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Subject:Re: "rule of thumb" From:"Marvin W. Miller" <Marvin_Miller -at- SEC -dot- SEL -dot- SONY -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 16 Nov 1995 16:37:13 -0800
> > Date: Thu, 16 Nov 1995 09:29:01 EST From: Karen Mayer <Karen_
> > Mayer -dot- TOUCH_TECHNOLOGY -at- NOTES -dot- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM> Subject: Re:
> > hyphenating and hypothecating - a hypothesis
> > Your (and others') use of the term "rule of thumb" reminded me of
> > what my dad told me was the origin of that phrase. He says that
> > not too long ago the law stated that a man could beat his wife with
> > a stick no larger than the diameter of his thumb. Thus it was
> > the "Rule of Thumb." Lovely.
> Oh, dear, I guess I'm going to have to whittle mine down.
> Sorry, but I doubt the truth of your dad's statement. I thought the
> term came from carpentry, wherein the width of one's thumb could be
> used to approximate an inch.
> Other theories?
> John Wilcox <john -at- syntax -dot- com>
> Senior Technical Writer
> Syntax, Inc., 840 S. 333rd St., Federal Way, WA 98003-6343 USA
> voice 206-838-2626, fax 206-838-9836, http://www.syntax.com