From: Neil Harrington on

"Bill Graham" <weg9(a)> wrote in message
> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)> wrote in message
> news:0aWdndpkrMXpBGDXnZ2dnUVZ_rGdnZ2d(a)
>> "Bill Graham" <weg9(a)> wrote in message
>> news:Y-qdnVjXHOA4V2HXnZ2dnUVZ_hadnZ2d(a)
>>> What makes me wonder is why we don't have 13 months of exactly 4 weeks
>>> each?
>> Actually, the twelve-month calendar Julius Caesar gave us was a huge
>> improvement on the ten-month Roman calendar on which it was based, and
>> served pretty well for many centuries. I think it was Pope Gregory who
>> made the last adjustments including the leap year arrangement.
>>> Any bridge player can tell you that 13 times 4 is 52. This would be a
>>> much better system than the stupid 12 months in a year system we have
>>> now. We would still need a leap year day once every 4 years, but
>>> otherwise, all months would be the same.
>> A leap year every 4 years wouldn't quite do it, though. Thirteen
>> four-week months only gives you 364 days, which is about 1.24 days short
>> of an actual year.
> Well, there are 4 X 13 weeks (52) in a year right now, so there wouldn't
> be any difference between the correction we have right now and the one we
> would have with a 13 month year. We would still need a leap year day
> (February 29th) once every four years just as we have now.

No, the leap year day only makes up for the extra 0.24 day that the Julian
calendar was short. Not counting leap year, a year is 52 weeks + 1 day (365
days in all).

> The only difference is the number of days per month wouldn't jump up and
> down from month to month as it does now......We wouldn't have to memorize
> the, "30 days hath September, April, June, and November....." poem that
> every schoolchild does now. All months would have exactly 28 days 3 years
> out of every 4. So, if the first of the month is on a Saturday this month,
> then you would know that the first of every month will also be on a
> Saturday for the rest of the year, and this would go on until the next
> leap year's February......This would be very convenient when trying to
> plan your future appointments.

You'd still have to get that extra day in somewhere.

From: Neil Harrington on

"J�rgen Exner" <jurgenex(a)> wrote in message
> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)> wrote:
>>As a unit of liquid measure, the cup is what it is and does not have any
>>particular relationship to the amount of coffee you're served in a cup.
> Then if the unit "cup" doesn't have a relationship to a cup of beverage
> then what is the specific benefit of having that unit "cup" instead of
> using e.g 1/4 liter?

Cups (and mugs) come in a wide range of sizes. It's convenient to have a
specific unit of measure, and there is one, called a cup, regardless of its
relationship or non-relationship to any real-world cups. If your complaint
that it shouldn't in that case be called a cup, very well, but most words in
the English language have more than one meaning and this is just such a
case. I'm sure most housewives understand that when a recipe or whatever
calls for an amount like 1/2 cup, it's the standard measure that's referred
to and not half of an actual cup. Context is everything in the language.

From: Neil Harrington on

"J�rgen Exner" <jurgenex(a)> wrote in message
> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)> wrote:
>>"R. Mark Clayton" <nospamclayton(a)> wrote in message
>>> "The metric/imperial mix-up
>>> The metric/imperial mix-up that destroyed the craft
>>I understand, and I repeat the question: What does that have to do with
>>English vs. metric? (In terms of one being preferable to the other.)
>>The problem was that they mixed up two different measurement systems, not
>>that one of them was better than the other. So you can say that it was
>>as much the fault of using the metric system as of anything else.
> So, are you suggesting that in order to avoid future incidents like this
> the world should standardizes on the measurement system that is used by
> a small minority?

No, I'm saying that they should use the same measurement system all the way
through. That they failed to do so is not the fault of either measurement
system in itself, is it?

> Why doesn't that surprise me?

Probably because you're not metric enough.

From: Neil Harrington on

"Chris H" <chris(a)> wrote in message
> In message <Ba-dnXxPaOA3AmDXnZ2dnUVZ_gmdnZ2d(a)>, Neil
> Harrington <secret(a)> writes
>>"Chris H" <chris(a)> wrote in message
>>> In message <W8-dnQ16jqYTl2fXnZ2dnUVZ_vSdnZ2d(a)>, Neil
>>> Harrington <secret(a)> writes
>>>>> Even though the Yanks left the Empire they still won't join the rest
>>>>> of
>>>>> the world.
>>>>And go metric, you mean? There'd be no point to it.
>>> You may have no choice... In many places I see Global standards that are
>>> used the whole world over except in the USA. Eventually the US is going
>>> to have to fit in with the rest of the world.
>>The two systems co-exist perfectly well in virtually all everyday
>>applications. If you're expecting to see American mileage signs on the
>>highways change to kilometers, neither you nor your great-grandchildren
>>see that happen in your entire lifetimes. And we'll still be buying our
>>in quarts and our meat by the pound. There is simply no reason to change.
> I agree... but they are local things. Meat that is imported will be
> imported in Kilograms, Exports will also have to be in Metric units.

Hardly a problem, is it? I cannot imagine any importer-exporter being
troubled in the least by such a conversion.

> But on the street you can convert to anything you like.
>>The metric system seems to have started because Europeans squabbled over
>>measurements, as Europeans always do over one thing or another.
> And the Americans developed a completely new set on their own and
> continue to squabble as Americans always do.....

Who's doing the squabbling? I've never heard an American complain about
Europeans using the metric system for everything. It's only those who think
metric must be The One True Religion who are constantly bitching about it.

>>The English
>>mile was different from the Italian mile, and neither would accept the
>>standard of the other.
> And American sizes are different again

Not at all. The American mile is the same as the English mile.

From: Neil Harrington on

"tony cooper" <tony_cooper213(a)> wrote in message
> On Fri, 13 Nov 2009 18:25:21 +0000, Chris H <chris(a)>
> wrote:
>>Only whilst the US stays within it's own boarders and does not trade
>>with anyone else.
> We repel boarders ever since those water-boarding incidents.

Absolutely, and we certainly don't stay within them -- I have no idea how
you'd go about doing that anyway.

Some boarders are all right of course, as long as they pay on time.