Jan 25, 2006
The BBC’s Roland Pease reports on the world’s smallest fish, recently discovered in a Sumatran swamp: Smallest fish. According to Pease, “Mature individuals of the Paedocypris genus can be as small as 7.9mm (0.3in) long, researchers write in a journal published by the UK’s Royal Society.”
7.9mm? I suppose saying “about 8mm” would be too imprecise and would have the Guiness people up in arms. But, what happened to the precision in the conversion to inches, they lost a significant figure! More to the point, why give it the length in inches at all. Members of the generation who don’t comprehend millimetres yet are unlikely to be able to get a handle on decimal numbers, surely he should have said “about a third of an inch”, or perhaps we could have the measurement in Russian arsheens, or Austrian fadens, or perhaps Indian moots.