Re: Style - Arms Length

Subject: Re: Style - Arms Length
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 08 May 2003 05:59:55 -0400

Rob Partridge wrote:

At first I agreed, that I would use a measurement rather than a
physiological feature. However, I can think of several situations where
arm's length would be preferred.
Who's arm? The inspector's of course. If the inspector needed to be
within touching distance of a piece of machinery, then arm's length
would be highly appropriate. I disagree that arm's length is difficult
for a non-English speaker. Perhaps the inspector must be able to touch
the machine in order to do their job. An arbitrary measurement might
mean that shorter armed people are not able to touch it, or that longer
armed people are operating in a cramped fashion.

Ok I'm getting silly now, time to step down.

You are implying that having at least one arm is a requirement for the inspector's job. This may be a legitimate requirement; but if it is not, questions could be raised with regard to employment discrimination.

In any case, if the issue is that the part must be within reach, then the phrase to use is "within reach." If the issue is that the inspector has to see small details, then the phrase to use is "close enough to distinguish X visually."

"At arm's length" is problematic for a variety of reasons when you think about it.

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RE: Style - Arms Length: From: Rob Partridge

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