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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
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.
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
> >> 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
> >> 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...