(2003 to 2005)

Poor abbreviations.

Tue Oct 26 20:12:00 UTC+1100 2004


When I was in high-school, my geography teacher, who at the time I considered to be a real nark (even though in the end I decided that she was a pretty decent old lady), used to rant at kids in the class for using the expression “Ks”. Like 30 Ks up the road.

She'd point out that K was a temperature unit, kelvin. She'd explain that the correct abbreviation was km, for kilometer.

I remember thinking she was a little pedantic at the time, but now I understand her frustration. It really pisses me off...

[snip even longer rant]

'mils' doesn't mean milliseconds.

'klms' doesn't mean kilometers.



Metric System:

Unit: kilometer

Abbreviation: km

Number of Meters: 1,000

an informal abbreviation for one thousand used in expressions where the unit is understood, such as "10K run" (10 kilometers) or "700K disk" (700 kilobytes or kibibytes). Note that "K" is also the symbol for the kelvin (see below) and is often used as a symbol for the karat. Also note that the symbol for the metric prefix kilo- (1000) is actually k-, not K-. In computer science, K often represents 210 = 1024 (see below under kibi- and kilo-).

Copyright © 2003-2005 John Elliot