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Subject:Re. Give me an inch... From:Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA> Date:Mon, 26 Jun 1995 11:40:31 LCL
... and I'll opt for an abbreviation in the SI system. The 0.001
inch(es) discussion leads me to propose the following schizophrenic
Option A: since "inch" is singular, it occurs to me that it applies
only to a value of 1.0 since fractions (such as the aforementioned
0.001) are not obviously singular. Thus, I'd reserve "inch" for single
units, and use the plural elsewhere.
Option B: I'd never say that my vacation last week amounted to 1/52
year_s_, but I would say that my pen weighs 0.06 pound_s_. Is it
possible that this is just a matter of usage rather than grammar? Is
it a change in usage when we use fractions (use the singular) versus
decimalized numbers (use the plural)? That seems to work for me, but
does anyone else buy it?