Talk:Kilometres per hour

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Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. --BDD (talk) 19:29, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

– Article title should be in singular form per WP:AT, WP:PLURAL, and normal practise for such articles. —  AjaxSmack  00:57, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Cf. other SI derived units, Imperial units, and Customary units of measurement in the U.S. such as metre per second or radian per second. Also note a similar ongoing discussion at Talk:Pounds per square inch.


  • I have no title preference for these myself.  AjaxSmack  00:57, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose all as per WP:PLURAL--this is an exception that has enjoyed long-standing support here. (Can I be pedantic? Truth be told, I oppose as per WP:UE, as "mile per hour", etc. is ridiculous.) See for instance [1] or [2] if you want evidence. Red Slash 04:02, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose all, now Neutral. "In Standard English, [the use of the plural] crucially depends on whether the phrase is prenominal or not. Prenominally, the phrase will not show plural marking, while elsewhere it will have the normal plural marking, as appropriate."[3] In other words, the unit is the kilometer per hour, but kilometers per hour is the better name for the article. The source isn't reliable, but it's the most on-point I can find after a quick search. I'll see what else I can find. Garamond Lethet
    04:14, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
    After consulting several sources, I'm convinced that kilometer per hour is the more correct choice, but I have yet to be convinced that correctness trumps the principle of least surprise. Looking forward to seeing how the conversation develops. Garamond Lethet
    23:03, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose All Wikipedia rules don't trump English grammar. The plural is used unless the actual value is one Unit or less. This is the very first time I've seen most of those constructions. If there's a serious rule conflict, the rule needs to change to allow these. htom (talk) 05:17, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose all. I think this is similar to the last guideline on WP:PLURAL#Exceptions in reference to The Beatles: in common English usage, it is normally almost always plural unless the phase refers to only one unit or individual. Zzyzx11 (talk) 06:26, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Mild oppose all. Singular form would technically be correct and consistent with SI derived units, but since none of the above are official SI units (at best, they're a combination of an SI unit and an arbitrary measurement), I think common usage in English (i.e. plural form) should prevail. Indrek (talk) 08:46, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. According to the logic of the above users, since the plural is used for most units unless the value is one, we can argue that we should use plural for article titles of simple units such as hours, kilometres, inches, pounds (mass), and feet (unit). However this is not the case in Wikipedia. --Quest for Truth (talk) 09:56, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. These articles are each about a unit, which is by definition singular. Only when combined with a number greater than one they become plural. WP:PLURAL applies. −Woodstone (talk) 10:43, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The current title is not plural, it's singular: "Kilometres per hour is a unit of measure." Also, as others rightly note, common usage overwhelmingly favors the current form. ╠╣uw [talk] 11:13, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose all: Those aren't official SI units, so their common English usage is the way to go. In other words, proposed "singular" forms would make no sense. For example, "dot per inch" makes no sense when compared to "dots per inch." How could you say that a printout has "600 dot per inch", or that current speed is "60 mile per hour?" Plain wrong, except in cases where the associated value is one, like in "one mile per hour" — but then again, those units are almost always used with values much bigger than one. — Dsimic (talk) 14:33, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
    • You say the plural singular is "wrong, except in cases where the associated value is one, like in one mile per hour'" but isn't that true for all units? We only use the singular when there is one and there are plenty of articles on small units that rarely come up in the singular such as micrometre or grain.  AjaxSmack  22:22, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
      • Actually, I said something like "plural is correct, except in cases where the associated value is one" – just to correct a small mistake in your comment above. It all pretty much fits together, as names of the SI units are also written in plural where applicable, unless actual symbols are used, and symbols aren't abbreviations. For example, it's "5 minutes" and "5 min", as "minute" is a plain English word, while "min" is an actual SI symbol for that unit. This page provides a nice overview. — Dsimic (talk) 00:00, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
        • Thanks for the note about the mistake. The source you gave uses both singulars and plurals for unabbreviated unit names. Wikipedia's style manual says to use singulars for titles. Why should these articles be different?  AjaxSmack  03:48, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
          • You're welcome. Please also have a look at my comments in the subsection below, where Instructions per second is mentioned. Looking forward to discussing it further from there! — Dsimic (talk) 04:24, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Miles per hour and revolutions per minute (FWIW revolution per minute sounds incredibly wrong) are the common usages. I assume it's true of the others, given the comments above. Hot Stop 21:21, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
    • "Revolution per minute sounds incredibly wrong". Really? Should I say that my broken turntable completes only one revolutions per minute?  AjaxSmack  03:48, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Even though the terms are rarely used in the singular when describing actual measurements and so do seem strange and uncommon, here we are describing and defining the actual units. In this context it is appropriate to use the singular and (as I've just discovered and described below) that is normal practice in reference works and standards. (Which said, I sympathise with and respect the arguments against and nearly !voted to oppose - yesterday.) NebY (talk) 21:25, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME and above opposes. Neljack (talk) 02:48, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME - inappropriate (but well intentioned) expansion of prior best practice. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 17:15, 15 December 2013 (UTC)


I found a previous discussion at Wikipedia talk:Article titles/Archive 11#RfC: Should titles of article on units of the form "X per Y" be singular or plural?. --Quest for Truth (talk) 09:44, 10 December 2013 (UTC)


I see that this nomination raises WP:PLURAL as a key objection to the current title, but I'm not sure that's applicable given that the current title is already singular. For instance, one would not say, "kilometres per hour are units of measure." One would instead say, "kilometres per hour is a unit of measure." The title refers to a unit, which in this case is kilometers per hour; that the name of the measurement includes a plural noun does not make the measurement itself plural. I thought I should ask, though: does anyone actually use this title as a plural?

(BTW, I see that miles per hour is the same: "Miles per hour is an imperial unit of speed expressing the number of statute miles covered in one hour.") ╠╣uw [talk] 11:43, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

That is a sloppy statement. It should be: "Mile per hour is an imperial unit of speed defined as traversing one statute mile in one hour." −Woodstone (talk) 15:40, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Both statements are good; the first one is oriented more towards describing the everyday usage, while the second one is more formal. Though, the second one should read "One mile per hour is an imperial unit [...] one hour," what would make it completely correct. — Dsimic (talk) 15:48, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Not quite... The mile per hour is an imperial unit. Miles per hour is also an imperial unit. Garamond Lethet
16:24, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Hm, both? Any references describing that in detail, please? — Dsimic (talk) 16:44, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Not in detail, but I can give you a couple of good cites.

"The kilometre per hour, symbol km/h, is a measurement unit of speed outside the SI but accepted for use with the SI."[4] International vocabulary of metrology – Basic and general concepts and associated terms, 2008, p7.

"...and 90 is the numerical value of the speed in the unit kilometers per hour."[5] The International System of Units: SI, NIST 330, 2008, p40.

Your second example quoteation claims that the unit is kilometers per hour. Perhaps a typo, here or there. htom (talk) 20:00, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
If it's a typo it's in the source, but I'm pretty sure it's not a typo. Garamond Lethet
22:44, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Actually, the intention was to illustrate presence and usage of both forms, so it's not a typo. — Dsimic (talk) 22:54, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
But as Wavelength commented, this doesn't have much to do with how we title our articles. I'm now leaning towards the singular with redirects from the plural. Garamond Lethet
19:11, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for a detailed reply, and for a good pointer to another thread! Well, all this makes the singular form more reasonable to me, :) but "instruction per second" (for example) still just doesn't sound as good as "instructions per second", for an article title. The actual Instructions per second article states the following in its lead section:

"Instructions per second (IPS) is a measure of a computer's processor speed."

That slightly changes the meaning, as in that context it's more of a tool for measuring something, than the actual unit. Hm... All this brought me really deep thoughts about something that's usually overlooked. :) — Dsimic (talk) 20:05, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
When I first saw this proposal, my first (and second, and third) thoughts were "Hell, no!". At this point, I think principle of least surprise is the best argument for keeping the plural form as the article; that's a good argument, but not a great one. I can see relitigating this over and over again as people who wikilink to kilometers per hour find out they've hit a redirect. So I'll change my !vote to neutral and see how the conversation develops. Garamond Lethet
22:58, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree that the principle of least astonishment favors the current title. Similarly, common name policy is a strong rationale for it, given the clear prevalence of the current form across reliable sources (as Red Slash's ngrams above ably illustrate).
On the subject of reliable sources, I'm checking a few major sites where the measurement might be expected to appear quite frequently and am seeing how (and how frequently) each variant is used. Starting with NASA: Raw usage counts from Google initially show an inflated 11,600 for "kilometers per hour" and 968 for "kilometer per hour"; one must page to the end of these results to get the slightly more accurate counts of 519 to 74.
Such measures are telling but also crude, so it's good to examine specifically how and where the agency uses the latter: it seems it's mostly in cases where the number of kilometers per hour is actually one (as in: "a top speed under one kilometer per hour")[6][7][8], or when the speed is used as an adjective (as in: "the storm had 80-kilometer-per-hour sustained winds")[9][10][11]. Elsewhere, the "kilometers per hour" form appears most frequently, including a few cases I spotted where NASA refers specifically to the unit of measure itself: "What is the speed of the CME in kilometers per hour?"[12], " will get our orbital speed in kilometers per hour"[13], etc.
As time permits I'll pore through a sampling of other sites; I thought the NHTSA might be another good candidate that'd frequently deal in speeds (and at a glance it looks like it demonstrates much the same usage patterns as NASA)... ╠╣uw [talk] 11:37, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

I've looked in a few standard references. Some just use symbols and abbreviations, but others do give full names when defining units, listing the units normally used or providing conversion factors. I've found "kilometre per hour", "mile per hour", "metre per second" and other singular forms in

  • BS 350:Part 1: 1974 Conversion factors and tables, BSI
  • Tables of Physical and Chemical Constants (15th edition), Kaye and Laby
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (68th edition), Weast et al
  • Kempe's Engineers Year-Book (96th edition), ed C Sharpe (sic)
  • some other less generic sources including some ASME and ASTM publications.

I did find entries for "kilocycles per second" and "grams per square metre" in the body of the Larousse Dictionary of Science and Technology (1995), preceding editions of which were published as Chambers Science and Technology Dictionary and in North America as Cambridge Dictionary of Science and Technology, but found no other entries for compound units in it.NebY (talk) 21:02, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

One of the plural examples is "megabytes per second" in Computer Architecture, Fifth Edition: A Quantitative Approach (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Architecture and Design), on page 18 (available in online preview). — Dsimic (talk) 21:54, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Personally, I think there's a nice correlation here between a willingness to make up your own abbreviations and the use of colloquial English to define those abbreviations. But this is a case where there is a division in (more or less) reliable sources, not an absence of sources on one side. Garamond Lethet
23:23, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
I think the problem is inherent in the use of the term "unit [of measurement]" In common parlance, I would say, this means something like "what you measure or specify something in" (e.g. miles, seconds, dollars) and is more like "dimension". To someone writing standards its meaning is probably more akin to the meaning in "hundreds, tens, and units", i.e. exactly 1. As the article on Units of measurement states: 'A unit of measurement is a definite magnitude of a physical quantity . . . When we say 10 metres (or 10 m), we actually mean 10 times the definite predetermined length called "metre".' [exactly 1 metre]. So the abbreviation does usually mean "kilometres per hour" (because you measure things in kilometres per hour) but, in the strict sense, the unit (by definition unit = 1) is (exactly one) kilometre per hour. Or, to put it another way, it depends on what the topic of the article is: the single (realisable) "kilometre per hour" (which is multiplied by a number to give a speed) or the "kilometres per hour" in which speed is specified or measured). --Boson (talk) 23:48, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Very well said, and quite similar to the comparison between a tool and unit I've already referred to. I'd say that all of the articles having their names questioned are describing the tools, as otherwise they should be almost one-line articles.
Please, let's just have a look at the kilometres per hour and instructions per second articles, for example – it's clear these aren't formally describing the actual units, but tools used for measuring something, as we have regulatory information provided, conversions, various comparisons, timelines etc. If we compare those two with the volt or ampere articles, for example, it's clear that the latter two are much more concise, and pretty much oriented towards formal definitions of actual SI units. — Dsimic (talk) 15:27, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Dsimic and Boson, I'd feel more confident in this line of argument if there were an RS that made the distinction you're making here. Do you have any ready at hand? Thanks! Garamond Lethet
16:59, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Totally agreed, I'll try to find some reliable sources. — Dsimic (talk) 21:57, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Poor choice of image in the lead[edit]

The pic seems to be presenting kilometres per hour as a variation on the (perhaps more normal?) miles per hour. And for some reason Canada gets a special mention. Kilometres per hour can stand on their own, without comparison with any other system. Anyway, the only other place miles are mentioned in the whole article is in a See also. It seems like a sop to those who don't understand metric measurements. We don't need that. I'd rather have no image than that one. HiLo48 (talk) 07:54, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Indeed. Removing. −Woodstone (talk) 15:44, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm not seeing how you're reading all of that into an image of a speedometer, but ok. I think that image is much better than no image at all. Is there another one in commons that you'd fine more appropriate? Garamond Lethet
06:22, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
I've explained my concerns. You haven't responded to them. You have simply edit warred. Not my job to find a "better" pic. A better pic than that one is no pic. HiLo48 (talk) 06:41, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Happy holidays, HiLo48. Garamond Lethet
08:07, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
If that's your idea of discussion, you have offered us nothing. You have provided no reason to keep the image. It's time to remove it again. If you put it back without participating effectively in discussion here, I think it's reasonable to treat that as vandalism. (PS: I'm not going on holidays. Keep your US centric slogans to yourself. I think you've given us a hint as to why you want the MPH shown.) HiLo48 (talk) 09:21, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
I retract my holiday greetings. Do you have a preference for WP:RFC or WP:3RD, or should we go directly to WP:DRN? Garamond Lethet
09:29, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
I seek polite but not trivial discussion. HiLo48 (talk) 09:33, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── None of the discussion here is adequately constructive, collegial, or on point to justify either side of the edit war. I suggest the edit war end, rather than me blocking the lot of you. If you ACTUALLY would like to discuss the issue, then by all means do so. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 09:40, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
What's wrong with my original post? One editor agreed with it. Garamond Lethe simply dismissed it, edit warred, and added nothing meaningful to the discussion. I think only one editor is misbehaving here. Threatening a block doesn't make me feel I've done anything wrong. It just feels like I'm being bullied. HiLo48 (talk) 09:46, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Your original post and the original image removal were fine. Your response to the challenge has had as little actual discussion as anyone's. Simply stating "I already answered that" or "It's not my job" is not discussion. You do not have to make a substantial effort to answer questions or challenges or propose alternatives; however, it's not collegial, and if you revert without answering questions or challenges or proposing alternatives it's edit warring. You have now removed twice with reverts without substantially participating in discussion, in an edit war what already had prior removals that were reverts. WP:EW requirements are clearly met to be able to sanction everyone who's reverted. Actually discussing seems easier than alternatives... Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 10:07, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Aha! HiLo thought I was the IP (I'm not). That's where the edit-warring rant came from. Ok, this is starting to make a little more sense now. Thanks for protecting the article. Garamond Lethet
10:44, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
I have no idea what you're talking about. What IP? HiLo48 (talk) 10:55, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
The IP you reverted here. I dropped in an hour later, made my first edit since Dec. 11th, and you read me the riot act about edit-warring ("You have simply edit warred."). Garamond Lethet
11:03, 23 December 2013 (UTC)



  • The image is visually striking and reinforces the idea that we're discussing a measure of speed at human scale (something that may not be obvious to students in metric-challenged countries like the US).
  • Standard practice is to contrast metric units with imperial and other conventional units (and this article doesn't do that enough). For example, kilometer mentions mile and its variants three times in the text (outside of conversion tables), litre mentions both imperial quarts and dry quarts, kilogram discusses the avoirdupois pound, etc.
  • We do have a consistent problem with WP:SPAs de-emphasizing metrications, and that problem's name is DeFacto. I've participated in the multiple SPIs for this user, starting with hir work on this article (08 August 2012, 11 February 2013, 31 October 2013, 08 December 2013). As part of mitigating that damage, I've participated here to the tune of 36 article edits and 65 talk page edits, plus WP:DRN, plus edits across a dozen other articles. I know what anti-metrication looks like, and this image isn't it. As a happy side effect, I'm now the world's leading expert on historical abbreviations of "kilometers per hour". Haven't found a way to work that into my CV yet, though.
  • However, as a proud American, I agree with your agenda to de-emphasize Canada. We do it instinctively. The preceding was meant to illustrate how baffling I find "And for some reason Canada gets a special mention." Canada is mentioned once in one caption and once in the disambiguation link. Anyway, Canadians are fine folks and there's only a modest chance that we'll be annexing them anytime soon.

I'm happy to take (most of) the above argument to the dispute resolution process of your choice, but I'm not going to argue about it with you. Which one do you prefer? Garamond Lethet
10:18, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for joining the discussion. I remember DeFacto. Interesting character. You reckon he's still around? I still find it weird that this image is the only mention of Canada and effectively the only mention of mph in the article. I guess my basic point is that I don't think we should have to pander to ignorant readers in this article. And that's all the image seems to do. If you really believe some sort of comparison of kph and mph is going to be useful, surely it should be in the text (as well?). Maybe then the image could appear in context. Right now it's sitting there like a shag on a rock. HiLo48 (talk) 11:01, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Defacto was editing here just two weeks ago: Talk:Kilometres_per_hour#Suggestion_regarding_abbreviation. I first experienced DeFacto when one of hir socks was needling Martinvl and recruiting help at the WP:TEAHOUSE; I was a noob and thought I was doing something helpful in trying to mediate between the two of them. That resulted in what seemed like a six-month conversation on whether or not "kph" was an abbreviation or symbol, which is why the present article spends so much time on that bit of trivia. Martinvl eventually had enough and filed another SPI, thus solving the problem. And every couple of months since, DeFacto pulls a couple more accounts out of the sock drawer and tries to roll back metrication in the UK. Anyway....
The image would be a good fit for the last paragraph of the "Regulatory Use" section, where the caption's mention of Canada would be a little more explicable (contrasting with the US speedometer regulations). I would still like a gauge of some sort in the lead; I'll be happy to poke around commons tomorrow and see what I can dig up. Signing off for tonight.... Garamond Lethet
11:23, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Hm, would you like me to take a picture of a metric-only speedometer? I agree that such a picture would be a nice addition to the lead section. — Dsimic (talk) 14:23, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Dsimic, that would be great—thanks! Garamond Lethet
18:03, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Ok, I'm glad you like the idea. :) I'll take a picture in the next day or two. — Dsimic (talk) 18:09, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Done. The only downside comes from slightly dusty dashboard of my car. :) — Dsimic (talk) 22:28, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Lovely. Thank you. HiLo48 (talk) 23:46, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
You're welcome. — Dsimic (talk) 00:11, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks from me as well. Garamond Lethet
07:44, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
You're welcome. :) Now returned "dual track" speedometer image fits well as part of the "Regulatory use" section. Good job everyone. :) — Dsimic (talk) 16:52, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

If the image is restored, perhaps someone could first check the caption for correctness relevance (since it does not describe what is in the picture). --Boson (talk) 12:34, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Boson, I have a dim memory of this image starting out in the automotive regulation section. It may have gotten moved up to the lead without the caption getting updated. If it's moving back down, then I think the caption will once again be self-explanatory. Garamond Lethet
18:03, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Serial comma[edit]

I'd like to hear feedback from more editors, regarding this revert: is

In Australian, South African, New Zealand, and North American slang and military usage, km/h is commonly pronounced, and sometimes even written, as klicks or kays (Ks), although these may also be used to refer to kilometres.

more readable than

In Australian, South African, New Zealand and North American slang and military usage, km/h is commonly pronounced, and sometimes even written, as klicks or kays (Ks), although these may also be used to refer to kilometres.

or not? To me, that additional comma makes it more readable by distinguishing what belongs to the list. Should we follow MOS:SERIAL in this case, or try to make it more readable? Furthermore, I'd take it even further by writing the sentence like this:

In Australian, South African, New Zealand, and North American slang and military usage, km/h is commonly pronounced and sometimes even written as klicks or kays (Ks), although these may also be used to refer to kilometres.

Thoughts? — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 00:54, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

A list contained in a another list should never use a serial comma, whereas the outer conjunction should. Using parentheses to illustrate the concept:
In (Australian, South African, New Zealand, and (North American slang and military usage))
In (Australian, South African, New Zealand and North American) (slang and military usage)
In ((Australian, South African New Zealand and North American slang), and military usage)
The first is not even grammatically sensible, and I think that the second is the intended meaning. I would also suggest removing the parenthetical clause "and sometimes even written" altogether as adding very little but complicating the sentence unduly. —Quondum 01:44, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Sure thing, that comma changes the meaning, but I'd say that "in (Australian, South African, New Zealand, and (North American slang and military usage))" is the intended meaning; "Australian, South African, New Zealand" should refer to languages. Though, if "in (Australian, South African, New Zealand and North American) (slang and military usage)" is the intended meaning, the additional comma is surely redundant. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 01:57, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Ah, I missed the possibility that the first string could be interpreted as nouns rather than as adjectives. But South African is most certainly not the name of a language (I should know: I hail from there; you'd have to refer to South African English or to Afrikaans, two of the languages spoken there), and a similar observation applies to New Zealand. Australian as the name of a language is more understandable, but still badly pushing it in an encyclopaedic context. Also, South African slang does make sense: the terms kays and klicks are slang and by no means mainstream English in all cases. —Quondum 04:47, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
You're right, those aren't that great when referring to particular languages. If you agree, it might be the best to have a look into provided and other references, as we anyway need to have everything backed by them. When looking at the currently provided one, we're pretty much not well covered – it says only that a klick is one kilometer, "originally used amongst American servicemen during the Vietnam War", and that in Australia it serves for km/h as well. What would be our chances for more references – then we'll also be able to (perhaps) reword the sentence a bit? — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 05:31, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Quondum that the second meaning is the intended one. Essentially there are two adjacent lists — "Australian, South African, New Zealand and North American" and "slang and military usage" — and neither requires a serial comma. So yes, we should follow MOS:SERIAL. Indrek (talk) 08:03, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
We should find more references in the first place, as the currently provided one doesn't cover even 30% of the whole sentence. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 08:23, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Fair enough.
I combed through the article's edit history to see the evolution of the sentence in question:
  • original wording: "It is often spoken as clicks in slang usage." [14] (2004-12-28)
  • changed to "klicks", "sometimes written" added in [15] (2005-01-16)
  • "kays" added in [16] (2005-01-30)
  • wording changed, "North American slang and military usage" added in [17] (2007-04-05)
  • "Australian" added in [18] (2010-06-01)
  • source added in [19] (2012-07-13), and added again without the "dating from the Vietnam War" part in [20] (2012-07-17) following some dispute-related reverts
  • "South African" added in [21] (2013-03-14)
  • "New Zealand" added in [22] (2014-10-30)
Based on Dsimic's comment above about the provided source (which I cannot verify myself as seems to require a subscription for access, at least for that particular entry), it seems that usage of "klick" for km/h in South Africa, New Zealand and the US military is currently unsourced. If no references can be found for those, they should be removed, leaving only Australian slang.
While we're at it, I think the remark "although these may also be used to refer to kilometres" should be removed, as that usage of "klick" is already covered (and sourced) in kilometre. Indeed, I suspect some of the unsourced usages were added purely because of this remark and don't actually apply to km/h.
Indrek (talk) 10:18, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
The OED seems to provide initial access without subscription to the entry; erasing cookies from that site might help. The relevant part of the OED entry reads: "A kilometre. Also pl. (Austral.), ellipt. for ‘kilometres per hour’. In Australia usu. spelt click." This confirms Indrek's assessment, and even there it is only a derivative of the primary slang use to mean kilometre. I would suggest that this is not sufficiently notable to retain. Delete the entire statement? —Quondum 17:16, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Deleting cookies worked, thanks! Reading through the entry, I would agree that Australian usage of "klick"/"click" for km/h does not seem to meet notability guidelines for inclusion in Wikipedia. Deleting the entire statement seems appropriate if no sources can be found for the other usages. Indrek (talk) 21:52, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, Indrek, for providing a summary of the related edit history! It just shows that the sentence became what it is through something that might be called "drive-by editing", instead of by relying on sources. Went ahead and trimmed down the sentence to what the reference provides – IMHO, it doesn't hurt to have that as part of the article. Also, I've tried to find other sources describing the use of clicks or klicks for km/h, but that doesn't seem to be well covered. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 23:05, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Personally I'd lean towards removing the entire statement, as suggested above, but this is fine also. I guess that wraps this up, then? Indrek (talk) 22:43, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Ditto from me, but I have no problem with letting it languish awhile as is, and to see whether the notability issue of the remaining statement (which is not really related to the initial problem that triggered this) results in other reactions. I think this has been a definite improvement. —Quondum 23:09, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
You're right that what's left pretty much borders with being notable enough, especially because only one reference seems to exist, but let's see whether other editors will provide more feedback at some point in time. I also agree that this improved the article, and the whole thing started with a comma. :) — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 23:31, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
That is the nature of this beast. Any activity by one editor focuses the attention of others on that spot, resulting in other issues being noticed. For example, I notice that I quite often make edits close to the edits of others when I review their edits. —Quondum 00:42, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Same thing here. :) — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 00:56, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
And here :) Indrek (talk) 05:08, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

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