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Pedants' Paradise

A thread for when you are browsing and see a typo, a strange description or simply an omission. Not a tool to beat up TWS, but to assist with corrections and correctness. @TeresaGirao, hope it might come in useful.

The item that inspired this was a Portuguese wine I came across this morning that looks delicious, but with no drink-up date. Hopefully this can be amended.

I’m sure there are others and with the amount of browsing that takes place by members here, I have no doubt they will be uncovered.


Under the heading of omission, why are there so many wines without pictures of the bottle, the dreaded image not available?

Don’t mention it: perhaps all the pictures will disappear if they don’t notice.

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When I had a job I used to do proof-reading (or proofreading) so often I can’t be asked to pick up errors much these days. Some of it was for the American market too. It’s like a foreign language (which it is I suppose).


If a picture disappears, and nobody notices… was it ever there?



Which it is. A few years ago I did some design drawings for The Smithsonian Institute. Absolute nightmare: they would only accept Americanism’s for text so all had to be proof read & repeatedly corrected, and the entire drawing had to be dimensioned in imperial, which is inexact… dimensions literally didn’t add up.


I’ve got one of the large American engineering consultancies doing some work for me at the moment. They’re really grateful for a European client so they can work in Metric.


I hope they didn’t take possessives as plurals.
Sorry; I also had years of proofreading.


Currently just 48 (2.7%) of the 1754 wines on the website are without a bottle shot. Most of these are either just in (so picture forthcoming very soon) or due in (picture to be taken when they arrive).


I randomly noticed this one


Does the name need to start with Magnums of…?


Truer than you might guess. Many Designers, Engineers, Architects (in my experience) can be ‘somewhere on the autistic scale’ - and on a deep emotive level REALLY LIKE things to be exact, add up, and ideally be perpendicular to each other. Which imperial doesn’t do very well.

Having said that, USA fire regs are better than British & globally recognised so (when doing hotel design) I preferred to use them.

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Surely Imperial adds up just as well as Metric, as long as it’s the only system in use? If there are conversions, then rounding errors could cause problems either way.

N.B. I’m no advocate for Imperial - I use Metric pretty much exclusively. But this IS a thread related to pedantry :wink:


Good spot, I think it is supposed to just be ‘magnum of’, based on how the other magnums are listed. I’ll pass it on!

You would have thought so. And you are correct, providing the systems are not mixed.

However, they often are especially with anything technical. nb: the metric dimensions on the attached drawing are exact, the imperial numbers are rounded up to the nearest 1/16" (so at worst can be up to 1.5875mm out)

If you look at the dims on the bottom left of the page, in imperial they are both 6", but in metric one is 152mm and the other is 153mm

Pedantry. At best it’s an artform

Also inputting imperial dimensions into design computers is tedious & slow, hence a preference for metric.


Sounds like a party wine

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Yes this was my understanding too. If they did everything in inches and decimals. so 2.75" rather than 2 3/4", then it could be just as accurate but, instead, they use fractions and not even decimal fractions but fourths, eighths, sixteenths etc. I’ve heard of them going down to 1/32 of an inch but that’s still not accurate enough for high precision work. It always staggers me that Americans still persist in doing things that way.

And they sent rockets to the moon - in imperial !

Apparently ‘thous’ (thousandth of an inch) are all the rage. They like to call them ‘mils’ which helps.

I seem to remember a thou was just about what was removed with one pass of a traditional machine tool. So specifying a measurement to any greater degree of accuracy was often futile.

I honestly don’t understand what you are saying. If you want something 2 3/32" long and that is what you get, it is precisely correct. If you need something else then you ask for that. And there is no reason why all the lengths shouldn’t add up.

And FWIW, in principle the old style inch fractions can be represented precisely in computers more easily because they are binary fractions. It is the decimal system that has to be shoehorned into computers and gives rounding errors in calculations :slight_smile:

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I’m all for a spot of creative anachronism, so I think this one scores ten out of ten. Or sixteen out of sixteen.

TBH, I think the problems can arise when you start asking for precision machining, which will be checked using vernier calipers. They are inherently decimal.

(As an anecdote, I am old enough to have been programming computers back when they were built to handle pre-decimal currency. Decimalisation had taken place some years earlier but the machines were still in use. They came with compilers and assemblers designed to handle £sd - there was a whole raft of extra instructions at both high and low language levels which was a rich source of extra programming craziness.)