Re: "rule of thumb"

Subject: Re: "rule of thumb"
From: Gina <psu02909 -at- ODIN -dot- CC -dot- PDX -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 1995 13:07:44 -0800

Leg Pulling?
Yes, lo and behold, there is a history to violence against women. The
legal function of the 'rule of thumb' is documented.
Now I suppose I have to state that I'm not a raving feminist.
Personally, I like Tech Writers that have historical consciousness.
Even if they're male.

Eastman, PSU

On Fri, 17 Nov 1995, Pat Madea wrote:

> Karen Mayer writes:

> >> 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
> >> 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.

> John Wilcox responds with what I always understood the statement to mean:

> >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.

> In a broad sense, I understand a Rule of Thumb to be a rough
> approximation, a general rule, an imprecise guideline. As such, there
> are many Rules of Thumb.

> I've never heard Karen's father's definition and it sounds like
> someone's leg (or thumb) might have been pulled.

> However, Karen's father's definition contains just enough
> "believeable" elements in it that it makes "sense," doesn't it? So it
> must be true thereby creating all kinds of other problems...

> madea // madea -at- mmsi -dot- com

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