(Let � be a placeholder for the brand of some metrology, but not specified. Pronounce it "foo" if you like.)
So there seems to be a consensus here that a beginner's introduction to a given metrology should focus on just presenting its "ordinate units" (as the authors of Do-Metric termed them), i.e., the base units of the metrology, and their dozenal powers, referenced only by means of "formal names" generated using power prefixes. "Auxiliary" or "intermediate" units, and colloquial names for both the "ordinate" and "intermediate" units, should be treated as advanced or even optional topics, deferred to a later time or even indefinitely. Well, if that's the consensus, so be it.
However, let me posit this caveat: We are considering building some kind of application for generating rulers for any metrology whatsoever, including as-yet-unknown metrologies yet to come out of the imaginations of kids. I have been offering this community the notion of quantitels as a common resource: a set of generic names for base units of measurement derived from the names of the quantities they measure. Anyone may use them for any metrology they please, with the proviso that when they do so, they should mark that usage with some sort of brand prefix or brand symbol, and not attempt to expropriate the unadorned quantitels as names for their own specific units. I hold myself to that same ethic: I have not
granted Primel the exclusive privilege of "owning" the unmarked form of quantitels, even though I might
have. Instead, I've defined unmarked quantitels as being abstractions for the idea
of "base units".
This has some consequences, if one applies this scheme to many metrologies. For one, it can get rather monotonous. Every metrology � winds up with a length unit called "�lengthel". That's a big savings of effort for the designer of a metrology, but I could see how a user could get lost in a huge sea of different "lengthels". Unless you scrupulously pronounce the brand of the metrology every time, your audience can lose track of what unit you're actually talking about. Furthermore, by its very genericity, a quantitel gives absolutely no cue or clue about what it means in terms of an actual size. Different metrologies can have "lengthels" of radically different sizes. Conversely, several metrologies may wind up including the exact same sizes as units, but with very different "formal" names due to the radically different sizes of their respective lengthels.
On the other hand, the whole point of a colloquial
name is to try to evoke the size itself, by some visceral analogy rooted in common experience. It deliberately does not spell out how that size relates to the size of the base unit. Because of this, colloquial names can be thought of as just as generic and reusable across metrologies as quantitel names. Except that a colloquial always means the same absolute size
(or at the very least, something approximating that size), whereas a formal prefix+quantitel name always means the same relative size
with respect to whatever the given metrology treats as its base unit. So consider once again my stock metrologies and proposed colloquialisms (not to advocate for their endorsement, but merely to demonstrate the point). In fact, let me toss in a couple new metrologies, just for fun:
Purple indicates "ordinate" units.
Green indicates "auxiliary" or "intermediate" units.
"Linish" (?) Metrology
"Karlish" (?) Metrology
Note: For lack of anything better, I need to borrow these names from Do-metric:
- Let "�quan" be gravity-based approximation of Do-metric "ᗑquan" (quarter-inch)
- Let "�karl" be gravity-based approximation of Do-metric "ᗑkarl" (quarter-line)
Note: To be complete, one can replace the numeric mantissas above with multiplier prefixes:
- 3 = trina·
- 4 = quadra·
- 9 = ennea·
- 1.4z = unditquadra·
But some people might feel this would over-complicating the names.
So now we have three pairs of metrologies. In each pair, one metrology is based on the hexcia· of some period, the other on the pentcia· of the same period. The latter winds up with a lengthel that is the biqua·lengthel of the former. Even if you reject the idea of including all the green "auxiliary" units in their respective metrologies, you still have the possibility that the purple "ordinate" units may have different names across different metrologies, with no direct indication that they are in fact the same size, nor any a priori indication what that size actually is. On the other hand, if we relate them to colloquial names, we get a sense of their size.
P.S. I'm by no means saying all of these metrologies are equally practical or desirable, I'm just trying to demonstrate the possibilities. The "�karl" in particular seems dubiously small to use as a fundamental length unit for everyday purposes.