SUMMARY: kHz or KHz?

Subject: SUMMARY: kHz or KHz?
From: Dave Neufeld <Dave_Neufeld -at- SPECTRUMSIGNAL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 14:38:43 -0700

In a stunning landslide victory which even the biased pre-election polls
didn't anticipate, kHz has effectively muzzled the KHz which has
traditionally dominated so many of the radio dials we grew up with. Upon
hearing the final results Chancellor KHz announced his resignation
immediately, stating he accepts full responsibility for the election
results...

The current tally results are:
kHz 15
KHz 3

Although I had encountered many of the supporting arguments for kHz before,
it was nice to have them so finely (and sometimes emphatically) articulated
in the replies. Several respondents also noted that 'k' denoted 1000, while
'K' denoted 1024 (as in binary computer-speak things such as memory size).
(Please overlook my overuse (abuse?) of parenthesis within this summary;
they are, of course, entirely parenthetical to this discussion.)

Here's some excerpts citing their sources and giving interesting thoughts
(with the author's names excluded due to my personal attraction to
laziness):

<<consult a science style guide such as the Council of Biology Editors or
American
Chemical Society guides, not a computer guide>>

<<"K" stands for Kelvin (http://www.kanten.com/styleguide/faq/faq64.html).
"k" is the metric and SI prefix for 1000x.
"Hz" starts with an upper case because the unit of measure is named after
Heinrich Hertz, a German physicist.
(http://www.encyclopedia.com/articles/05870.html).
Here's a useful site for SI units:
http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/index.html>>

<<kHz is right... ...of course if it's silkscreened on the panel KHZ,
that's what you'd go with.>>

<<Philip Rubens' "Science and Technical Writing, A Manual Of Style" (and a
most excellent book), explains the the lowecase k should be used as an
abbreviation for kilo>>

<<The official source "SI Units in Engineering and Technology"
(S.H.Qasim, Pergamon Press, ISBN 0 08 0212786), says small 'k'
(kilo). However, the Oxford Dictionary of Computing allows either.
Colloquial use has adopted k for 1000 and the computer 'kilo' (2^^10
= 1024) when referring to memory size.>>

<<The McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Telecommunications,
Muller defines k (kilo) as "one thousand" and K (kilo) as "one thousand and
twenty-four".>>


Thanx to all respondents. You rock my world.

David Neufeld
=======================================================================
Technical Publications
Spectrum Signal Processing, Inc.
dave_neufeld -at- spectrumsignal -dot- com
http:\\www.spectrumsignal.com
"no matter where you go..... there you are." -- Buckaroo Banzai


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