Thankful for Worldwide standards

  • Thread starter Algr
  • Start date
  • Tags
    time
  • #1
575
192
The world is divided by many conflicting standards. Spoken languages, Metric vrs English, 50hz vrs 60 hz current and video, right and left hand driving, ext... But AFAIK, there do seem to be a few things that the world has thankfully agreed upon:

Arabic numerals: Other standards like Roman are used ceremonially, but I don't think anyone is balancing their checkbooks in Hebrew or Kanji.

Time: Everyone in the world understands that "noon" = 12. There is the minor variation of maritime vrs AM/PM, but no one ever took the metric clock or anything else seriously.

Latin alphabet: I'm not so sure about this. While lots of people can't use ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ to read words, basically everyone can at least type a URL. Whereas while "漢字.com" is a valid URL, I'd be out of luck if I ever had to type it! Perhaps it is Qwerty that is a worldwide standard.

Am I wrong about these? Are their other standards that I have missed?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
870
554
The whole idea of a nation is an artificial standard. Every country has passports and visas.

Albert Einstein lived in Switzerland without any papers for years, so it used to be much more relaxed.
 
  • #3
944
394
Obligatory xkcd comic:

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/standards.png
 
  • Like
Likes ProfuselyQuarky, Hoophy, collinsmark and 5 others
  • #4
35,925
12,765
The metric system is more widely used than the Latin alphabet.
 
  • #5
BvU
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
15,030
4,081
Hurray for Napoleon. Pity the Brits opted out - as usual :smile:
 
  • Like
Likes fresh_42 and mfb
  • #6
DrClaude
Mentor
7,758
4,269
Arabic numerals: Other standards like Roman are used ceremonially, but I don't think anyone is balancing their checkbooks in Hebrew or Kanji.
Tell that to the Arabs! What we call arabic numerals are not what are currently used in written Arabic. Likewise, persian numerals are used in Iran. My guess is that these are not isolated examples.


Latin alphabet: I'm not so sure about this. While lots of people can't use ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ to read words, basically everyone can at least type a URL. Whereas while "漢字.com" is a valid URL, I'd be out of luck if I ever had to type it!
Even transliterations vary. For example, the famous Russian composer is Tchaikovsky is English, Tchaïkovski in French, Tjajkovskij in Swedish, ... Transliterations can even vary within one language (and country): How do you write the name of the former leader of Libya?

Perhaps it is Qwerty that is a worldwide standard.
The French use the Azerty keyboard (where you have to use the shift key to access the numbers :H), the Germans the Qwertz keyboard, ...
 
Last edited:
  • #7
575
192
The French use the Azerty keyboard (where you have to use the shift key to access the number :H),

:H is a number in French? That explains a few things.
 
  • #8
DrClaude
Mentor
7,758
4,269
:H is a number in French? That explains a few things.
There was an s missing there o:)
 
  • #9
88
568
Perhaps it is Qwerty that is a worldwide standard.

Am I wrong about these? Are their other standards that I have missed?
Sorry to disappoint you, but we (in Slovak and Czech version) use QWERTZ. Not sure why, but we do :) Still, on the minority of computers there are half-English keyboards (standard latin letters plus things like ľščťž etc) and using them drives me crazy because special symbols such as ?, ! and brackets are in different places and it takes a loooong time to write something!
 
  • Like
Likes mister mishka
  • #10
Sorry to disappoint you, but we (in Slovak and Czech version) use QWERTZ. Not sure why, but we do :) Still, on the minority of computers there are half-English keyboards (standard latin letters plus things like ľščťž etc) and using them drives me crazy because special symbols such as ?, ! and brackets are in different places and it takes a loooong time to write something!

The Z and Y are reversed? If so I think they were for German keyboards..

I know what you mean with having to type on many different types of keyboards, even some that have all the letters in the "correct" place, the symbols are in totally different areas. I've used Canadian / Norwegian / Dutch / German / Russian keyboards, but now I just download the specific language keyboard (english Canada) since that is the one I have memorized from when I was younger. Though I do have to back-track to say Norwegian keyboards, to use some of the extra letters in its alphabet.. æ ø å
 
  • #11
35,925
12,765
The Z and Y are reversed? If so I think they were for German keyboards..
Right. German keyboards have 24 letters in the same place as English ones, just Y and Z are reversed. Numbers are at the same place, of course. The other symbols are all different, unfortunately, and it is not a simple remapping - there is an additional key between Shift and Y (where Shift and Z are next to each other in the US), the "\|" key doesn't exist and Enter is larger.
 
  • #12
728
169
I think it was someone in the company Data General that said: "The nice thing about standards is there are so many to choose from".
 
  • Like
Likes zoobyshoe, Sophia and DrClaude
  • #13
575
192
Tell that to the Arabs! What we call arabic numerals are not what are currently used in written Arabic. Likewise, persian numerals are used in Iran. My guess is that these are not isolated examples.

Are there calculators that use those characters? Clocks? At least everyone agrees on base ten, right?
 
  • #15
575
192
Roman numbers are still base ten. You get a new symbol for each 10x, and half 10x.
 
  • #16
micromass
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Insights Author
22,129
3,301
Roman numbers are still base ten. You get a new symbol for each 10x, and half 10x.

No, they're not base ##10##. Roman numbers don't use the position system. That ##10## and ##5## are special numbers for them doesn't mean they use base ##10##.
 
  • #17
575
192
They are base ten. And if you say otherwise I'll have my cent-urians deci-mate you!
 
  • #18
dlgoff
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,322
2,600
... the "\|" key ...
What the ....? Was zum Te...?
 
  • #19
575
192
Also note that Roman does NOT have symbols for 25, 125, ect... Only the base 10 numbers get symbols.
 
  • #21
575
192
Well what would you call it then? It is unquestionably SOMETHING ten. I can describe "Octal Roman" and I'd bet most people could guess exactly how that would work.
 
  • #23
35,925
12,765
Let's say the romans used powers of 10 for their symbols. The symbols itself used base 10, because their values are 10x (and 5* 10x). This is not the decimal system.
What the ....? Was zum Te...?
The key you use to write \ or |.
 
  • #24
575
192
No idea.

Then it is called base ten. There is no reason that a non-positional system can't have a base.
 
  • #25
micromass
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Insights Author
22,129
3,301
Then it is called base ten. There is no reason that a non-positional system can't have a base.

Just because it doesn't have a name doesn't mean that you can just use a name for it that is already in existence and means something different!
 
  • #26
575
192
Sure it does. Base is more inclusive then you thought, and all your base belong to us.
 
  • #27
575
192
I suppose Light Years are a few nice real standard. As well as units to measure things discovered less then 200 years ago. (Volts, Gs)
 
  • #28
870
554
I suppose Light Years are a few nice real standard.
Astronomers consider light years uncool. They prefer parsecs.
 
  • #30
88
568
An interesting video about the lack of worldwide standards
 

Related Threads on Thankful for Worldwide standards

  • Last Post
3
Replies
62
Views
10K
Replies
3
Views
3K
Replies
73
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
33
Views
1K
Replies
36
Views
3K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
2K
Top