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measures and figures (the s.c.nordic FAQ)
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measures and figures

 



Subject: 1.9 

About measures and figures

 

1.9.1 Why is it advisable to use the metric system in s.c.n?

Because you'll get flamed if you don't, that's why. :-> The obscure Anglo-Saxon units of measurement are a pet peeve of certain s.c.n regulars, known as net.metric-cops, who are very much committed to the cause of converting Yanks to the SI units. But it's really just a question of common courtesy. This is Nordic territory; we might be speaking English most of the time, but there's a limit to the extent we're willing to accommodate the American netters. :-) And seriously, many Nordics simply won't have an idea of what you're talking about if you use feet, yards, fahrenheits, inches, gallons, pounds or miles. If you don't know how to convert these to the metric system, it's about time to wake up to the 20th century and learn. Here are the tables:



                               Linear measure
                               --------------


 Primitive system                              Metric system
 ****************                              *************


 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters (cm)                1 cm = 0.3937 inch
 1 foot = 30.48 centimeters                    1 m  = 39.37 inches, or
 1 yard = 0.9144 meter (m)                            3.2808 feet, or
 1 mile = 1.6093 kilometers (km)                      1.0936 yards.

                                               1 km = 3280.8 feet, or
                                                      1093.6 yards, or
                                                      0.62137 miles.

                               Liquid measure
                               --------------

 1 U.S fluid ounce = 29.573 milliliters (ml)   1 ml =  0.033814 fl.oz.
 1 U.S quart = 9.4635 deciliters (dl), or      1 dl =  3.3814 fl.oz.
               0.94635 liters (l)              1 l  = 33.814 fl oz., or
 1 U.S gallon = 3.7854 liters                          1.0567 quarts, or
 1 U.S pint = 0.4732 liters                            0.26417 gallons
 1 U.S pint = 0.4732 liters                    1 l  =  2.1134 U.S pints

                                   Area
                                   ----

 1 sq foot = 0.0929 sq meters (m²)             1 m²  = 10.764 sq feet

 1 sq yard = 0.83613 sq meters (m²)            1 m²  = 1.1960 sq yards
 1 acre    = 0.4046 hectare (ha)               1 ha  = 2.471 acres
 1 sq mile = 2.5900 sq kilometers (km²)        1 km² = 0.38610 sq miles

                                   Mass
                                   ----

 1 ounce = 28.350 grams (g)                    1 g  = 0.03527 ounces
 1 pound = 0.45359 kilograms (kg)              1 kg = 2.2046 pounds
 1 short ton =  0.90718 metric ton     1 metric ton = 0.98421 long tons, or
 1 long ton =   1.0160  metric tons                   1.1023 short tons, or
                                                      1,000 kg

                                 Temperature
                                 -----------
The Celsius ("centigrade") scale, named after the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius (1701-44), is based on the freezing and boiling points of water -- 0°C and 100°C, respectively. The Fahrenheit scale, on the other hand, is based on what Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit (1686-1736) considered to be the temperature of the human body (100°F; in reality it should be around 98.6°F) and the lowest temperature he could achieve (0°F) by mixing salt, water and ice. Converting between the two can be done by the following formulas:
   °C = (°F-32)/1.8
   °F = 32+(1.8*°C)

Or, for practical purposes, a bit simplified formulas can be used:

   To get Fahrenheit out of Celsius: double the Celsius, subtract 10%,
   and add thirty-two.

   To get Celsius out of Fahrenheit: subtract thirty-two, add 10%, and
   divide by two.
Or if this is still too complicated, you could learn by heart parts of the following tables:

   Fahrenheit --> Celsius       Celsius --> Fahrenheit

                       -40°F = -40°C
                        /        \
              _________/          \_________
              |                            |
              v                            v

         -10°F = -23°C                  -10°C =  14°F
          0°F  = -18°C                   0°C  =  32°F
         10°F  = -12°C                  10°C  =  50°F
         20°F  =  -7°C                  20°C  =  68°F
         30°F  =  -1°C                  30°C  =  86°F
         40°F  =   4°C                  40°C  = 104°F
         50°F  =  10°C                  50°C  = 122°F
         60°F  =  16°C                  60°C  = 140°F
         70°F  =  21°C                  70°C  = 158°F
         80°F  =  27°C                  80°C  = 176°F
         90°F  =  32°C                  90°C  = 194°F
         100°F =  38°C                  100°C = 212°F


In the scales, 1 degree C corresponds to 1.8 degrees F,
               1 degree F corresponds to 0.56 degrees C.

You'd better learn all this now, because later on there might be a quiz. :->  

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1.9.2 How long is a Nordic mile?

John Mortison writes:
I am reading a copy of my greataunt's memoirs of growing up in Sweden before she emigrated to the US in 1890. In it she several times makes reference to Swedish miles and comments that they were longer than English miles.
Leif B. Kristensen answers:
John,
this unit of distance is still in use, both in Sweden and in Norway. A Scandinavian mil equals 10 kilometers, or approximately 6 1/4 English mile. It's the normal unit in which we reckon distance between towns and villages here.
Hans Engmark fills in:
> Denmark is not quiet as big, so though we also belong to 
> the Nordic countries, a mile is here only 7 km. :-)

Mesaurement in Denmark 1683-1998 

Danish mile = 7.538 m
Danish metermile = myriameter= 10.000 m
Danish geograficmile = 7420 m
Danish nauticmile= 1842 m
Danish inch 26,17 mm
Danish feet 0,31385 m

 

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1.9.3 A warning about decimal commas and delimiters

Although most writers in s.c.n. ought to know the English usage of decimal points and commas in big figures, you must be observant. The usage in Scandinavia, in Germany and in France is the opposite, and mistakes are common.

Recently it has become usual to mark thousands and millions by a single and a double apostrophe, like this: 1'200 for one thousand two hundreds, or 5"600'000 for five millions six hundred thousands. Sometimes you can also see an abbreviated form, 1'2 or 5"6, and you have to be prepared that the foot and inch signs might have other usages.

Finally, it's hopefully unnecessary to stress the difference between the American billion (a French, German or Scandinavian milliard) and the European billion (which is a million millions).

 

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1.9.4 From this discussion in s.c.nordic it's obvious the Scandinavians are...

Probably not. Never trust the net for drawing conclusions about groups of people, especially whole nations. You'll always get it wrong. I wouldn't want to preach, but some people need to be reminded. We're not statistically representative of the population layers of our countries, and most of us don't even attempt to represent anyone but our own, eccentric selves. A few colourful kooks with no life outside the net always outshine the silent, lurking masses. Don't fall into thinking "Gosh, those XXXs sure are a mighty weird/fanatic/stupid bunch of people." Treat us as individuals, and you'll have a better chance of being treated as an individual yourself.

All this being said: welcome to soc.culture.nordic! We hope you enjoy the group!



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