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View Full Version : Measurements-TERMS Please help!!


06-06-1999, 09:19 PM
This is desperate! Our family is being torn apart by a Scatagories question. What are TERMS of measurment? Half are saying inches, quarts, etc. Actual measurement in whatever way it is. I say that length, width, etc. are TERMS of measurment because that is what they are used for. The key word to this (not so friendly disussion) is TERMS. Geez. These friendly parlor games start more fights than TV ever did!!! I'll be wrong (I guess) but I am totally sick of fighting about this! Thanks!!

06-06-1999, 11:13 PM
I'm with you, pop! Everybody else is talking about UNITS of measurement.

06-06-1999, 11:13 PM
I edit science/medical journals, popokis5, and, sorry, length, width, etc., are *categories* of measurement. *terms* of measurement are micrograms, liters, etc.

whether the game has it right or not, i don't know.

06-06-1999, 11:29 PM
The only application I can think of for the use of the word terms in a numerical setting is in math problems, equation solving in particular. You might be directed to express an answer in terms of x, where x is a variable in the equation. In this instance, terms is describing a numerical value, but that doesn't fit into your example of measurements. Generally speaking, a term is either of the two quantities of a fraction or ratio. There are a few more places term is used in mathematics, but they would make little or no sense in your example.

Alternately, you might be asked to add 1.5 gallons + 2.5 quarts, and express the answer in terms of quarts. In this instance, the measuring units (gallons & quarts) are the terms. I never used this phraseology when I taught math, I used to say simply express the answer in quarts, and never add or subtract unlike units.

I think the simplest answer applies in your case: term refers to a word or phrase having a limited and definite meaning in some science, art, etc., as in: tergum is a zoological term. If somebody asked me what were some examples of measurement terms, I'd probably list inches, grams, centimeters, liters, etc.

I would not use terms to describe length and width; these are the dimensions of measurement.

Not knowing much about scattergories, it would help to know the context, what exactly is the question?

06-07-1999, 02:05 AM
Opus--I imagine "Terms of Measurement" is the category.
In the game of Scattergories, you roll a die with letters of the alphabet, then have a certain amount of time to come up with a term for each category on the chosen list (there are a number of lists, four lists per card, I don't remember how many cards) beginning with whatever letter was rolled. (I hope I'm not confusing Scattergories with some other game...)

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"We're gonna have lawyers here. It'll be a fun time."
--R.R.S.

06-07-1999, 07:27 AM
Popokis5-

I would say everyone is right! You are wanting to know terms of measurement, or words that describe or pertain to measuring. Length, inches, width, millimeters, height, weight, pounds, etc. are all terms of measurement. I would agree with the others in that length would be a category or a dimension, and inches would be a unit, but I think all of them are terms.

06-07-1999, 02:29 PM
Kat, you're right about the game scattergories. That's the one. And that's the category. jdv, there are no answers. So if anyone else has any ideas, keep them coming! And if anyone from a company that makes games is here, be more specific, our nation depends on you.

06-07-1999, 11:55 PM
If there are no answers, popokis5, then you are playing a stupid game.

Make up your own and stop bothering us.

06-08-1999, 01:40 AM
OH in that case I'd definitely go with quarts, meters, grams, bushels, etc. Any other definition of the word terms would be so limiting that you'd hardly be able to come up with more than a handful of responses.

A big Bronx Cheer for the folks who make Scattergories for using such a vague, er... term.

06-08-1999, 02:03 PM
jdv, my bitter friend, the point of the game is that you make up your own answers. However, heated discussions (!) can arise when there is not (and sometimes if there is, i.e., Trivial Pursuit) a set answer. Feel free to actually read the thread and give your own educated answer-that's why I brought this question to the TM.

06-08-1999, 02:18 PM
P.S. Who are "We"? exactly. Like it or not, Sugarplum, I'm here and a member of the TM. And I think I'm gonna stay.

06-08-1999, 02:20 PM
P.S. Who are "Us" exactly? Like it or not, Sugarplum, I'm here and a member of the TM. And I think I'm gonna stay.

06-08-1999, 03:13 PM
Well lets tackle this the scientific way and it should be pretty easy. Our first and only reference is Websters Dictionary. Let disect it.

Term
1 a : END, TERMINATION; also : a point in time assigned to something (as a payment) b : the time at which a pregnancy of
normal length terminates <had her baby at full term>
2 a : a limited or definite extent of time; especially : the time for which something lasts : DURATION, TENURE <term of office>
<lost money in the short term> b : the whole period for which an estate is granted; also : the estate or interest held by one for a
term c : the time during which a court is in session
3 plural : provisions that determine the nature and scope of an agreement : CONDITIONS <terms of sale> <liberal credit
terms>
4 a : a word or expression that has a precise meaning in some uses or is peculiar to a science, art, profession, or subject <legal terms> b plural : expression of a specified kind <described in glowing terms>
5 a : a unitary or compound expression connected with another by a plus or minus sign b : an element of a fraction or
proportion or of a series or sequence
6 plural a : mutual relationship : FOOTING <on good terms> b : AGREEMENT, CONCORD <come to terms>
7 : any of the three substantive elements of a syllogism
8 : a quadrangular pillar often tapering downward and adorned on the top with the figure of a head or the upper part of the
body
9 : division in a school year during which instruction is regularly given to students

The only definition that comes close to applying is 4. So according to this definition any word that has a precise meaning to the subject of measuring. Now what is meant by measuring.

measure vb:
1: to mark or fix in multiples of a specific unit 2: to find out the size, extent, or amount of 3: to bring into comparison or competition

2 is the most accurate. So now we can describe the phrase very accurately. terms of measurement: Any word that has a precise meaning in the subject of finding out the size, extent, or amount of something.

Some acceptable examples: size, length, weight, inches, length, feet, volume, liters, grams, ounces, pecks, bushels, reams, moons, eons, fathoms, Angstroms, Newtons, seconds, height etc.

One may even choose to argue that the words scale, yardstick, odometer etc. fit the definition, but some may chose to limit this definition.

Also, i must clarify one point. Your examples are length, width etc. I assume you realize that measurement is any type of measuring, not just the finite size of a object in two dimentions.

In short, both your lists of terms are accurate, but niether excludes the other.

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The facts expressed here belong to everybody, the opinions to me. The distinction is
yours to draw...

Omniscient; BAG

06-08-1999, 10:24 PM
Omni, Yes. I was just using length, width, as examples of something that is not a unit of measurement but what I considered would be a term. Because I really can't see what else these words are used for except for measurement.

06-08-1999, 10:31 PM
Omni, Yes. I was just using length, width, as examples of something that is not a unit of measurement but what I considered would be a term. Because I really can't see what else these words are used for except for measurement.

06-10-1999, 11:13 AM
Omniscient wrote:

Well lets tackle this the scientific way and it should be pretty easy. Our first and only reference is Websters Dictionary. Let disect it.

Term . . .

Unfortunately, none of those definitions define term as used colloquially as in the phrase terms of endearment. In this instance, terms means words related to, my pookie wookie (to give an example).

Thus the Scattergories(c) category means words that are somehow related to measurement. This means that 'length' and 'weight' are as appropriate as 'inches' and 'grams.'

When my family plays the game, we roll the die for an example letter (which we don't use in the game). Then we go through the list of categories, clarifying what they mean ("does this include brand names or not?" "first names or last or both?") giving examples using the example letter. Once we agree on what the category really means, then we roll for the real letters and begin play. Enjoy!

Peace.