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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.

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"?

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

Just testing Mittens.blush

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 19:59:00

And people wondered why we bought in SI units.grin

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

Thanks WMittens - I stand corrected.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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"

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...

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.

CaseyShraeger Sun 03-Feb-13 23:09:29

(or in technical publications)

CaseyShraeger Sun 03-Feb-13 23:08:48

It's no different from using the notation DC, DD, DS or DH, IMO (oh, there's another one), or writing 37+5 to refer to stage of pregnancy (are you going to start another thread to the effect of "Are they '43 pregnant' or do they have no understanding of what a plus sign means?"?). You wouldn't do it in normal speech or writing, but it's fine on the Internet.

Londonmrss Sun 03-Feb-13 22:59:35

this one goes to eleven...

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 03-Feb-13 22:19:43


Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 03-Feb-13 22:19:26

This used to annoy me when I first joined MN, but have taken to using it jut for ease.

VinegarDrinker Sun 03-Feb-13 22:17:56

InMySpareTime meant to ask, in thqt usage does it go up to 2.11?

VinegarDrinker Sun 03-Feb-13 22:17:01

Fair enough smile

VinegarDrinker Sun 03-Feb-13 22:14:41

Fair enough

InMySpareTime Sun 03-Feb-13 21:33:34

I used it a lot in my BA in Early Years, it is the current shorthand way childcare professionals denote child ages, certainly in all the literature I read for the course.

VinegarDrinker Sun 03-Feb-13 21:29:29

Sanity I've never seen it prior to MN and am a HCP (though not in paeds)

MortifiedAdams Sun 03-Feb-13 21:27:01

I use 1.1 to mean DD is one year and one month old. I don't think of it as a decimal point, more as an implied indication of "years and months".

And I would much rather see someone refer to their son as 3.3 than 39 months which I do think is a bit wankerish.

CitrusyOne Sun 03-Feb-13 21:24:44

Re: time, I always thought it was a : not a .

So 2:30, not 2.30

Meaning 30 minutes past two?

Rather than a decimal point......

Londonmrss Sun 03-Feb-13 21:19:57

Fair point Sanity!

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