:38, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
In fact, although the other editor's edit comment claimed "Decimal multiples: Removed references to imperial units -see talk page", all that was removed was the entire point that I added, including both references to imperial units and to metric units, but left in place the previously present point, including all its references to imperial units! I've corrected that now, restoring my point, less references to imperial units and removing references to imperial units from the previous point. -- de Facto (talk). 09:34, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Variants comparison table[edit]

Variants of the metric system
Quantity CGS MKS MTS
length (l) centimetre (cm) metre (m) metre
mass(m) gram (g) kilogram (kg) tonne (t)
time (t) second (s) second second
velocity(v) cm/s m/s m/s
acceleration (a) gal (Gal) m/s² m/s²
force (F) dyne (dyn) newton (N) sthene (sn)
pressure (p) barye (Ba) pascal (Pa) pieze (pz)
energy (W) erg (erg) joule (J) kilojoule (kJ)
power (P) erg/s watt (W) kilowatt (kW)
viscosity (µ) poise (p) Pa·s pz·s
Variants of the metric system
l cm m m
m g kg t
t s s s
v cm/s m/s m/s
a Gal m/s² m/s²
F dyn N sn
p Ba Pa pz
W erg J kJ
P erg/s W kW
µ p Pa·s pz·s
Variants of the metric system
Quantity CGS MKS MTS
length centimetre metre metre
mass gram kilogram tonne
time second second second
velocity cm/s m/s m/s
acceleration gal m/s2 m/s2
force dyne newton sthene
pressure barye pascal pieze
energy erg joule kilojoule
power erg/s watt kilowatt
viscosity poise pascal-second pieze-second

On 1 December 2011 I added a compact table to the Variants section. Soon afterward user:Martinvl changed it to be more explicit and thereby also wider. I don’t feel strongly about it, but since most of its contents is explain in wordily details nearby, I would prefer a table as compact as possible. Both tables are cited above for easy reference, I’ve remove floating from my version though. — Christoph Päper 15:35, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

I think I can see your point, but for me it's outweighed by the fact that your version of the table is so cryptic that I would hardly be able to use it. At the very least the left column needs to have the full names of the dimensions, not just single letters that may or may not be fully standardised. The l isn't recognisable as an l (small version of L) as opposed to an I (capital version of i), I wasn't aware that W is a symbol of energy (I think there are many around, with E being one of the most popular), I even forgot about the obvious meaning of P, and even if all this were clear, it's still not immediately clear from just reading the first column what it means. Adding the full names of the dimensions is easier than adding an explanation and needs less space. I am more or less indifferent about the full names for the various units, but you should keep in mind that this kind of article has a lot of readers who are used to the traditional American or English system of units and may not be able to read the unit abbreviations easily. Hans Adler 16:52, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Hans that these things are best spelt-out especially pressure since the whole P vs p thing doesn't work: we can't use P for pressure since P is for power so we must use p ... but p is for momentum. So perhaps we should have "pressure (P or p)" & likewise "energy (E, W, Q ... etc.)". Now things coul easily get out of hand but what do we need these letters for anyhow? If we have things spelt-out, we can get rid of them altogether and slim the table down a little. JIMp talk·cont 02:23, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

MeasureIT's changes 25 August 2012[edit]

I have reverted MeasureIT's changes of 25 August 2012.

The changes in respect of the United Kingdom were incorrect - the page [2] which deals exclusively with the United Kingdom (rather than the world as a whoile) paints a very different picture.

The emphasis of the "modern metric system" is out of place in the lede - it could be worked into the text regarding the SI, also it should make reference to the BIPM document, not the UKMA site. Martinvl (talk) 06:28, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Read the USMA references and you will see that for England 1965 is the "year of official adoption of the decimal metric system as the compulsory and exclusive system of measurement." It doesn't say partial. Another USMA page clearly explains thet "it's often stated that the U.S. is a non-metric country. But while the U.S. is non-metric in some areas, such as road signs, speedometers, and weather reports, it's metric in many other areas, such as food quantity and nutrition labels, and car and machinery manufacturing, and athletes run 100-meter races.". and also "officially, the U.S. has been metric since 1866, 1893, 1975, or 1988, depending on which official declaration you prefer to cite,". It is all on the U.S. Metric Association website. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MeasureIT (talkcontribs) 19:49, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Regarding the United Kingdom (not just England), may I suggest that you read Metrication in the United Kingdom - the source that the USMA used was wrong. BTW, I live in the United Kingdom and metrication started in 1965 and is still going on. My speedometer is in mph - road signs are in miles (I drove on British roads earlier today). Yes, a lot of things in the United Kingdom are metric - see the article for more details. Please undo your last set of change. Martinvl (talk) 21:59, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Changes by Martinvl on 27 Aug 2012[edit]

I have restored this artcile to its state before User:MeasureIT started making changes on 23 August 2012. In particular he asserted that:

  • He misused references to assert that the United States was a metric country.
  • A reference that he used asserted that the United Kingdom had be totally and wholly metric since 1965. In reality, metrciation started in the United Kingdom in 1965 and is still in progress.
  • A statement that SI is the "modern metric system". Although true and was probably used at the launch of SI in 1960, it is of insufficient relevance to be stated in every article that refers to SI. Moreover, he bases his assertions on references from the United States Mertic Association.

Martinvl (talk) 05:58, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi again Martinvl. Can you write that all again more carefully as it makes no sense to me. If you are rubbishing what I added please explain why you prefer your unreferenced conent more than my fully referenced content. MeasureIT (talk) 17:46, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Firstly, please indent your commentds using colons, not bullet points. This is the normal Wikipedia way (and also the way that new comments are added on most bulletin boards).
Secondly, the artcile Metrication in the United Kingdom has 145 citations and Metrication in the United States has 36 citations, a large number of which either implicitly or explicitly contracdict either the USMA reference or what you have writtten.
Thirdly, please tell me which country you live in - if it were either the United States or the United Kingdom you would not be making such comments.
Martinvl (talk) 18:04, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Firstly, please explain why you prefer your unreferenced conent more than my fully referenced content. MeasureIT (talk) 18:42, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Where are the units?[edit]

you explained in detail the history of the metric system but failed to show the basic complete chart of the metric system!!! i shall now go elsewhere to obtain complete information!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

Does International System of Units contain the information you were looking for? --Boson (talk) 22:17, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
The table in section on Prefixes adequately covers the most commonly used unit derivations. Mediatech492 (talk) 22:58, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
The SI page does not contain all the information since there are mertic units which fall outside of the SI (e.g. the litre, the hectare, the erg, the ångström, the micron, the calorie) and the anon is after "the basic complete chart of the metric system". The question is, though, whether we should attempt to create such a chart (or list) and if so, whether we should include it here (I would suggest we don't include it here since it would likely be very long). If we are to create such a table or list, I'd suggest it have its own page and only include units without prefixes (including the gram as opposed to the kilogram even though the kilogram is the base unit of mass of the SI: we're talking about the metric system & the SI is but one form, the cgs is another with the gram as the base unit, the MTS is yet another with the tonne as the base unit). JIMp talk·cont 03:08, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
An overhaul of the SI artcile is on my to-do list. In particular, more about the units and less about teh so-called "cultural issues". You will notice that this artcile does have a list of both SI and cgs units as its final section.Martinvl (talk) 06:12, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Too much focus on the International System of Units[edit]

As the current international standard the SI is the most important variant of the metric system and as such we should cover it in detail but we've got a whole separate article to do this. It seems to me that this article should be more general in its focus. SI is currently the most important variant of the metric system but that's what it is, a variant of the metric system, specifically a variant of the MKS. Isn't Section 3, Variants, the place for metric system variants.

I propose that Section 4, International System of Units, be disected. Some of the details covered here could be merged into Subsection 3.2, Metre-kilogram-second systems, other details could be left for the main article to deal with. Specifically, I would merge (most of) Section 4's intro into Subsection 3.2 and get rid of Subsection 4.1, Units outside the SI. Subsection 4.2, "New SI", though, is different.

In a sense Subsection 4.2 doesn't really belong in Section 4 anyway: any redefinition of the kilogram entails a redefinition of the gram, the tonne, the kilopond, the erg, the dyne, even the avoirdupois pound, the Troy ounce, the horsepower, etc., so we're not just getting a new SI. Moreover, this current proposal is just the latest chapter in a long string of revisions to the definitions of metric units.

I propose an new section be written covering the definitions of metric units. We would detail the original definitions, when and how these were revised, the current definitions and proposed future redefinitions. Subsection 4.2 would be merged here. JIMp talk·cont 06:01, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

I read Jimp's proposals with interest and have made a few small changes. The article length is currently about 60 kbytes - WP:SIZERULE recommends that we should start looking at splitting an article at this point which means that we should not add too much. Looking further ahead, may I suggest the following?
  • The level 4 sub-section (defined by four "=" symbols) "Units outside SI" becomes "Level 2" section "Relating SI to the real world". The introductory paragraph could be expanded slightly.
  • The level 3 sub-section "New SI" be moved to the end of the article, renamed as a Level 2 section "Future developments". Again, we could slightly enlarge the text.
  • The level 2 section "Conversion and calculation errors" becomes a level 3 section as part of "Usage around the world"
  • A new level 2 section "Units" be written. It will have two sections
  1. The development of the definition of the base units as per Jimp's suggestion
  2. The current Level 2 section "Conversion between SI and legacy units" which would become a Level 3 section.
Once this has been done, I think that this article could be reviewed with an aim of it getting a Good Article rating.
Comments? Martinvl (talk) 10:18, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Apart from adding a section about the actual units, I have now implemented most of these changes. Martinvl (talk) 06:31, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

This new version is a vast improvement. I have some further suggestions.

The article is now close to 70 kilobytes. I wonder whether the article would benifit from a little section merging and summarising.

Subsections 1.2, Decimal multiples, and 1.3, Prefixes, are an obvious pair of candidates to be merged. There is somedeal of repetition between them which could be cut.

The current Sections 4, Relating SI to the real world, and 6, Conversion between SI and legacy units, both already deal with the units of the metric system these could be merged into a new Units section. Again we'll find repeated info here to cut.

The SI is a specific example of a MKS system. Subsection 3.2, Metre-kilogram-second systems, already mentions the SI. Shouldn't we merge Subsection 3.5, International System of Units, here?

Subsections 1.4, Replicable prototypes, and 1.5, Realisability, are closely related. They both deal with defining the base units. They discuss the original definitions and the adjustments made leading us to the current definitions. Section 7, Future developments, continues on from the current definitions to consider proposed future definitions. These are all so closely related that it seems to me that it would make sense to merge them all.

JIMp talk·cont 04:43, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Response to Jimp's suggestions:
  • Subsections 1.2, Decimal multiples, and 1.3, Prefixes, are an obvious pair of candidates to be merged - Agree (... done ...)
  • The current Sections 4, Relating SI to the real world, and 6, Conversion between SI and legacy units - Can we come back to this one?
  • The SI is a specific example of a MKS system. Subsection 3.2 ... Disagree - MKS is an ancestor of SI. In 1900, Giori extended it to the MKSA system. I would like to keep these variants separate to emphasise how SI evolved.
  • Subsections 1.4, Replicable prototypes, and 1.5, Realisability, are closely related - Certainly scope for merging these subsections.
  • Section 7, Future developments - For the time being I would like to keep this separate.
Martinvl (talk) 07:28, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Subsections 1.4 and 1.5 (as per above numbering) have been merged into one. Martinvl (talk) 06:55, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

New Article - Outline of the metric system[edit]

I am currently writing an article User:Martinvl/sandbox/Outline of the metric system. This article will become "Outline of the metric system". (See Wikipedia:Outlines for more information) This article is still under construction, but its general pattern is clearly visible. Outstanding work on the article is:

  • Copy-editing
  • Merging of the two lists in Section 5 into one list, removing duplicates and redirects.
  • Completion of the table in Section 5 to include all the units (about 90 entries in all). The table currently has two entries - Ampere and dummy.

I plan to cross-reference the article using the template "outline" in a hatnote for all articles mention in Sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 (except for Systems of measurement) and in the "See also" section of all other entries.

Comments? Martinvl (talk) 19:42, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

This article is now in place at Outline of the metric system. Please leave any comments on the Talk Page of that artcile. Martinvl (talk) 06:31, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Changes to picture sizes[edit]

I have undone the changes that the previous editor made to the images:

  • It is usual for the lede image to be larger than other images in the artcile
  • You managed to mess up the text wrap-around of the table "Variants of the metric system"
  • You made the image "Woodcut dated 1800 illustrating the new decimal units which became the legal norm across all France on 4 November 1800" so small that the detail was lost.
  • You made the image "Seal of the International Bureau for Weights and Measures (BIPM)" so big that it was too dominating (this image is almost square).

The other changes that you made had a minilmal effect, so I just undid the lost. Martinvl (talk) 20:30, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Role of John Wilkins[edit]

Are there any sources that we can use to support the inclusion of mention of John Wilkins or his 1668 essay as being somehow related to the history of the metric system? What we currently have reads like speculation, or wishful thinking, based on an unsupported interpretation of his 1668 essay. We need evidence that we can quote that he had any influence on the development of the metric system or that his work is considered by main-stream historians to have played a part in the history of the metric system. MeasureIT (talk) 00:25, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

I have found a report by the Institute of Physics that gives Wilkins the credit for proposing a decimal system. I do not agree that we need to find details of the influence that Wilkins had on the metric system, just as we do not need to find details of Mouton's influence. There was aflurry of activity in the 1660's and 1670's then things went quiet for a century. My belief is that the French scoured their history books to "prove" that the metric system was French while the British establishment who did not want anything to do with the metric system failed reciprocate until Wilkins' essay was publicised by an Australian researcher a few years ago. Martinvl (talk) 08:14, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Found another reference here. Martinvl (talk) 08:58, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
What we need is evidence that the metric system as introduced in France in the late 18th century was influenced in any way by the work of Wilkins or at least notable and main-stream opinion that it is quite likely that it was. Otherwise how can we legitimately include Wilkins in the story of that metric system? Does the "Australian researcher" suggest that those responsible for the definition of the French were aware of the work of Wilkins, for example? MeasureIT (talk) 20:36, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
We do NOT need proof that WIlkins influenced the introduction of the metric system in France, just as we do not need proof that Newton's Corpuscular theory of light (which was debunked in the nineteenth century) led up to Einstein's theory of photons and energy quanta. For the record, Einstein did not set out to prove Newton's theory but he gave Newton credit for having evolved it (at least in part) some two centuries earlier. Martinvl (talk) 21:45, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Today's metric system has evolved from that introduced in France at the end of the 18th century, so if we are to suggest that Wilkins played any part in the history of that system, we do, of course, need reliably sourced evidence to support that suggestion. Otherwise we could spin the story any way we see fit. Isn't verifiability one of the Wikipedia key ideals? MeasureIT (talk) 23:12, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
It is a matter of fact that in 1668 Wilkins published his book. It is a matter of fact that what he wrote is very smilar to what the French produced a century later. There is no statement that the two were linked, nor is there a statement that they were not linked. The reader can decide for himslef. To knowlingly deprive the reader of such information is to promote a POV. Martinvl (talk) 07:11, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, he published a book; however, it is not fact but interpretation and personal opinion that surmises that what he wrote in that book was similar to the metric system that the French introduced. More importantly, even if the article does not actually claim that the Wilkins and the metric system are actually linked is not the point of my objection; the point is that by juxtapositioning the two, an implied link is made. And it is that implied link which needs robust reliable sources to support it and to distinguish it from the personal POV of the editor placing it in the article. MeasureIT (talk) 12:37, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If you look at the Instutute of Physics reference that I added you will see One of the first ideas for a universal metric system can be accredited to John Wilkins, ex secretary of the Royal Society, who outlined a new decimal system of measurement in 1668 in his book, "An Essay towards a Real Character and Philosophical Language". Isn't that good enough? Martinvl (talk) 12:42, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

That anonymous article in the "branch news" section for a provincial sub-branch of a charitable scientific society says "for a universal metric system", not for the metric system that the article is about. So no, it is not good enough; we need to see reliable sources which include Wilkins's ideas discussed as being relevant to the actual metric system that the article is about. MeasureIT (talk) 13:00, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
First of all, the charitable status of the Institute of Physics is for tax purposes and to protect the personal liablility of any office bearers. Secondly, the Institute of Physics was incorporated by Royal Charter. As such, it is a recognised authority. Thirdly, defining the uinit of mass as being the mass of a unit volume of water, one of the tennats proposed by Wilkins, was one of the basic tennants of the metric system. Martinvl (talk) 14:44, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
The value of Wilkin's proposal was the concept of linking length, area, volume and mass which is exactly what the French did in the 1790s. Such a linking was an early attempt at creating acoherent system. That is why Wilkins was mentioned in the article. Martinvl (talk) 15:03, 31 December 2012 (UTC).
You need robust reliable sources that support that interpretation of Wilkins's work though. Currently we just have the opinion of Naughtin ("Mr. Metrication"), and the credibility of that is currently the subject of another talk page discussion at Talk:History of the metric system in the "Reference to the work of Pat Naughtin" section. MeasureIT (talk) 16:32, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
How about this American thesis, and these US course notes? Martinvl (talk) 17:52, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Well they do look rather like they have used Wikipedia as a source, particularly the second one in which the Wilkins sentence is just one word short of an exact match with a sentence in the "Metre" article. What do you think - would you class them as robust and reliable sources? Which US course do you think the second one came from? MeasureIT (talk) 20:13, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
If an academic took it from Wikipedia and merged it into their own article and published the result on a reliable site, then that is an endorsement for that particular Wikipeida article - an implicit peer review. This is proof of the academic concerened rating that particular Wikipedia article sufficiently highly that they cannot do better themselves Martinvl (talk) 21:14, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Which US course do you think it came from? Do you think Wikipedia should have been cited if used in such a way? MeasureIT (talk) 21:38, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Course lecture slides are not reliable sources of anything, as many an undergraduate learns when they get to graduate school (or even when they get to standardized exams). That this academic "cannot do better themselves" is no indication of accuracy, as we do not know that this falls within the area of expertise of the academic. It is not unheard of for an academic not to dedicate their best efforts to preparing Summer School lecture slides, nor is it unheard of for an unqualified lecturer to find themselves assigned a course and slap together whatever they can find (including on Wikipedia). To misquote Bismark, lectures are like sausages. Agricolae (talk) 23:04, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

I saw this dispute listed on WP:3O and looked at the sources provided above first. I was sure they don't support a link between Wilkins and today's metric system, but then I looked at what we have actually written in this article's History section currently ("One of the earliest proposals for a decimal system in which length, area, volume and mass were linked to each other was made by John Wilkins, first secretary of the Royal Society of London in his 1668 essay "An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language".[22][23][24][25] Wilkins proposed the using a pendulum that had a period of one second as the basis of the unit of length.") and frankly, that seems fine to me. What I think is a serious mistake is Wilkins' prominence in the first sentence of History of the metric system where I feel he should not be mentioned -- his section in that article is more than enough, and I would completely agree with removing that first sentence and revising the following sentence to conform to the style of an article's initial sentence. But the most serious problem is that we clearly have sources copying nearly word-for-word from Wikipedia being used as supporting sources. That's a serious issue. I do not think it constitutes a form of peer review because there is no accountability. I'm confused about how to proceed in this circumstance so I'm leaving the 3O request in place for someone else to look at. JS Uralia (talk) 03:52, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

I disagree with Uralia that it is inappropriate to mention Wilkins in the first sentence of the article concerned. The article is entitled "History ...." and the lede is roughly chronological, as is the article. Also, I found this book review in which the reviewer states categorically that "Wilkins invented the metric system". Martinvl (talk) 07:01, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
That appears to be a volunteer-contributed review on an open web site without editorial supervision or any reputation for fact-checking and accuracy, and therefore is certainly not a reliable source. It's also contrary to the other sources you mentioned above. The metric system as adopted has only decimal units in common with Wilkins' proposal, and none of the same base units other than the second of time. Putting Wilkins in the opening sentence of the history article is absurd. JS Uralia (talk) 16:19, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

I wondered if, in the light of observations here (and elsewhere) by uninvolved contributors, that User:Martinvl will concede now that the interpretation of, and the weight given to, Wilkins's work was a little over-egged, and that perhaps we can work together on a more accurate and robustly supported interpretation. What do you think? MeasureIT (talk) 22:47, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Events of 1960 - missing in History Section[edit]

In 1960 various units were re-defined. In that year also several prefixes (tera, nano . . .) were adopted. However there is no mention of these changes in the history section of this article. Who knows how to extend that section? (talk) 03:03, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

These changes were part of the adoption of SI. I have added the date into the section about SI, otherwise this article would become too long if details of all these changes were incorporated ino the article. The article International System of Units has information specific to the definition of that system: following your observation, I will add the year of adoption of each unit of measure to that article. I am planning to overhaul the article Metric prefix at some time in the near future and will add the 1960 changes to prefixes to that artcile at that time.
There might also be scope for an article Chronology of the metric system, but that is a little time off yet (unless somebody else wants to write it). Might I also suggest that you look at Outline of the metric system.
Martinvl (talk) 07:17, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Date of CIA factbook[edit]

Their website says 2009: "The World Factbook 2009. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2009", where did we get 2007 from? (talk) 15:57, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

This page states that in 2007 a "new appendix, Weights and Measures, (re)introduced to the online version of the Factbook." There is no record of Appendix G having been updated. Martinvl (talk) 17:08, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
You are speculating. The same page says the site is updated weekly, and their about page gives 2009 as the appropriate year for cites - it is explicit: "Citation model: The World Factbook 2009. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2009.". (talk) 21:05, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't see any defence for the 2007 date forthcoming, so will correct it to 2009 again. (talk) 00:08, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Use of unreliable sources[edit]

Usenet newsgroup posts are self-published and explicitly included in the WP list of unreliable sources. Please do not quote from them or cite them in this article. (talk) 16:03, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

There are several usenet faqs that I consider to be more reliable than textbooks. The C language programming faq, for examples, has had a couple of decades worth of review by multiple experts in the field. Saying "it's USENET" is not sufficient. So, what about this faq leads you to think it is unreliable? Garamond Lethet
21:29, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Also note: you've had four reversions in a 12-hour period. Time to take a break. Garamond Lethet
21:39, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Point taken. I have no intention of edit warring. The faq in question doesn't give any evidence, so is nothing more than self-published opinion. Please give a reason for accepting it as a reliable source. (talk) 22:20, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
If the FAQ was not included, I would be accused of original research. By quoting the FAQ, I have shown that the assertion that the CIA handbook is out of date is not my view, but the view of a third party (ie, no original research). Martinvl (talk) 22:36, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
How long have you been editing Wikipedia Martinvl? (talk) 22:38, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
@ You seem very knowledgeable about Wikipedia. How long have you been editing Wikipedia? Martinvl (talk) 09:06, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
The reason I ask it that your comment above suggests that you do not seem to have grasped one of the fundamental principles upon which the Wiki polices are based. Perhaps this explains some of your troubled history, witnessed and documented on your own talkpage. May I recommend that you read through WPOR and WP:VER, for starters. (talk) 09:43, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

This discussion has become irrelevant as the content it supports in now moot because of the verifiable date of the CIA factbook being 2009, not 2007 (see discussion above this one). Corrections to the article have been made. (talk) 00:11, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Mètre des archives? Kilogramme des archives?[edit]

The very first sentence of the article states that the system was originally based on the mètre des archives and the kilogramme des archives. Yet neither of those French phrases are explained or discussed anywhere anywhere else in the article, or even references supplied to support that assertion. Even the other articles linked to from those French phrases do not provide any useful explanation as to what they mean or what they are. AnnieLess (talk) 08:47, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes check.svg done. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 11:20, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
I added a sentence in the body of the artcile to discuss the matter further. Martinvl (talk) 15:30, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Tweaks and corrections[edit]

Note: User:AnnieLess, the originator of this thread, has been identified as a sockpuppet of User:DeFacto, a banned user. Martinvl (talk) 19:59, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Reading just the first section, I spotted a number of minor inconsistencies and anomalies; most of which I think I have addressed now. I'm not sure which of the topics under coherent are the right one though - none seem to fit, perhaps someone else can help here. AnnieLess (talk) 09:36, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

My fault - I have an article under construction Coherence (units of measurement). I have updated the disambiguation page and will update the article "Metric system". Martinvl (talk) 15:03, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Decimal multiples section[edit]

Note: User:AnnieLess, the originator of this thread, has been identified as a sockpuppet of User:DeFacto, a banned user. Martinvl (talk) 19:59, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

In the Decimal multiples section, the one reference (a page on the O'Connor and Robertson website) offered as support for the assertion that the idea of multiples and sub-multiples of units following a decimal pattern was /first proposed/ by Stevin does not offer the level of evidence I was hoping to find. It does say that he wrote about decimal fractions, but that isn't enough. Can anyone help produce something more convincing? AnnieLess (talk) 19:24, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Reworded to reflect the source more closely.

Similarly, I can't see evidence in the supplied reference (also a page on the O'Connor and Robertson website) that Mouton first suggested the idea of power-of-ten prefixes - just that he proposed a system using them. We need a better reference to support that too. AnnieLess (talk) 19:45, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

I had, in error, given Mouton more credit than was due. This has been corected. Martinvl (talk) 07:28, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

It isn't clear to me what the significance of Augustus de Morgan's view about decimalisation, made more than 50 years after the introduction of the (decimal) metric system, is to the metric system. Who, outside of Wikipedia, has associated his work with the development of the metric system? AnnieLess (talk) 18:44, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

I have added a phrase to put de Morgan's comments into context. Martinvl (talk) 19:16, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
For context we ideally need to know who else has associated his comment with the metric system. AnnieLess (talk) 19:38, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
Why have de Morgan's comments, made more than 50 years after the metric system was introduced and not related to the metric system in particular, been added? Has he been associated with the Metric System in some way? AnnieLess (talk) 18:10, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
I have removed his comments for now, pending something to tie them to the metric system. AnnieLess (talk) 20:56, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
And I have reinstated it. If you bothered to read the revised version you will see that the following has been added "In 1854, in the introduction to the proceedings of the [British] Decimal Association, the mathematician Augustus de Morgan ...". I believe that is sufficient. Martinvl (talk) 21:34, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
I DID read it and can see that it still isn't related to the metric system in any way. We need to explain how that is a significant comment in this article. AnnieLess (talk) 21:43, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
I've pinned an appropriate note (found in Biography: A Brief History) in the section to help focus our minds on this discussion to to resolve this question. AnnieLess (talk) 22:03, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
If you reread the procedings, you will see that it para 7 of the preface, de Morgan's comments are directed to the decimal system of weights and measures as well as to coinage. The petition was however directed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and therefore dealt with coinage not weights and measures. Meanwhile, if you can find a better quotation, please substitute it. Until then however, this is, I believe, the best that we have. BTW, do not reinstate the banner. Martinvl (talk) 05:26, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't want to have to read the proceeding to try to find out why his comments are relevant to this article, I want that explained in the article. The banner should stay until this is clarified, as a reminder that it still needs doing - or what else is that banner for? AnnieLess (talk) 20:28, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
I will regard replacement of the banner as vandalism is per Wikipedia:Vandalism#Abuse of tags - your dissatisfactionb has been answered. If you are unhappy about my response, please raise a RFC. Martinvl (talk) 05:44, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
The banner, as you call it, is there for a reason. I would say that the removal of it, without qualifying in the article what the significance of de Morgan's comments are, is more akin to vandalism than is raising the alert. Please add an explanation - or remove his comment. Thank you. AnnieLess (talk) 19:44, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Realisability and replicable prototypes(!)[edit]

Note: User:AnnieLess, the originator of this thread, has been identified as a sockpuppet of User:DeFacto, a banned user. Martinvl (talk) 19:59, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

I find this section impenetrable as it contains a surprisingly large selections of words which are highly ambiguous in the context used. Readers will only know which meanings of the words, "realisation", "prototype", "phenomena" and "artefact" apply if they already understand the subject, so it is not a very informative paragraph really. I suspect we are seeing the result of a poor translation from French to English. I would like to see this paragraph, and its heading, reworded to something along these lines:

Reproducible reference standards

The reference standards used for the base units of the metric system must be capable of being accurately manufactured, ideally by reference to natural units rather than to an existing physical object. The BIPM publish a set of instructions for how to manufacture a reference standard for each of the base units. This is known as a mise en pratique in French, the primary language of the BIPM. Where practical at the time, the definitions of the base units were developed so that a suitably equipped laboratory would be able to construct an acceptably accurate reference standard without the need to compare it with an existing physical object, which may not be available locally.
AnnieLess (talk) 19:32, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
It is incorrect to use term "natural units" in this context. If you actually read the article you will see why. The literature uses the term "prototype" - the term "IPK" standing for "International Prototype Kilogram. I have wikilinked the term to "Reference Standard" I have also wikilinked the words "phenomena" while "artifact" is already wikilinked. Finally, Wikipedia's role is to explain the language used in the literature, not to "dumb it down". Martinvl (talk) 06:11, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
It isn't about dumbing down, it's about the use of unambiguous language. The articles linked to by phenomena and artefact still leave the meanings of those words ambiguous. We don't have to stick religiously to the words used in the literature, particularly if, like with these, they are ambiguous in English. We should paraphrase if we need to, especially if it is a literal, rather than a meaning, translation from French as much of this appears to be. I think we need to forge a compromise between what is there now, and something easier to grasp the true meaning of. I'll offer the following as a starter in this spirit:
Manufacturable and repeatable standards
Example physical standards of the base units used in the metric system must be capable of being accurately manufactured (known as realisable by the BIPM), ideally with reference to naturally occurring stable physical constants or phenomena rather than to a single existing physical object or artefact. The BIPM publish a set of instructions for how to manufacture a reference standard for each of the base units. This is known as a mise en pratique in French, the primary language of the BIPM. Where practical at the time, the definitions of the base units were developed so that a suitably equipped laboratory would be able to construct an acceptably accurate reference standard without the need to compare it with an existing physical object, which may not be available locally. In practice, such such realisation is done under the auspices of what is known as a mutual acceptance arrangement (MAA).
Please discuss. AnnieLess (talk) 20:18, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
Any thoughts on this or shall I just go ahead and change it? AnnieLess (talk) 18:06, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Determination of the rod, using the length of the left foot of 16 randomly chosen people coming from church service. Woodcut published in the book Geometrei by Jakob Köbel (Frankfurt, c. 1536).
Don’t touch the existing text. Just leave the existing terminology as it is. For starters, manufacturability and realisability are two different things. For example, in the Middle Ages, in parts of Germany the rood was realised by stopping the first sixteen men to leave church after the Sunday morning service, lining them up as per the picture to the right and measuring the length of their feet. In England, the original realisation of the pound was a specified number of barleycorn grains – hence the name grain. I am sure that you will realise that you have misunderstood the word “realisability”. Martinvl (talk) 19:44, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Strong and unconciliatory words at the start there! The section is clearly failing to explain the terminology well enough. We can do a lot better here. If you understand the terminology, please explain it fully here, and we can work on rewording the paragraph to meet your need to accommodate all the terminology and to meet my need for clarity. AnnieLess (talk) 21:07, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

UK is fine, but should it be U.S. or US?[edit]

Note: User:AnnieLess, the originator of this thread, has been identified as a sockpuppet of User:DeFacto, a banned user. Martinvl (talk) 19:59, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

U.S. is the normal way of writing it in the U.S., even though UK is the normal way of writing UK. MOS doesn't say the two should be written in the UK style - does it? AnnieLess (talk) 19:47, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

This article has been following the style in Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Abbreviations#Miscellanea. In addition, [[Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Abbreviations] has the text "US (without periods) is more common in most other national [not North American] forms of English. Some major American guides to style, such as The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.), now deprecate U.S. and prefer US." Given that this article is written in UK Englisbh, it is appropriate to use UK, not US style abbreviations. Martinvl (talk) 20:56, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
There's nothing to say an article in UK English can't use the U.S preferred style for their country name, but US is clearly also correct, so is also acceptable.
Another thing though; in the edit to that, you also made the comment: 'Grammar correction - sentences should not start with "And"'. I'd be interested to know why you think that. AnnieLess (talk) 18:36, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
Please visit this page. Theri adivce about stating a sentence with a conjunctive is "You can use it in creative or personal writing, but it’s not recommended for formal writing." Wikipedia writing is formal writing. Martinvl (talk) 19:47, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
I see, a personal preference then, not a Wikipedia ruling. I don't have any such hangups, I prefer the advice given here and by the OED here. AnnieLess (talk) 20:05, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
Had you actually taken time to read the OED article, you would have seen "many respected writers use conjunctions at the start of a sentence to create a dramatic or forceful effect", "Beginning a sentence with a conjunction can also be a useful way of conveying surprise:" and "It’s best not to overdo it". Since Wikipeida is an encyclopeadia, the use of dramatic language is not appropriate, nor is it appropriate to "convey surprise". In other words, it is not a matter of personal preference, it is a matter of good writing in an encyclopeadia. Martinvl (talk) 21:02, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
I did take the trouble to read it all, and the other one that I shared with you - have you read all of that one? It is purely a matter of personal preference. Also, did you read the advice on your about starting sentences with "however," (with comma)? It suggests "it’s best not to use them at the beginning of a sentence" - I agree with that, do you? AnnieLess (talk) 21:10, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
Shall we try and remove all the "However,"s too then? AnnieLess (talk) 18:11, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
No. In this article the word however carries the meaning "in contrast to the previous sentence ...". Martinvl (talk) 19:50, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Keep the French to a minimum[edit]

Note: User:AnnieLess, the originator of this thread, has been identified as a sockpuppet of User:DeFacto, a banned user. Martinvl (talk) 19:59, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

So what, it is a good point. EdithLovely (talk) 06:33, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

If there is an English equivalent or translation, please use it. The linked article pages use English, so why can't this article? And don't keep putting it back without discussing possible ways of keeping it out. This is the English Wikipedia, after all. AnnieLess (talk) 21:48, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

I agree. Why have we translated the names of French government bodies to French in this article when the linked articles all use the English names? EdithLovely (talk) 06:33, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
I have moved the note about AnnieLess back to the top of this thread - I put it there in the first place to point out that his/her comments had no legitimacy. However, since you wish to take up that particular thread, I am willing to discuss it. In the context of this article, I disagree with translating the names of the two named French organisations into English - the use of "Archives nationales" rather than "French National Archives" saves stating the obvious and does not add any confusion. The English translation of "Assemblée nationale constituante" [National constituent assembly] is poor - does the word "constituent" derive from "constituency" or "constitutional"? By retaining the French and prefixing it with the words "de facto government of the day", we explain why they appear in the article without having to explain their de jure function using a poor English translation. Martinvl (talk) 07:26, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
This is English Wikipedia so why use French for the names that have valid, and common, English equivalents? I cannot understand your point. The use of French in this context comes across as pretentious, not helpful. EdithLovely (talk) 12:34, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree, use of French or any other language should be limited to only those phrases that have no direct translation or are familiar enough to be common knowledge in English. This would cause the least amount of confusion for the readers, if the translation is done properly there should be no loss of meaning or misunderstanding. Mediatech492 (talk) 14:09, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
I have updated the article to show the English names of all international organisations and catalogues the abbreviations (which are derived from French) with the French names. I however stand by my use of French in respect of French organisations - see earlier discussion about my dissatisfaction of the translation of "Assemblée nationale constituante".Martinvl (talk) 20:03, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Mature acceptance of improvements[edit]

Whatever User:AnnieLess has done I am not sure, but whatever it is, we need to accept that the changes they made here have, on the whole, been improvements and should not be reversed wholesale. Let's be mature about this, and welcome what is good. EdithLovely (talk) 21:11, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

AnnieLess is a sock of User:DeFacto, who is banned. It is standard practice to revert all edits a banned user makes, regardless of their quality. This is to discourage them from continuing to edit and to deny recognition.--Atlan (talk) 11:10, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
There is no hint of disruption here though, all their edits improved the article in my view. I wouldn't have took a second look here, or at the work of AnnieLess or DeFacto, if it wasn't for the re-introduction of bad English that resulted, and still exists here, following the reversal of the improvements made by AnnieLess. They must be rolling on the floor laughing now following the responses of Martinvl to the improvements! EdithLovely (talk) 06:29, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
The "disruption" is the fact that the edits were made by someone who is not allowed to edit here. However, if you consider the edits an improvement, it is fine to reinstate them. I was just explaining the reason why they were reverted in the first place.--Atlan (talk) 14:07, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]


for dead URLs

This review is transcluded from Talk:Metric system/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: 12george1 (talk · contribs) 22:03, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Hello Martinvl, I am going to be reviewing this article. Below I have quoted portions of the article and will acknowledge the error at that portion of the article. You can search for these quotes after pressing Ctrl F.--12george1 (talk) 22:03, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

  • "Although the metric system has changed and developed since its inception, its basic concepts have hardly changed. Designed for transnational use, it consisted of a basic set of units of measurement, now known as base units; derived units were built up from the base units using logical rather than empirical relationships while multiples and submultiples of both base and derived units were decimal-based and identified by a standard set of prefixes." - [Citation needed] ? See Note 3 - 15:33 8-May-2013
  • "Unit names are ordinary nouns and although they use the character set and follow the grammatical rules of the language concerned for example "kilometre", "kilómetro", each unit has a symbol that is independent of language, for example "km" for "kilometre", "V" for "volts" etc." - Just a question here. You are using British English or American English? British English 07:07 8-May-2013
  • "The altitude and latitude were specified to accommodate variations in gravity—– the specified latitude was a compromise between the latitude of London (51° 30'N), Paris (48° 50'N)" - What's with the big dash there? Wouldn't a semicolon (;) better suit this sentence? Done 07:07 8-May-2013
  • "None of the other base units rely on a prototype - all are based on phenomena that are directly observable and had been in use for many years before formally becoming part of the metric system." - [Citation needed] ? See Note 3 - 15:33 8-May-2013
  • "Once a set of coherent units have been defined, other relationships in physics that use those units will automatically be true—Einstein's mass-energy equation, E = mc2, does not require extraneous constants when expressed in coherent units. - This is kind long and a run on sentence. I would suggest saying "Once a set of coherent units have been defined, other relationships in physics that use those units will automatically be true. Therefore, Einstein's mass-energy equation, E = mc2, does not require extraneous constants when expressed in coherent units." Done 07:07 8-May-2013
  • "Similarly the gallon is not equal to a cubic yard, nor is it the cube of any length unit." Reworded - 16:07 8-May-2013
  • "The commission were of the opinion that the country should adopt a completely new system of measure based on the principles of logic and natural phenomena." - Due to the previous sentence, "The commission were of" should be "The commissioners were of" or the "The commission was of". Done 07:07 8-May-2013
  • "view of Lapace that a duodecimal system of counting should replace the existing decmial system system; Lagrange taking" - Correct me if I am wrong (due to my unfamiliarity with some British English spelling of words), but I think "decmial" should be "decimal". Also, the word "system" is used twice consecutive. Done 07:07 8-May-2013
  • "A number of variants of the metric system evolved, all using the Mètre des Archives and Kilogramme des Archives (or their descendants) as their base units, but differing in the definitions of the various derived units." - [Citation needed] ? See Note 3 - 15:33 8-May-2013
  • Question, are the bold lines after the bulletin points in the "Relating SI to the real world" section supposed to say the table number or was that an accident while like copying and pasting? For example, "Non-SI units accepted for use with the International System of Units (Table 6)". So should that "(Table 6)" thing be on the end? Done (See Note 2) - 14:22 8 May 2012
  • "Flying an overloaded American International Airways aircraft from Miami to Maiquetia, Venezuela on 26 May 1994." - Add a link to "Miami, Florida" and "Maiquetía, Venezuela" Done 07:07 8-May-2013
  • In the references, there is a mix up of the first and last names of the authors. For example, the author of reference #30 is Michael Good, while reference #3 says "Alder, Ken". Please fix this so all references have the same first-last name format or vice versa. Done, but see Note 1 below. 07:07 8-May-2013

Martinvl (Editor)

  • I have taken the liberty of annotating the reviewer's comments in italics on a point-by-point basis as I address them. Notes that are more than a word or two are shown below:
  • Note 1 - Done except for one Burmese writer. I believe that in SE Asia, the norm is <family name> <given name> so I have retained the format "author = ". Martinvl (talk) 06:21, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Note 2 - The text "(Table 6)", "(Table 7) etc are correct. I have amended the sentence that precedes the bullet list to clarify these tables. Martinvl (talk) 13:32, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Note 3 - I do not believe that a citation is appropriate in any of these three cases. All are examples of a “mini-lede” or “section lede” (my words) – text which plays the same role within a section as the [main] lede plays in the article as a whole. The justification for what was written lies in the text or sub-sections that follow. Martinvl (talk) 14:39, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Good job, I am now going to list this article as a GA.--12george1 (talk) 15:48, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

US official system[edit]

Should there be so much emphasis on the US not using the metric system. Also, does the US have a official system of measurement? Tinynanorobots (talk) 22:42, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

The United States has never made any system of measure the "official" standard. The system commonly used in the United States is called the United States customary units system, which is essentially the Imperial System under a different name with some very minor differences. In 1988 the Omnibus Foreign Trade and Competitiveness Act named the metric system as the "the preferred system of weights and measures for U.S. trade and commerce", but this is generally applied only to foreign trade and does not mandate its use. Mediatech492 (talk) 23:32, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia uses verification, not truth. I have retained the use of the word "Official" in the lead (taken from the CIA handbook), where I have added internal comments to justify the word. In the body of the text, I have replaced one instances of the word "official" with "predominate" (taken from NIST). I have also documented the article to justify the use of these words. Martinvl (talk) 06:09, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Wrong word or slang.[edit]

Below the first picture, someone managed to lazily write unacceptable "Amps" instead of the correct and proper word Amperes. I do not know how or dare to edit. Someone please do it! And it is metre and litre, not meter and liter. MB 27 August 2013206.28.42.242 (talk) 00:16, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Amps is a perfectly fine shortening of amperes, and infact piping the link with amps would probably have taken more effort. As for meter and liter, I assume you are referring to the use in the "Variations in spelling" section, in which case such a spelling is intentional to demonstrate...variations in spelling. — Reatlas (talk) 10:47, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
I have to say I agree with that the words amps should not be used in this article. Other shortenings of units such as degrees for degrees Celsius or kays/clicks for kilometres are not used, and the page on amperes only uses amps when clarifying that this word is a often-used shortening of amperes, referring to the unit as amperes throughout the rest of the article. The Manual of style also states that 'SI units are written according to the SI standard unless otherwise specified in this Manual of Style.' The SI brochure at the BIPM website states on page 130:
'It is not permissible to use abbreviations for unit symbols or unit names, such as sec (for either s or second), sq. mm (for either mm2 or square millimetre), cc (for either cm3 or cubic centimetre), or mps (for either m/s or metre per second). The use of the correct symbols for SI units, and for units in general, as listed in earlier chapters of this Brochure, is mandatory.'
I believe that this removes any ambiguity, and have replace the term amps with amperes accordingly. Anderino (talk) 15:59, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Lede picture[edit]

According to the OED, the object in the lede picture is a "weight", not a "mass". One of its attribute might well be that it has a mass of approximately one kilogram. Martinvl (talk) 06:40, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Use of Celsius in picture[edit]

About the picture: Celsius degree is not in SI, it's the Kelvin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 2014-01-09T21:53:43

From the SI brochure:

The unit of Celsius temperature is the degree Celsius, [. . . ], which is by definition equal in magnitude to the kelvin. A difference or interval of temperature may be expressed in kelvins or in degrees Celsius.

--Boson (talk) 00:09, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Human height[edit]

Just seeking a wider range of input from informed persons at Template_talk:Height#rfc_97AACED.--Gibson Flying V (talk) 00:35, 1 February 2014 (UTC)