Terminological confusion in weights, measures and numbering systems


The diversity of the world's measuring systems was reconciled in large degree in the metric system introduced by the French Revolution. World acceptance of the metric system's improved version, the International System of Units (SI); will be only in part, for while it secures the most important aspect, world agreement on most quantitative units, there remain a number of exceptions and special problems.


One problem is the various names for the same measure in the world's languages. Another problem is the special aggregates of SI units. It is likely then, that even though the SI and other internationally agreed standards have established a unit name and number, names and aggregates specific to linguistic areas will persist. The Netherlands vierkante roedo, for example, is the same as the are (a metric unit of area) of the SI; the Greek stremma is 10 ares; a bunder in the Netherlands is a hectare and in Turkey the same thing is called a djerib. Practical problems are demonstrated by the instance of international motorists in Poland who want a number of litres of petrol. They will need to ask for a number of kwartas. A long-distance lorry stopping for 100 litres in the Netherlands will need to ask for a mud, and if the driver is ever in Thailand to purchase some rice wine, a fanan will give him a litre's worth. Apart from the weights and measures terminology, confusion exists in numbering systems. Exchange of international information is hindered by this persisting confusion of language.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST