Straight dopoe on the Fahrenheit scale

Nice try, Cecil, but you missed it. The Fahrenheit scale was supposed to be a 100-degree scale, with zero being the coldest temperature Mr. Fahrenheit could create with salt and ice and 100 degrees being “blood heat;” i.e., body temperature. These were temperatures that could be reproduced anywhere, thus making his thermometer’s scale an international one.
Alas, he missed it a bit on the upper end, but not by much, just 1.4 degrees. The boiling point of water at sea level just happens to be 212 degrees because that’s what it is with degrees of the “size” that Fahrenheit created with his 0-100 base scale.
FYI, 0 degrees F is still the coldest temperature you can get with salt and ice, but it takes a lot of salt and a lot of stirring.
There’s been a lot of silliness over this; the self-alleged “super-intellectual” Marilyn Savant (stage name if I ever heard one) even got it wrong in her column in Parade magazine. This is the Straight Dope. Guaranteed. I can cite chapter and verse if you really want to nail this down.

Well, um . . . why didn’t you in the first place?

Let’s see it.

Linkety-link:
On the Fahrenheit scale, why is 32 freezing and 212 boiling? What do 0 and 100 mean?

:smack:
On the Fahrenheit scale, why is 32 freezing and 212 boiling? What do 0 and 100 mean?

I agree with andros. Let’s see the cites.

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Marilyn Savant (stage name if I ever heard one)
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While you’re researching cites, find one for this, too. My understanding is that Marilyn Vos Savant actually is her real name.

sigh “Preview is my friend.”

Welcome!

We don’t take anyone at his or her word here. Let’s have a cite or two. Chapter and verse is fine, but we want the whole book to read our own selves! :smiley:
All seriousness aside, what is your source?

Oh, and BTW, we don’t mention that woman here. She has been know to contradict our beloved Cecil… and she was wrong! :smiley:

Eh, she’s not really wrong any more often than is Cecil. The difference is that Cecil doesn’t stay wrong. When he’s wrong, he admits it, and publishes a correction, whereas when Marilyn is wrong, she does the journalistic equivalent of sticking her fingers in her ears and chanting “La la la, I can’t hear you!”.

Marilyn Savant (stage name if I ever heard one)
[/quote]
While you’re researching cites, find one for this, too. My understanding is that Marilyn Vos Savant actually is her real name.
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Tangent, I know. I previously had no understanding of the reality of her name. I guess I just assumed it was a pseudonym. If you took the pseudonym theory, then Vos Savant = learned fox. She writes her name as “vos Savant” and not “Vos Savant”. “Vos” could indicate a middle name. But written “vos” it is a prefix to a surname such as “van”, “de” or “o”. I could find no listings anywhere of a “vos Savant” family. Ancestry.com and Genealogy.com pulls no findings of such names. Ancestry.com gives a definition and origin of the “Savant” family but designates there is no “vos Savant” family name.

So, I won’t profess absolute knowledge, but I’ll present the following as evidence. Can’t find the last name on online phone directories (surely if there is a vos Savant family they don’t all have unlisted numbers), ancestry.com and geneaology.com. If you google it, all you get is her name.

That combined with the fact that “vos Savant” could be “learned fox” causes me to lean to the pseudonym side of the argument.

Speaking of pseudonyms:

wxwoman, is your username by any chance a reference to the wxWindows/wxWidgets application framework?

According to Wikipedia

I remember her writing about her name in one of her columns. As I recall the “Savant” part - or at least versions of it - come from two branches in her family tree that, except for her, of course, were completely unrelated.

I think more often Cecil explains how his answer can be thought of as being correct (albeit incomplete, based on incomplete/outdated information, etc.)