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weekends (was Re: DayLight Savings Time Changes)

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  • Tex Texin
    ... No, and that s my point. Sunday is the first day of the week in western calendars. weekend generally means the days I have off, it is the end of (or more
    Message 1 of 22 , Mar 1, 2004
      NGUYEN Adam wrote:
      > Yes, 'weekend' is almost always used in a social sense. It usually isn't
      > (well, it shouldn't be) used in technical, scientific, or legal documents.
      > The term 'weekend' technically can mean Sunday in an ISO (and western)
      > (work)week but, is almost always used to mean the last two days of the week.

      No, and that's my point. Sunday is the first day of the week in western
      calendars.

      weekend generally means the days I have off, it is the end of (or more
      accurately "after") the work week, and is not strictly the end of the week
      meaning days 6 and 7.

      tex
    • Peter Haas
      Hi, ... From a religious point (Jewish and Christian) the Saturday is the end of the week (the seventh day). Therefore the week start Sunday from this sight.
      Message 2 of 22 , Mar 1, 2004
        Hi,

        on 2004-03-01T11:58:33+01:00 Tex wrote:
        >> Yes, 'weekend' is almost always used in a social sense. It usually isn't
        >> (well, it shouldn't be) used in technical, scientific, or legal documents.
        >> The term 'weekend' technically can mean Sunday in an ISO (and western)
        >> (work)week but, is almost always used to mean the last two days of the week.

        From a religious point (Jewish and Christian) the Saturday is the end
        of the week (the seventh day). Therefore the week start Sunday from
        this sight. During the Jewish people have its rest day Saturday, the
        Christian people have move its rest day to Sunday, the day of the
        resurrection. IMHO two rest days was introduced in the last century,
        maybe in future there are more than two rest days.


        > No, and that's my point. Sunday is the first day of the week in western
        > calendars.

        This is wrong since many years. In some European countries the start
        of the week is Monday since about 30 years (predecessor of ISO 8601).
        In all other EU countries the start of the week is Monday since about
        10 years (EN 28601 = ISO 8601).

        Bye Peter.
      • Tex Texin
        Peter, thanks. I didn t write the first para, I was arguing against it, saying weekend is the last 2 days of the week is incorrect. Also, we need to
        Message 3 of 22 , Mar 1, 2004
          Peter,
          thanks.
          I didn't write the first para, I was arguing against it, saying "weekend is
          the last 2 days of the week" is incorrect.
          Also, we need to separate the business weeks from religious calendar weeks and
          other calendar weeks.

          Yes, monday is day one by some reckoning. I was only trying to give examples to
          disprove Adam's point that the weekend is the last 2 days.

          Let's move on- weekends vary and it is not a reliable measure of when people
          are at work. We don't need to standardize around it, so ignroe it.
          tex

          Peter Haas wrote:
          >
          > Hi,
          >
          > on 2004-03-01T11:58:33+01:00 Tex wrote:
          > >> Yes, 'weekend' is almost always used in a social sense. It usually isn't
          > >> (well, it shouldn't be) used in technical, scientific, or legal documents.
          > >> The term 'weekend' technically can mean Sunday in an ISO (and western)
          > >> (work)week but, is almost always used to mean the last two days of the week.
          >
          > >From a religious point (Jewish and Christian) the Saturday is the end
          > of the week (the seventh day). Therefore the week start Sunday from
          > this sight. During the Jewish people have its rest day Saturday, the
          > Christian people have move its rest day to Sunday, the day of the
          > resurrection. IMHO two rest days was introduced in the last century,
          > maybe in future there are more than two rest days.
          >
          > > No, and that's my point. Sunday is the first day of the week in western
          > > calendars.
          >
          > This is wrong since many years. In some European countries the start
          > of the week is Monday since about 30 years (predecessor of ISO 8601).
          > In all other EU countries the start of the week is Monday since about
          > 10 years (EN 28601 = ISO 8601).
          >
          > Bye Peter.
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >

          --
          -------------------------------------------------------------
          Tex Texin cell: +1 781 789 1898 mailto:Tex at XenCraft.com
          Xen Master XenCraft http://www.XenCraft.com
          Making e-Business Work Around the World
          -------------------------------------------------------------
        • BUDAI Andrew
          ... From: Tex Texin To: ISO8601@yahoogroups.com Sent: 2004 03 01, Monday 18:58 Subject: [ISO8601] weekends (was Re: DayLight Savings Time Changes) ... No,
          Message 4 of 22 , Mar 2, 2004
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Tex Texin
            Sent: 2004 03  01, Monday  18:58
            Subject: [ISO8601] weekends (was Re: DayLight Savings Time Changes)



            NGUYEN Adam wrote:
            > Yes, 'weekend' is almost always used in a social sense. It usually isn't
            > (well, it shouldn't be) used in technical, scientific, or legal documents.
            > The term 'weekend' technically can mean Sunday in an ISO (and western)
            > (work)week but, is almost always used to mean the last two days of the week.

            No, and that's my point. Sunday is the first day of the week in western
            calendars. (?)

            weekend generally means the days I have off, it is the end of (or more
            accurately "after") the work week, and is not strictly the end of the week
            meaning days 6 and 7.

            tex
                2004 03 02  (Tuesday)  15:52
             
            I feel compelled to support NGUYEN Adam's view, and disagree with Tex this time.  As a European-born American teaching English in Asia, I look at the question more from the angle of language as a tool of social communication, rather than what something one computer tells another computer.  While I read with interest all you programmers and techno-gurus had to say about the computer end of dates and times, I need to re-emphasize that there is a more pressing need for English in e-communication for everyday folks like us. 
             
            Firstly, I refuse to start from the premise that everything originated in the USA is world standard and to be emulated without criticism.  The Sunday to Saturday week is a US phenomenon, and it would be far-fetched to call it "western".
             
            My Canadian and Brazilian calendars, as well as the French and German calendars with which I became familiar in the last few years, all subscribe to the idea that the week begins on Monday.  Otherwise, we would have a 5-day workweek sandwiched between a week-beginning day off and a week-ending day off, and everyone would be uncertain just when a week is a week.
             
            Another point I refuse to consider is that of religions.  See the following:
             
            > >From a religious point (Jewish and Christian) the Saturday is the end
            > of the week (the seventh day). Therefore the week start Sunday from
            > this sight. During the Jewish people have its rest day Saturday, the
            > Christian people have move its rest day to Sunday, the day of the
            > resurrection. IMHO two rest days was introduced in the last century,
            > maybe in future there are more than two rest days.
             
            Once you mention Christian, Jewish or Islamic rules, we may as well stop trying to make sense.  Religious leaders have never striven to establish a unified, world standard in any of the areas of science or business. 
            For them, Divide & impera works fine, thank you.
             
            So much for lumping all of Europe and South America together with U.S. traditions and customs and claiming it to be blind followers of the States.  When I teach English, I tell my students that international communication is NOT synonymous with American English.  My Dutch and Scandinavian friends also follow a general European attitude about dates and times, are supporters of inserting logic into a language that heretofore lacked logic in many areas.
             
            There may not be any scientific argument behind this. However, it all boils down to politics: should the world be an All-American family, accepting without hesitation everything that comes from the New World, or should we use some pragmatism, ask some questions about traditions, and especially, should we try to make some sense when using English as a world language. 
             
            BUDAI Endre  A. S.
                         
          • Tex Texin
            BUDAI Endre A. S. says: Firstly, I refuse to start from the premise that everything originated in the USA is world standard and to be emulated without
            Message 5 of 22 , Mar 2, 2004
              BUDAI Endre A. S. says:

              Firstly, I refuse to start from the premise that everything originated in the
              USA is world standard and to be emulated without criticism. The Sunday to
              Saturday week is a US phenomenon, and it would be far-fetched to call it
              "western".

              tex> ok, I agree.


              My Canadian and Brazilian calendars, as well as the French and German calendars
              with which I became familiar in the last few years, all subscribe to the idea
              that the week begins on Monday. Otherwise, we would have a 5-day workweek
              sandwiched between a week-beginning day off and a week-ending day off, and
              everyone would be uncertain just when a week is a week.

              tex> ok. Even in the US it is generally understood that if you say you are
              going to be out for a week, it is marked from monday to monday. But it's a
              business use of the term since its a week off. When I rent a cottage in the US
              it is from Sun to sat. (At least on cape cod!)


              Another point I refuse to consider is that of religions.

              Once you mention Christian, Jewish or Islamic rules, we may as well stop trying
              to make sense.

              tex> absolutely.


              There may not be any scientific argument behind this. However, it all boils
              down to politics: should the world be an All-American family, accepting
              without hesitation everything that comes from the New World, or should we use
              some pragmatism, ask some questions about traditions, and especially,
              should we try to make some sense when using English as a world language.

              tex> I would never assert the american ways are correct or somehow right for
              the world. I was just arguing that adam was wrong and offering examples to
              refute, not stating these are the "correct" ways.

              Lets move on, we are all saying that "it varies".



              --
              -------------------------------------------------------------
              Tex Texin cell: +1 781 789 1898 mailto:Tex at XenCraft.com
              Xen Master XenCraft http://www.XenCraft.com
              Making e-Business Work Around the World
              -------------------------------------------------------------
            • johnmsteele
              ... Absolutely. To ISO8601 and data interchange, this only matters IF one is using the week-date representation, for date code, material logistics scheduling,
              Message 6 of 22 , Mar 2, 2004
                --- In ISO8601@yahoogroups.com, Tex Texin <tex@x> wrote:
                > Lets move on, we are all saying that "it varies".

                Absolutely. To ISO8601 and data interchange, this only matters IF one
                is using the week-date representation, for date code, material
                logistics scheduling, etc. No one really uses this in ordinary
                converstaion. IF you use week codes, then Monday is encoded by the
                number "1," or you are not 8601 compliant, just as, to an electrical
                engineer, the number "1" in a resistor value is encoded by a brown
                stripe. Its the code, there is no cultural significance. Either
                comply or be non-compliant. Compliance is voluntary, but resistance
                is futile.

                Any discussion of whether one draws a monthly or annual wall calendar
                with Sunday on the right or left of the rest of the week belongs in
                the "WWDATES" group. I don't see that 8601 cares, because it is about
                computer files exchanging data, not wall calendars.
              • NGUYEN Adam
                ... Many people I know end up using US English and even US slang (!) in an area that it doesn t fit (like international communication) -- even if they are not
                Message 7 of 22 , Mar 2, 2004
                  At 2004-03-02 16:30 (UTC+0800), you wrote:

                  [...]
                      2004 03 02  (Tuesday)  15:52
                   
                  I feel compelled to support NGUYEN Adam's view, and disagree with Tex this time.  As a European-born American teaching English in Asia, I look at the question more from the angle of language as a tool of social communication, rather than what something one computer tells another computer.  While I read with interest all you programmers and techno-gurus had to say about the computer end of dates and times, I need to re-emphasize that there is a more pressing need for English in e-communication for everyday folks like us. 
                   
                  Firstly, I refuse to start from the premise that everything originated in the USA is world standard and to be emulated without criticism.  The Sunday to Saturday week is a US phenomenon, and it would be far-fetched to call it "western".
                   
                  My Canadian and Brazilian calendars, as well as the French and German calendars with which I became familiar in the last few years, all subscribe to the idea that the week begins on Monday.  Otherwise, we would have a 5-day workweek sandwiched between a week-beginning day off and a week-ending day off, and everyone would be uncertain just when a week is a week.
                   
                  Another point I refuse to consider is that of religions.  See the following:
                   
                  > >From a religious point (Jewish and Christian) the Saturday is the end
                  > of the week (the seventh day). Therefore the week start Sunday from
                  > this sight. During the Jewish people have its rest day Saturday, the
                  > Christian people have move its rest day to Sunday, the day of the
                  > resurrection. IMHO two rest days was introduced in the last century,
                  > maybe in future there are more than two rest days.
                   
                  Once you mention Christian, Jewish or Islamic rules, we may as well stop trying to make sense.  Religious leaders have never striven to establish a unified, world standard in any of the areas of science or business. 
                  For them, Divide & impera works fine, thank you.
                   
                  So much for lumping all of Europe and South America together with U.S. traditions and customs and claiming it to be blind followers of the States.  When I teach English, I tell my students that international communication is NOT synonymous with American English.  My Dutch and Scandinavian friends also follow a general European attitude about dates and times, are supporters of inserting logic into a language that heretofore lacked logic in many areas.
                   
                  There may not be any scientific argument behind this. However, it all boils down to politics: should the world be an All-American family, accepting without hesitation everything that comes from the New World, or should we use some pragmatism, ask some questions about traditions, and especially, should we try to make some sense when using English as a world language.
                   
                  BUDAI Endre  A. S.

                  Many people I know end up using US English and even US slang (!) in an area that it doesn't fit (like international communication) -- even if they are not a fluent or native English speaker. In some parts of Asia -- like Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and maybe other parts of Asia, US English is the preferred form of written & spoken English and is what's taught in English classes in these countries. I never understood why it still is, considering that the Second World War has long been done with and those countries are not parts of the US. Anyone find it odd at the Philippines uses MM/dd/yyyy as their date format and 'January 1, 2000' is an increasingly more popular date format in Japan? Same goes for time: Japan and the Philippines uses AM/PM a lot now. I thought these things were to never exist outside the US and never even needed to exist but the US ended up usng them due to some stupidity in the past with politics or something. I don't expect to see this in a foreign country. In Europe, as well as the parts of Asia that were once occupied by the British, things are much different. People in these places try to follow the logic in it all and I bet it would be easier to get these people to change to more logical conventions.

                           A question I have: Outside the US, does the computer industry follow US conventions? If so, why? In a metric(SI)-only country, would you expect to see a '17 inch' monitor or a '43 cm' one?

                           As for what was said about the Sunday - Saturday calendar week, I thought this was a US invention as well, because it only makes sense -- even from a religious viewpoint -- that the 'rest day' didn't come first. It comes last. In the Islamic calendar, this holds true with Friday being the rest (and last) day. Kind of like when you sleep. Do you consider sleep as the last or first thing you do daily?
                • johnmsteele
                  ... industry ... would you ... Actually, the electronics industry (and a lot of other US industries) are secretly metric and translate metric units into
                  Message 8 of 22 , Mar 2, 2004
                    --- In ISO8601@yahoogroups.com, NGUYEN Adam <adam917@s...> wrote:
                    > > A question I have: Outside the US, does the computer
                    industry
                    > follow US conventions? If so, why? In a metric(SI)-only country,
                    would you
                    > expect to see a '17 inch' monitor or a '43 cm' one?
                    >


                    Actually, the electronics industry (and a lot of other US industries)
                    are "secretly metric" and translate metric units into English units
                    as required for US market. They buy parts overseas, or they sell the
                    same product overseas, and can't be bothered with English units.
                    (Although you'd be hard pressed to find a computer monitor assembled
                    in the US)
                  • NGUYEN Adam
                    ... OK. Makes sense. I heard that the automobile industry went metric in the 1980s... What about date/time formats? Is this similar, with the electronics
                    Message 9 of 22 , Mar 3, 2004
                      At 2004-03-03 04:16 (UTC+0000), you wrote:
                      [...]
                      Actually, the electronics industry (and a lot of other US industries)
                      are "secretly metric" and translate metric units into English units
                      as required for US market. They buy parts overseas, or they sell the
                      same product overseas, and can't be bothered with English units.
                      (Although you'd be hard pressed to find a computer monitor assembled
                      in the US)

                               OK. Makes sense. I heard that the automobile industry 'went metric' in the 1980s...

                               What about date/time formats? Is this similar, with the electronics industry internally using year-month-day dates and 24-hour times and doing the same thing when matketing products in the US? Anyone know how numbers are handled? 1000 = 1,000 = 1.000 = 1'000 = 1 000. Very confusing, unless '1000' or '1'000' was used. Similar problem with decimals exists because whatever languages that , is used as a thousands separator, the . is used as a decimal. In a lot of languages of in Europe, this is switched. [...]
                    • johnmsteele
                      ... industry went ... I worked in the internal Electronics division of a US auto manufacturer, although I m retired now. The company was already metric, and
                      Message 10 of 22 , Mar 3, 2004
                        --- In ISO8601@yahoogroups.com, NGUYEN Adam <adam917@s...> wrote:
                        > OK. Makes sense. I heard that the automobile
                        industry 'went
                        > metric' in the 1980s...
                        >
                        I worked in the internal Electronics division of a US auto
                        manufacturer, although I'm retired now. The company was already
                        metric, and had been for a few years when I joined in 1978. My
                        previous employer was an electronic instrumentation manufacturer and
                        I was on the metrication committee in about 1972, we had completed
                        going metric around 1975.


                        > What about date/time formats? Is this similar, with the
                        > electronics industry internally using year-month-day dates and 24-
                        hour
                        > times and doing the same thing when matketing products in the US?
                        Anyone
                        > know how numbers are handled? 1000 = 1,000 = 1.000 = 1'000 = 1 000.
                        Very
                        > confusing, unless '1000' or '1'000' was used. Similar problem with
                        decimals
                        > exists because whatever languages that , is used as a thousands
                        separator,
                        > the . is used as a decimal. In a lot of languages of in Europe,
                        this is
                        > switched. [...]
                        I can't answer for the whole industry. At auto company, most of
                        engineering's communication was internal but included departments in
                        other countries. We were aware of each other's date conventions, we
                        frowned on all numeric dates, and used a month abbreviation, 3
                        letter, but the natural date order of the office issuing the memo. We
                        learned 24 hour time, and our European offices learned am/pm.
                        Probably not an ideal solution, but didn't cause much trouble. One
                        exception, engineering drawings were dated in YYYYMMDD format,
                        worldwide.


                        The decimal point/comma never caused much confusion as it seemed
                        obvious in context (again awareness). Good metric practice is to use
                        prefixes to avoid long numbers. (We taught our 'beancounters' that K
                        = 1000, M = one million, regardless of norm in accounting)

                        Same position on British/US spelling, both were correct, you were
                        expected to use what was natural for your location. However, as a US
                        company, we insisted on English for internal correspondence (except
                        for purely 'within country' memoes)

                        Probably our biggest issue was time zones for conference calls and
                        who was on/off daylight savings time. I dealt a lot with a plant in
                        Brazil and that drove me nuts, as seasons are reversed.
                      • NGUYEN Adam
                        ... All very interesting information. I agree about the date in words is the next-best option besides YYYYMMDD. The problems begin when non-native and
                        Message 11 of 22 , Mar 3, 2004
                          At 2004-03-03 21:35 (UTC+0000), you wrote:

                          >--- In ISO8601@yahoogroups.com, NGUYEN Adam <adam917@s...> wrote:
                          > > OK. Makes sense. I heard that the automobile
                          >industry 'went
                          > > metric' in the 1980s...
                          > >
                          >I worked in the internal Electronics division of a US auto
                          >manufacturer, although I'm retired now. The company was already
                          >metric, and had been for a few years when I joined in 1978. My
                          >previous employer was an electronic instrumentation manufacturer and
                          >I was on the metrication committee in about 1972, we had completed
                          >going metric around 1975.
                          >
                          >
                          > > What about date/time formats? Is this similar, with the
                          > > electronics industry internally using year-month-day dates and 24-
                          >hour
                          > > times and doing the same thing when matketing products in the US?
                          >Anyone
                          > > know how numbers are handled? 1000 = 1,000 = 1.000 = 1'000 = 1 000.
                          >Very
                          > > confusing, unless '1000' or '1'000' was used. Similar problem with
                          >decimals
                          > > exists because whatever languages that , is used as a thousands
                          >separator,
                          > > the . is used as a decimal. In a lot of languages of in Europe,
                          >this is
                          > > switched. [...]
                          >I can't answer for the whole industry. At auto company, most of
                          >engineering's communication was internal but included departments in
                          >other countries. We were aware of each other's date conventions, we
                          >frowned on all numeric dates, and used a month abbreviation, 3
                          >letter, but the natural date order of the office issuing the memo. We
                          >learned 24 hour time, and our European offices learned am/pm.
                          >Probably not an ideal solution, but didn't cause much trouble. One
                          >exception, engineering drawings were dated in YYYYMMDD format,
                          >worldwide.
                          >
                          >
                          > The decimal point/comma never caused much confusion as it seemed
                          >obvious in context (again awareness). Good metric practice is to use
                          >prefixes to avoid long numbers. (We taught our 'beancounters' that K
                          >= 1000, M = one million, regardless of norm in accounting)
                          >
                          >Same position on British/US spelling, both were correct, you were
                          >expected to use what was natural for your location. However, as a US
                          >company, we insisted on English for internal correspondence (except
                          >for purely 'within country' memoes)
                          >
                          >Probably our biggest issue was time zones for conference calls and
                          >who was on/off daylight savings time. I dealt a lot with a plant in
                          >Brazil and that drove me nuts, as seasons are reversed.

                          All very interesting information. I agree about the date in words
                          is the next-best option besides YYYYMMDD. The problems begin when
                          non-native and non-English speakers get involved and it's possible to end
                          up with odd-looking abbreviations to English-only speakers. I guess the
                          people in the industries are forced to use the nearest SI prefix to the
                          number (instead of, say 1234567.89 mm, you have something like 1.23456789 Mm)?

                          Yeah, those timezones can be quite cumbersome. Better to use UTC.
                        • John M. Steele
                          ... From: NGUYEN Adam [mailto:adam917@softhome.net] Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2004 10:29 PM To: ISO8601@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [ISO8601] weekends (was
                          Message 12 of 22 , Mar 3, 2004
                             
                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: NGUYEN Adam [mailto:adam917@...]
                            Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2004 10:29 PM
                            To: ISO8601@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [ISO8601] weekends (was Re: DayLight Savings Time Changes)


                                     Yeah, those timezones can be quite cumbersome. Better to use UTC.
                          • Sunatori, Go Simon
                            ... It could be said that the whole world, including the U.S., went internally metric when the definition of English and Imperial units got linked to the
                            Message 13 of 22 , Mar 4, 2004
                              > [...]
                              > Actually, the electronics industry (and a lot of other US industries)
                              > are "secretly metric" and translate metric units into English units
                              > as required for US market. They buy parts overseas, or they sell the
                              > same product overseas, and can't be bothered with English units.
                              > (Although you'd be hard pressed to find a computer monitor assembled
                              > in the US)

                              It could be said that the whole world, including the U.S., went
                              "internally metric" when the definition of English and Imperial units
                              got linked to the metric system rather than having its own definition.

                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              A chronology of the SI metric system
                              <http://lamar.colostate.edu/~hillger/dates.htm>

                              * 1958 | A conference of English-speaking nations agreed to unify their
                              standards of length and mass, and define them in terms of metric
                              measures. The American yard was shortened and the imperial yard was
                              lengthened as a result. The new conversion factors were announced in
                              1959 in the Federal Register.

                              * 1964 | The National Bureau of Standards (NBS) made the metric system
                              its standard "except when the use of these units would obviously impair
                              communication or reduce the usefulness of a report."
                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------

                              > The real problem was trying to figure out office hours when people
                              > would be at work, or where it was minimal disruption to a normal work
                              > schedule. You still had to know local times, to determine whether a
                              > given time was feasible for each office in the call.

                              Note the very past tense. The problem of time zone was mostly resolved
                              with E-mail, which I first started using in 1983 when it was called
                              COCOS (Corporate Communication System) at BNR. As for me, I never
                              respected regular office hours anyway, working until 02:00 local time,
                              then goofing off somewhere else the next morning, etc. The mainframe
                              computer was faster with fewer users, so I was much more productive
                              after the regular office hours.

                              Simon Sunatori, P.Eng./ing., M.Eng. (Engineering Physics), F.N.A.
                              --
                              Simon Sunatori <http://WWW.HyperInfo.CA/~GS.Sunatori/>
                              65, des Parulines <mailto:GS.Sunatori@...>
                              Gatineau, QC <telephone:+1-819-595-9210>
                              Canada J9A 1Z4 <facsimile:+1-425-984-7292>
                            • johnmsteele
                              ... units ... definition. ... It is true the inch ( foot, and yard, etc) was slightly redefined then. The old inch was define by 39.37 = 1 m. The modern
                              Message 14 of 22 , Mar 4, 2004
                                --- In ISO8601@yahoogroups.com, "Sunatori, Go Simon"
                                <GS.Sunatori@H...> wrote:
                                > > It could be said that the whole world, including the U.S., went
                                > "internally metric" when the definition of English and Imperial
                                units
                                > got linked to the metric system rather than having its own
                                definition.
                                >


                                It is true the inch ( foot, and yard, etc) was slightly redefined
                                then. The "old" inch was define by 39.37" = 1 m. The modern inch is
                                defined by 1" = 25.4 mm, resulting in 39.37007874" (approximately) =
                                1 m.

                                However, our standards have been defined in terms of metric standards
                                since 1893, and serious conversion of US industry probably started
                                around 1965. A history from NIST, the modern successor to NBS, and
                                agency responsible for metric system in US, is given below. (Several
                                good links on the page for more info, too). Virtually all American
                                industry with international markets has actually gone metric, but
                                public support is lower than ever. There is no "will" to complete the
                                conversion.
                                http://ts.nist.gov/ts/htdocs/200/202/lc1136a.htm

                                THE UNITED STATES AND
                                THE METRIC SYSTEM (LC 1136)

                                A Capsule History
                                The United States is now the only industrialized country in the world
                                that does not use the metric system as its predominant system of
                                measurement.

                                Most Americans think that our involvement with metric measurement is
                                relatively new. In fact, the United States has been increasing its
                                use of metric units for many years, and the pace has accelerated in
                                the past three decades. In the early 1800's, the U.S. Coast and
                                Geodetic Survey (the government's surveying and map-making agency)
                                used meter and kilogram standards brought from France. In 1866,
                                Congress authorized the use of the metric system in this country and
                                supplied each state with a set of standard metric weights and
                                measures.

                                In 1875, the United States solidified its commitment to the
                                development of the internationally recognized metric system by
                                becoming one of the original seventeen signatory nations to the
                                Treaty of the Meter. The signing of this international agreement
                                concluded five years of meetings in which the metric system was
                                reformulated, refining the accuracy of its standards. The Treaty of
                                the Meter, also know as the "Metric Convention," established the
                                International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) in Sèvres,
                                France, to provide standards of measurement for worldwide use.

                                In 1893, metric standards, developed through international
                                cooperation under the auspices of BIPM, were adopted as the
                                fundamental standards for length and mass in the United States. Our
                                customary measurements -- the foot, pound, quart, etc. -- have been
                                defined in relation to the meter and the kilogram ever since. The
                                General Conference of Weights and Measures, the governing body that
                                has overall responsibility for the metric system, and which is made
                                up of the signatory nations to the Treaty of the Meter, approved an
                                updated version of the metric system in 1960. This modern system is
                                called Le Système International d'Unités or the International System
                                of Units, abbreviated SI.

                                The United Kingdom, began a transition to the metric system in 1965
                                to more fully mesh its business and trade practices with those of the
                                European Common Market. The conversion of the United Kingdom and the
                                Commonwealth nations to SI created a new sense of urgency regarding
                                the use of metric units in the United States.

                                In 1968, Congress authorized a three-year study of systems of
                                measurement in the U.S., with particular emphasis on the feasibility
                                of adopting SI. The detailed U.S. Metric Study was conducted by the
                                Department of Commerce. A 45-member advisory panel consulted with and
                                took testimony from hundreds of consumers, business organizations,
                                labor groups, manufacturers, and state and local officials.

                                The final report of the study, "A Metric America: A Decision Whose
                                Time Has Come," concluded that the U.S. would eventually join the
                                rest of the world in the use of the metric system of measurement. The
                                study found that measurement in the United States was already based
                                on metric units in many areas and that it was becoming more so every
                                day. The majority of study participants believed that conversion to
                                the metric system was in the best interests of the Nation,
                                particularly in view of the importance of foreign trade and the
                                increasing influence of technology in American life.

                                The study recommended that the United States implement a carefully
                                planned transition to predominant use of the metric system over a ten-
                                year period. Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 "to
                                coordinate and plan the increasing use of the metric system in the
                                United States." The Act, however, did not require a ten-year
                                conversion period. A process of voluntary conversion was initiated,
                                and the U.S. Metric Board was established. The Board was charged
                                with "devising and carrying out a broad program of planning,
                                coordination, and public education, consistent with other national
                                policy and interests, with the aim of implementing the policy set
                                forth in this Act." The efforts of the Metric Board were largely
                                ignored by the American public, and, in 1981, the Board reported to
                                Congress that it lacked the clear Congressional mandate necessary to
                                bring about national conversion. Due to this apparent
                                ineffectiveness, and in an effort to reduce Federal spending, the
                                Metric Board was disestablished in the fall of 1982.

                                The Board's demise increased doubts about the United States'
                                commitment to metrication. Public and private sector metric
                                transition slowed at the same time that the very reasons for the
                                United States to adopt the metric system -- the increasing
                                competitiveness of other nations and the demands of global
                                marketplaces -- made completing the conversion even more important.

                                Congress, recognizing the necessity of the United States' conformance
                                with international standards for trade, included new encouragement
                                for U.S. industrial metrication in the Omnibus Trade and
                                Competitiveness Act of 1988. This legislation amended the Metric
                                Conversion Act of 1975 and designates the metric system as the
                                Preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and
                                commerce." The legislation states that the Federal Government has a
                                responsibility to assist industry, especially small business, as it
                                voluntarily converts to the metric system of measurement.

                                Federal agencies were required by this legislation, with certain
                                exceptions, to use the metric system in their procurement, grants and
                                other business-related activities by the end of 1992. While not
                                mandating metric use in the private sector, the Federal Government
                                has sought to serve as a catalyst in the metric conversion of the
                                country's trade, industry, and commerce.

                                The current effort toward national metrication is based on the
                                conclusion that industrial and commercial productivity, mathematics
                                and science education, and the competitiveness of American products
                                and services in world markets, will be enhanced by completing the
                                change to the metric system of units. Failure to complete the change
                                will increasingly handicap the Nation's industry and economy.
                              • Peter Haas
                                Hi, ... Unfortunately. There is the ISO 31-0 since about 30 years: Decimal separator is comma (preferred) or point, thousand separator is space. This rule is
                                Message 15 of 22 , Mar 4, 2004
                                  Hi,

                                  on 2004-03-03T21:38:13+01:00 NGUYEN wrote:
                                  > Anyone know how numbers are handled? 1000 = 1,000 = 1.000 = 1'000 =
                                  > 1 000. Very confusing, unless '1000' or '1'000' was used. Similar
                                  > problem with decimals exists because whatever languages that , is
                                  > used as a thousands separator, the . is used as a decimal. In a lot
                                  > of languages of in Europe, this is switched.

                                  Unfortunately. There is the ISO 31-0 since about 30 years: Decimal
                                  separator is comma (preferred) or point, thousand separator is space.

                                  This rule is valid for ISO 8601 times as well (part of seconds).

                                  Bye Peter.
                                • johnmsteele
                                  ... space. ... Peter, excellent clarification. The same is written into the International System of Units (SI) which defines the metric system. So far as I
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Mar 4, 2004
                                    --- In ISO8601@yahoogroups.com, Peter Haas <mailinglists@p...> wrote:
                                    > Hi,
                                    > Unfortunately. There is the ISO 31-0 since about 30 years: Decimal
                                    > separator is comma (preferred) or point, thousand separator is
                                    space.
                                    >
                                    > This rule is valid for ISO 8601 times as well (part of seconds).
                                    >
                                    > Bye Peter.

                                    Peter, excellent clarification. The same is written into the
                                    International System of Units (SI) which defines the metric system.

                                    So far as I know, all English speaking countries use the decimal
                                    point (.) and the rest of the world uses comma (,) as the decimal
                                    separator. Thousands separator usage of these characters (reversed)
                                    seems to only be common in financials now.
                                  • NGUYEN Adam
                                    ... China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea all use a decimal point (.).
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Mar 4, 2004
                                      At 2004-03-04 17:46 (UTC+0000), you wrote:
                                      >[...]
                                      >Peter, excellent clarification. The same is written into the
                                      >International System of Units (SI) which defines the metric system.
                                      >
                                      >So far as I know, all English speaking countries use the decimal
                                      >point (.) and the rest of the world uses comma (,) as the decimal
                                      >separator. Thousands separator usage of these characters (reversed)
                                      >seems to only be common in financials now.

                                      China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea all use a decimal point (.).
                                    • johnmsteele
                                      ... Is there any documentation available that the decimal point(.) is a Japanese standard? I know that in the past, I have received specifications and test
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Mar 4, 2004
                                        --- In ISO8601@yahoogroups.com, NGUYEN Adam <adam917@s...> wrote:
                                        > China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea all use a decimal point (.).

                                        Is there any documentation available that the decimal point(.) is a
                                        Japanese standard? I know that in the past, I have received
                                        specifications and test data from Japanese suppliers using comma (,)
                                        as a decimal separator. However, it is also likely the Japanese would
                                        change particular documents to (.) if they knew a customer prefered
                                        it. I can't recall for China, Taiwan, and Korea as we had fewer
                                        suppliers from those countries.

                                        For the US, the (.) is defined in NIST Special Publications 330 and
                                        811, on the metric system, available as pdf download on NIST website.
                                      • NGUYEN Adam
                                        Well, the Japanese probably wouldn t change it as they use a , or thousands. Go to http://www.geocities.com/jusjih and look for the links under Japan (JP) .
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Mar 4, 2004
                                          Well, the Japanese probably wouldn't change it as they use a , or
                                          thousands. Go to http://www.geocities.com/jusjih and look for the links
                                          under 'Japan (JP)'. It's somewhere around there. Justin JIH posted the
                                          link(s)...

                                          At 2004-03-04 19:52 (UTC+0000), you wrote:

                                          >--- In ISO8601@yahoogroups.com, NGUYEN Adam <adam917@s...> wrote:
                                          > > China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea all use a decimal point (.).
                                          >
                                          >Is there any documentation available that the decimal point(.) is a
                                          >Japanese standard? I know that in the past, I have received
                                          >specifications and test data from Japanese suppliers using comma (,)
                                          >as a decimal separator. However, it is also likely the Japanese would
                                          >change particular documents to (.) if they knew a customer prefered
                                          >it. I can't recall for China, Taiwan, and Korea as we had fewer
                                          >suppliers from those countries.
                                          >
                                          >For the US, the (.) is defined in NIST Special Publications 330 and
                                          >811, on the metric system, available as pdf download on NIST website.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                        • Peter Haas
                                          Hi, ... Microsoft Windows contain a database with such informations. There is a web version: http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/nlsweb/default.asp Note, this
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Mar 5, 2004
                                            Hi,

                                            on 2004-03-04T20:52:31+01:00 johnmsteele wrote:
                                            >> China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea all use a decimal point (.).

                                            > Is there any documentation available that the decimal point(.) is a
                                            > Japanese standard?

                                            Microsoft Windows contain a database with such informations. There is
                                            a web version: http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/nlsweb/default.asp
                                            Note, this database isn't always correct, especially for date issues.

                                            Bye Peter.
                                          • BUDAI Andrew
                                            ... From: NGUYEN Adam To: ISO8601@yahoogroups.com Sent: 2004 03 04, Thursday 11:29 Subject: Re: [ISO8601] weekends (was Re: DayLight Savings Time Changes) ...
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Mar 7, 2004
                                               
                                              ----- Original Message -----
                                              Sent: 2004 03 04, Thursday 11:29
                                              Subject: Re: [ISO8601] weekends (was Re: DayLight Savings Time Changes)

                                              At 2004-03-03 21:35 (UTC+0000), you wrote:

                                              >--- In ISO8601@yahoogroups.com, NGUYEN Adam <adam917@s...> wrote:
                                              > >          OK. Makes sense. I heard that the automobile
                                              >industry 'went
                                              > > metric' in the 1980s...

                                              BUDAI  Andrew:  I sense that this conversation veered from the original ISO 8601 topic toward what I actually like to discuss, how these techincal changes effect the English language as a tool fo global communication. 
                                               
                                              Tex and Adam offered to open another discussion group for this purpose.  I am not sure if this new group discussion ever took off the ground. 
                                               
                                              If yes, I would like to switch my comments toward that direction, instead of irritating the computer oriented correspondents with my less-than-technical comments about the langauge.  Whether we talk about the modernized metric system (SI), or date and time expressions on oral English, it is clearly a matter of language, rather than machines. 
                                               
                                              To discuss the human elements of the changes, and to promote injecting some logic into the international usage of English, I would like to see this new discussion group come to life.
                                               
                                              Xinzhu City        Taiwan        2004 03 08
                                            • Tex Texin
                                              Andrew, Hi. I think that independent of whether the wwdates group takes off, the discussion of language issues is inappropriate here. I think if you post
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Mar 7, 2004
                                                Andrew,

                                                Hi. I think that independent of whether the wwdates group takes off, the
                                                discussion of language issues is inappropriate here.

                                                I think if you post issues on the wwdates list, and let other lists know you
                                                are doing so, people will come around.
                                                There are also language and i18n lists around that are happy to discuss such
                                                topics.
                                                tex

                                                "BUDAI Andrew" <bandi@...> wrote:

                                                I sense that this conversation veered from the original ISO 8601 topic toward
                                                what I actually like to discuss, how these techincal changes effect the English
                                                language as a tool fo global communication.

                                                Tex and Adam offered to open another discussion group for this purpose. I am
                                                not sure if this new group discussion ever took off the ground.

                                                If yes, I would like to switch my comments toward that direction, instead of
                                                irritating the computer oriented correspondents with my less-than-technical
                                                comments about the langauge. Whether we talk about the modernized metric
                                                system (SI), or date and time expressions on oral English, it is clearly a
                                                matter of language, rather than machines.

                                                To discuss the human elements of the changes, and to promote injecting some
                                                logic into the international usage of English, I would like to see this new
                                                discussion group come to life.

                                                Xinzhu City Taiwan 2004 03 08


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                                                Xen Master XenCraft http://www.XenCraft.com
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