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Approve name of article[edit]

This was claimed to be merged with metre, but wasn't. It would also be silly to have a micron article we can link to, for the deprecated old name of this unit, and not have a name we can link to for the unit itself. Gene Nygaard 04:28, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

And the reason for British spelling on a United States web site is -- what, exactly?[edit]

i especially enjoy the muddle of a redirect from "micrometre" to "meter". presumably, as erudition increases, finer gradations of metricity become more acculturating and sublime, and therefore more properly (especially at high tea) enunciated with a distinctive eton accent. by jove! Macevoy (talk) 14:30, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Per WP:ENGVAR I will edit the page to use micrometre only, as this seems to be the term used in most of the article with one exception. Btw, wikipedia is not a US page, nor is it british or new-zealandish. It's just english in all its versions. That said, I too find that using "micrometre" here as a means of differentiating it from "the instrument of the same name" is at this point simply confusing to the uninitiated (is it the same name or is it not?), and suggest a double rename: This article to "micrometer", and the micrometer article to "micrometer (instrument)". Seems more standard a solution. What say ye, fellow wikipedes? Jostikas (talk) 18:26, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Looking at the page for the metric system, upon which micrometres are of course based, it uses -re over -er, as it comes from the "modern" French, who created and first used the system. American English and British English seem in this case to actually be two different translations of the same French concept. Thus in keeping with standard-ness, it seems more correct that the French version (ie: -re) should be used. 13:30, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
^ Absurd. Looking at millions of published journal articles, I have never seen the irregular French spelling - not a single time. Checking the n-gram rates proves this point out... Micron predominates, followed closely by micrometer. Micrometre is a virtually non-existent spelling. The article should be renamed to agree with the de facto published consensus. 2602:306:CD22:4E0:DAA2:5EFF:FE90:CB17 (talk) 00:02, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

This isn't "a United States web site", it's an English-language encyclopedia, and the spelling, which is French, is the official name, as the article explains. -- (talk) 19:40, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

In favor of removing redirect to Meter[edit]

I don't quite understand the rationale for having Micrometre redirect to Meter. Through a casual perusal of relevant discussions, I gather that there is discomfort about having an article for every possible SI unit and prefix combination, especially those that "would never be used in real life". I agree that having articles about obscure units such as "decilumens" and "exateslas" is ridiculous. However, I don't think that "micrometer" is so obscure. In fact, it appears that over 400 articles, from Noble rhubarb to LASIK, contain a "micrometre" link. From this evidence, I think "micrometre" has independent notability.

Micrometre is not Exametre, Petameter, or Zettametre (whose links are "self reflective" ones from technical "orders of magnitude" articles, and have been thus quite appropriatly made into redirects to Metre). Instead it is a term which has entered the vernacular, used to describe all sorts of small lengths. As such, it should have its own page. Someone reading LASIK who comes across the phrase "the tissue removed is approximately a dozen micrometres thick" will want to know what exactly this scientific sounding term is, and the micrometre article should be able to quickly tell them. They probably don't need to be informed of what a metre is, but this is what a redirect to Metre assumes.

I think the current 1 E-6 m page best informs those people who follow a "micrometre" link of what they are likely to be interested in. My only concern is that the notation of the title may be a bit confusing. I propose that we move the current 1 E-6 m material to Micrometre, or have a Micrometer article that looks similar to 1 E-6 m. What do you think?

P.S. This sort of analysis might also apply, with steadily declining force, to nanometre, picometre, and femtometre.

Erudy 14:32, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Quite frankly, it's enough for it to redirect to 1 E-6 m, as that is literally a micrometer. Having it redirect to meter presupposes that a user would type in "micrometre" or click on such a link with some other intent than finding out information on micrometers. Anyone who would type in "micrometre" could just as easily (more easily!) search for "metre" and get there, and anyone who had no idea whatsoever what they were clicking on would be able to understand the very clear sentence at the top of 1 E-6 m and follow that link to metre. siafu 14:46, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Having it redirect to metre (not the orders of magnitude pages) was part of the result of the earlier discussion. I actually agree with Erudy that micrometre should still have its own article, as it and many other prefixed units used to have (just look at the page history of this page). Micrometre more so than most other prefixed units, because of
  1. Micrometer, the measuring instrument.
  2. The now deprecated but still far-too-common use of "microns".
  3. To a lesser extent, the old double-prefix usages such as "millimicrons" or "micromillimeters", more directly applicable to a nanometre page.
This would be helpful not only with respect to reading Wikipedia, but, importantly, with editing it as well.
The earlier discussion Bobblewik refers to this talk page has been moved from Talk:Units of measurement to Talk:Units of measurement/Format of articles about units. Go look at that as part of the basis of this discussion.
A problem with reviving the discussion here is that few people are going to have a redirect (and consequently its talk page) on their watchlists.
I'd suggest you move this revival of the discussion to Talk:Units of measurement, leaving a discription and link here and mentioning the earlier discussion there, along with what is moved. Gene Nygaard 15:03, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
I do agree that micrometre should have it's own article, but I think in the meantime it's rather silly to redirect to the base unit when there is an article (albeit brief) on this exact topic in the form of 1 E-6 m. siafu 15:08, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
At the time the redirect was changed to 1 E-6 m, that page didn't even have any link whatsoever to the micrometer article. I've changed that, but that's just one of the little things often overlooked when changes such as this are made.
OTOH, the metre article still doesn't have any link to micrometer. Another one of the problems overlooked when the article which used to be here at "Micrometre" was first changed to a redirect. And the "metre" page also does not have any mention whatsoever of "micron"; maybe it did at one time, but if so somebody lost track of the fact that the prefixed units were redirected to that page. Gene Nygaard 15:21, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to recreate the Micrometre page, from some of the materials that existed prior to the initial redirect to Metre many moons ago. This page should have in-text links to metre and a link to 1 E-6 m. In this way, there is easy access to the base unit, and the (in my opinion, very interesting) "scale of magnitude" set of articles. True, there will be two articles for the same length (1 E-6 m and Micrometre). However, I think this is justified. First, there is precedent (i.e. 1 E-1 m, Centimetre; 1 E 0 m, Metre) to this sort of dualism. Second, this habit is defensible because of the "1 E x m" series have a nice flow due to there standardized form (mathmatical titles and stripped-down, strictly comparative content), a form which would be broken by substituting prefix-meter articles and more content about use etc. Nonetheless, this sort of content should be somewhere, and someone who types in prefix-meter (or clicks on a ''prefix''-meter link for more common prefixes shouldn't be thrown into an article with a cryptic title formatted to fit an austere style. They should simply go to the article prefix-metre. Micrometre is sufficently common to warrent its own article, in my opinion. Erudy 15:53, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Citation for micron & mu[edit]

1880 Procès-Verbaux des Séances du Comité Internat. des Poids et Mesures 1879 41 Le Comité international des Poids et Mesures adopte, pour ses publications et son usage officiel, le système suivant des signes abréviatifs pour les poids et mesures métriques... Mesures de longueur... Micron... mu Can anyone find a website for this? dbfirs 13:19, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion to move "Input" section to mu[edit]

the input section has no relevence to the unit of micrometre, and should really be moved to the article for the greek letter mu, IMHO. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:02, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree completely—I went and did it, but I added a See Also for the character. —johndburger 21:44, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

are µm illegal?[edit]

When using meassurements less than a millimetre, some resort to speaking of fractions of a millimetre, as if µm are illegal. Well, is it? -- (talk) 11:21, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Of course not! It is just describing...Mannix Chan (talk) 13:00, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Cultural references[edit]

In "Battlestar Galactica," the original series, the humans use microns as a macroscopic unit when determining proximity i space. (talk) 02:54, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Micrometre/Micrometer - homonym?[edit]

The article states that one reason for using microns is that there could be confusion caused by micrometre and micrometer being homonyms in American English. Is this actually the case? Why isn't it pronounced "mi-CROM-eter", as in "ba-ROM-eter", "al-TIM-eter", "spec-TROM-eter", etc? Tuskah (talk) 14:38, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

The instrument generally is, not the measurement. Homonym is ambiguous here, I'll substitute homograph instead whcich makes the presumed intended meaning clear. Crispmuncher (talk) 15:20, 6 June 2012 (UTC).
I'm not a reliable source unto myself, but as an American engineer familiar with both things I can attest that I have never heard anyone homonymize the pronunciation. MI-cro-meter, vs. mi-CROM-eter; the second vowel ("o") is not just different in stress but also pronunciation, pronounced like boat for 10^-6 m, and like bomb for the measuring device. siafu (talk) 16:00, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm a month late in seeing this discussion's existence. There are multple word senses of homonym. The most carefully prescriptive one is (homophone AND homograph). The less careful ones are homophone OR homograph. It is only by confusion about which sense was meant that anyone thought that this article was alleging that the unit's name and the device's name could be homophones. But that's not what's being communicated. What's meant (which User:Crispmuncher helpfully clarified) is that in mainstream American spelling, the unit's name and the device's name are homographs, and that's probably why the name micron has held on as strongly as it has in common usage in industry, despite being deprecated by science. I'm removing the "dubious" tag, because the only dubiousness was when the intended meaning was misunderstood. — ¾-10 01:24, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Ok but the base level question remains: how is the word pronounced in this context? It needs an IPA. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Done. /ˈmkrmtər/. — ¾-10 02:56, 6 February 2013 (UTC)


"...but officially revoked by the ISI..." — what is ISI here? Possibly SI? Burzuchius (talk) 19:50, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

In this context, the term should be SI. I have corrected this mistake. Wcp07 (talk) 04:48, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

micrometer is the more common spelling, by over 5 to 1[edit]

micrometer - "About 2,510,000 results" (Google, 3 Aug. 2014)

micrometre - "About 476,000 results" (Google, 3 Aug. 2014)

This is a meaningless comment. Did you bother to distinguish the meanings as defined respectively in Micrometer amd Micrometre? —Quondum 15:08, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
This is completely irrelevant. -- (talk) 19:49, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Micron predominates, at over 50 times the frequency of the rare form "micrometre". SI body does not represent the governing body over wikipedia, published consensus does - and this isn't even close. Micrometer is also at least an order of magnitude more common than micrometre, although disambiguating the instrument from the unit is problematic, still, google ngrams of these terms in the published literature is overwhelming. Micrometre is a rare and irregular spelling. Micron is the mainstream consensus, followed closely by micrometer. Wikipedia should reflect that consensus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:cd22:4e0:daa2:5eff:fe90:cb17 (talkcontribs) 00:44, 17 August 2015

Are you requesting a rename of the article to micron? That is currently a redirect here and I would likely support such to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings. However, the article is titled Micrometre based on the international SI definition and your unilateral edit warring to change the spelling to micrometer within the article is against Wikipedia policies. The previous post above is almost a year old - rather dated. I've check the article history back to 2004 and it has been titled Micrometre throughout - interpreted as stability. Vsmith (talk) 01:28, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

ABSOLUTELY. I had not considered that before you suggested it - but it would not only solve a lot of the redirect/disambiguating issues, but would be logical and consistent with the clear consensus in the scientific literature. Literally millions of RS scientific journal articles use MICRONS. Just because some French body decided to "deprecate" the word has little to no bearing on this article w/r to wikipedia standards. RS consensus IS the standard.2602:306:CD22:4E0:DAA2:5EFF:FE90:CB17 (talk) 02:37, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

I do appreciate the corpus predominance point made by 2602:306:cd22:4e0:daa2:5eff:fe90:cb17, but there are other important factors involved that lean against a move. Wikipedia via WP:ENGVAR has maintained a consensus for years (basically WP's whole history) that the -re spelling of metre and all of its derived units (such as kilometre, millimetre, micrometre, femtometre, and others) are used consistently across all articles on metre-derived units. The fact that in the corpus the American spelling for µm outnumbers the British spelling may reflect a third variable, namely, the relative sizes of US and UK influence on the sci/eng research enterprise generally and the literature's reflection of it. For example, how many USD the US govt has spent on funding research at US-based universities with results published in en-us-styled journals, versus the number of GBP that the UK govt has spent on funding research at UK-based universities with results published in en-gb-styled journals. It might easily outnumber the latter by 5 or 10 to 1. But WP doesn't use that corpus predominance as a reason to force American English on any sci/eng/tech article in override of WP:ENGVAR; it's just not something that Wikipedia does, and I would say that the underlying reason is that WP:ENGVAR's spirit over the years has involved a main theme of "no hegemonic bullying" re AmE vs BrE (en-us vs en-gb). That is, in so many words, "just because US influence is often bigger doesn't mean we'll change articles to AmE." Article history overrides. — ¾-10 22:24, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Per WP:ENGVAR "The English Wikipedia prefers no major national variety of the language over any other." Therefore, we should use the overwhelming consensus, whether it be US or British or whatever. Your _FEELINGS_ of "hegemonic bullying" notwithstanding (sorry 3/4s). This is a clear-cut case. BTW: tools like the ngram tracker were not available at the time this article was originated. "Always was wrong, therefore, should stay wrong", just is NOT a very compelling position. 2602:306:CD22:4E0:DAA2:5EFF:FE90:CB17 (talk) 02:47, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
We don't change spelling within an article to be inconsistent with the title of the article. If an article rename is needed, then request such. However, micrometer exists as an article about the measuring device. Renaming/moving to micron is a possibility as that redirects here. Thus any such rename would require a bit more work and would need broad consensus. Wikipedia doesn't just go by google search results - the process is a bit more involved. So, if you want the page moved/renamed, you need to make a formal WP:page move request and establish WP:consensus for such. Vsmith (talk) 10:59, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
My purpose in spending the time on this discussion is not to thwart 2602 personally, but to refute arguments portrayed as self-evidently clear-cut that have some errors. 2602, I'm not sure whether you realize how much spinning you're doing toward a preference and convincing (yourself? just others? or both?) that it's self-evident absence of spinning. Per WP:ENGVAR, stable consensus in article history is what determines which is used (AmE or BrE) on any given article or group of related articles. Your "therefore" is incorrect. WP:ENGVAR does not direct anything about "overwhelming consensus" in corpus predominance. It does something quite different: it says keep the variety with stable consensus in article history. My mention of the spirit behind why WP:ENGVAR doesn't support the former but rather the latter is not a mention of my feelings. It is a description of the consensus of "why" behind the current guideline. Regarding stable consensus on style and page name in article history, there's a deeper reason why all metre-derived unit articles (such as kilometre, millimetre, micrometre, femtometre) follow the IBWM standard. It's not just about "some French body" that no one cares about. It reflects the desire for standardization of weights and measures. IBWM is a worldwide body, which no doubt you already know, but you're throwing in the idea of some-French-thing because it helps work backward toward further justifying your preference. Same with throwing scare quotes around the word deprecate. It helps makes deprecation seem more like some-stupid-thing-that-French-people-would-do rather than a normal part of standardization efforts, which is what it is. Lastly, your mention of "Always was wrong, therefore, should stay wrong" is spurious. There was never anything wrong with the article history consensus, and there still isn't. It is not wrong to call the µm a micrometre: in fact, doing so is the SI standard. Again, I spent the time on this not to thwart you but to answer the arguments that have some errors. — ¾-10 16:34, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
There are several good point raised regarding consistency and history. These should not be overturned lightly. However, there HAS been a standard established. It is established by common usage, it has become the de facto standard. So the argument for standardization is an argument FOR a name change in this case. Wikipedia should reflect the consensus already established by WP:RS. This should clearly trump article history. Wikipedia is not here to reinforce standards established by any particular organization, but to REFLECT the consensus among reliable sources. It is here to serve as a guide and aid the reader, not to promote a small minority spelling to an international standard. Therefore, let us affect a name change to the standard (as determined by overwhelming usage in the established literature). ProfJustice (talk) 20:56, 5 September 2015 (UTC)