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[bug #61446] [PATCH] doc/ms.ms: Use SI-unit symbols instead of language

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: [bug #61446] [PATCH] doc/ms.ms: Use SI-unit symbols instead of language specific ones
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2021 08:43:57 -0500 (EST)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/78.0

Update of bug #61446 (project groff):

                Severity:              3 - Normal => 2 - Minor              
                  Status:                    None => Wont Fix               
             Assigned to:                    None => gbranden               
             Open/Closed:                    Open => Closed                 


Follow-up Comment #1:

This patch is ill-conceived.

I'll go through the bits of it.

  SI is an abbreviation of "Système International d'Unités".

  Name of units are used in singular when listed.

Most of the units supported by *roff typesetting systems are not, in fact, SI

Further, these documents are written in English and an ability to interpret
the plural forms of words in a base English vocabulary of 10,000 to 20,000
words is assumed.

NIST agrees.

> 9.2 Plurals ... Plural unit names are used when they are required by the
rules of English grammar. They are normally formed regularly, for example,
"henries" is the plural of henry. According to Ref. [6], the following plurals
are irregular: Singular —lux, hertz, siemens; Plural —lux, hertz, siemens.
(See also Sec. 9.7.)

You may be confusing standard practice for the use of SI _symbols_ (like "m",
"L", or "°C") with standard practice for the written-out unit _names_.

  The symbol for the unit inch is 'in'.

...which is not an SI unit
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-SI_units_mentioned_in_the_SI>.  (Warning:
non-authoritative source, but that's an improvement on your not citing any
sources at all.  Maybe someone else has an official document handy.)

  The symbol '\[sd]' (PostScript name 'second') is for 'arch second'.

You mean 'arc second', and you are not presenting a complete picture.
In English that symbol is used for several purposes.  A symbol adjacent to it
in groff_char(7) is named '\[fm]', which is not a reasonable abbreviation for
"arc minutes".  One can surmise that it is a mnemonic for "feet/minutes",
since it is used for both just as \[sd] is used for inches and secondary
subdivisions of the degree in plane and spherical trigonometry.

-v      \[lq]vees\[rq]; height of a line using the current font
-m      \[lq]ems\[rq]; type size of the font; approx. width of an \[lq]M\[rq]
-n      \[lq]ens\[rq]; same as em/2; approx. width of an \[lq]n\[rq]
+i      inch (in)
+c      centimeter (cm)
+p      point (1/72\~in)
+P      pica (1/6\~in)
+v      \[lq]vee\[rq]; height of a line using the current font
+m      \[lq]em\[rq]; type size of the font; approx. width of an \[lq]M\[rq]
+n      \[lq]en\[rq]; same as em/2; approx. width of an \[lq]n\[rq]

The only SI symbol in the above is the centimeter, which was not listed with
its symbol in the first place, let alone was that symbol inappropriately

This patch is consequently wholly invalid.  I'm not sure whether to set its
status to "Invalid" or "Wont Fix".  I'll go with the latter for now.


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