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Decimalisation of years

(37 Posts)
Londonmrss Sun 03-Feb-13 16:20:32

People on mumsnet like to day things like "My son is 2.7 years old."
Are they being incredibly precise and have worked out that their child is 2 years and 256 days, which happens to be 0.7 of a year? Or do they mean 2 years and 7 months and they have no understanding of what a decimal point is? This REALLY annoys me.

Phew. It felt good to finally say it.

VinegarDrinker Sun 03-Feb-13 23:39:49

Well 37+5 is acceptable and commonly used medical abbreviation (except it should be 37+5/40), so not exactly the same as using DH!

And I have learned this evening that 2.6 etc is apparently accepted and in common usage in early childhood education academic circles. Every day is a school day.

Londonmrss Mon 04-Feb-13 05:45:10

For me, saying 35 + 4. about pregnancy length implies '35 weeks plus 4 days' so I can handle that. Saying 2.7 years implies '2 point 7 years' and I immediately, without even thinking about it, begin to try and work out what 0.7 of a year is.

It is obviously a personal taste thing in that case. Some of you have given legitimate and rational arguments as to why it is not in fact incorrect, but frankly I still find it annoying.

It's like when I get my baby weighed and they tell me she is 6kg, but then someone asks me what that is in lb. I know that there are 2.2lb in a kg so it's easy enough to work out that she is 13.2lb. But then they assume I mean 13lb2oz which is obviously not true.
Does it matter?- I hear you ask! Obviously not, I probably should get out more. Maybe I am some sort of numbers genius / crazy person like that John Nash fellow. Our possibly just a sleep-deprived mother of a 3 month old...

InMySpareTime Mon 04-Feb-13 07:33:35

In Early Years literature, it does go up to 11smile.
The EYFS (and more recently Development Matters) are more likely to use "35 months" as it fits their age banded groups better, but the training literature case studies would say "2.11"

somebloke123 Mon 04-Feb-13 13:54:34

I suppose if the calendar brought in after the French Revolution had prevailed there wouldn't be this problem. They divided the year into 10 months. The only one whose name I can remember is Thermidor.

WMittens Mon 04-Feb-13 19:58:46


There were still 12 months, but they were 30 days each, and contained 3 10-day weeks.

jaynebxl Tue 05-Feb-13 05:56:25

A year clearly is not base ten but base 12 so I don't mind someone writing 3.11 or whatever as we all know what they mean.

lougle Tue 05-Feb-13 07:43:25

In this case the . is a demarcation, not a decimal point. Just as imperial uses 5'5", for example.

somebloke123 Tue 05-Feb-13 11:13:41

Thanks WMittens - I stand corrected.

cumfy Mon 11-Feb-13 19:59:00

And people wondered why we bought in SI units.grin

WMittens Mon 11-Feb-13 20:32:35

And people wondered why we bought in SI units.

Was it because they were on special offer?

cumfy Mon 11-Feb-13 22:00:34

Just testing Mittens.blush

Trills Mon 11-Feb-13 22:03:14

If I write that I am 5'11 tall, are you upset that I am using an apostrophe? Or do you realise that it's just an indicator of " 5 somethings and 11 something-elses"?

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