TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Charles P. Campbell (cpc -at- prism -dot- nmt -dot- edu) wrote:
: At least one current style dispenses with the degree symbol and
: writes the temperature as 50F (or 10C, or 483K). I thought this practice
: was now common, but I'm stranded away from my style books and
: can't prove it.
I believe you're thinking of the modern use of "K" rather
than "oK" for kelvins (formerly degrees Kelvin). There
should be a space between the figure and the "K", just as
with other units. I have never seen "C" or "F" used without
the degree symbol, except in informal contexts where the
degree symbol is not available. Note that the Kelvin scale
begins at absolute 0, so kelvins can be thought of as units
of temperature. The Celsius and Fahrenheit scales don't
work that way--for example, negative numbers are possible,
and 10 oC is not twice 20 oC in any meaningful sense.
(By the way, I think you meant 283 K, not 483 K.)
--Keith Ivey <kcivey -at- cpcug -dot- org>