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Old 13th Apr 2015, 10:33
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: uk
Posts: 1,642
Working as a chemist in industry one learned very quickly to change from g/litre, oz./gall (Imperial), oz./gall US, degrees Centigrade and Fahrenheit.

I also received some good lessons in the use of precise terms such as the difference between 2 1/2 and 2.5. I once went to the Toolroom foreman, a God in the motor industry in the 60's, and asked for a strip of steel 0.5 in. wide.

He asked if I really wanted it 0.5 in. wide and I said yes, half an inch. "But you've written 0.5 in.", he said rather scornfully. "Yes, I said, Half an inch" .

Eventually, he patiently explained to me the error of my ways, a lesson I have never forgotten.

I also learned the difference between precision and accuracy and was amazed how many professional technicians didn't. This became embarrassingly obvious when the calculator and digital instrumentation became readily available.
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