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Thread: speed units

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    Default speed units

    Hello,

    What unit of speed does the abbreviation K (or k?) stand for?
    Here is the context:
    -How fast does it go? (the jet ski)
    -Oh, it goes pretty quick, mate.
    -Knots, or what have you got on there?
    -Oh, Ks.
    -How many Ks are you getting?
    -Oh, probably… Oh, it’s probably eighty K.
    -Eighty K? Fifty knots. That’s good.

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    Default Re: speed units

    Quote Originally Posted by cassiopeia View Post
    Hello,

    What unit of speed does the abbreviation K (or k?) stand for?
    Here is the context:
    -How fast does it go? (the jet ski)
    -Oh, it goes pretty quick, mate.
    -Knots, or what have you got on there?
    -Oh, Ks.
    -How many Ks are you getting?
    -Oh, probably… Oh, it’s probably eighty K.
    -Eighty K? Fifty knots. That’s good.
    Kilometres per hour.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: speed units

    Thanks!

    My guess was an obscure non-metric unit, since 80 km/h = 43 knots, not 50, but I suppose 50 is a rough conversion.

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    Default Re: speed units

    Also, the 'K' that appears at the beginning of 'kilometre' (derived from the Greek for 'thousand') is also used in computing, where it means a binary thousand (1024). In common parlance, people used 'K' to mean 'kilobytes' (1024 bytes, strictly 'Kb'), and then extended this usage to refer - colloquially - to a decimal thousand. So people now say they earn £40K (meaning 40,000 rather than [40 x 1024]!)

    b

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    Default Re: speed units

    Quote Originally Posted by cassiopeia View Post
    Hello,

    What unit of speed does the abbreviation K (or k?) stand for?
    It's k (not K), that stands for kilo, kilometre, kilogram, kilobar etc. It's the International System of Units, widely used in both commerce and science.

    Here's the usage:
    10 km/h
    10 Km/h
    10km/h
    10Km/h

    K, not k, stands for Kelvin, unit of temperature.

    273.15 K
    273.15 ºK


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    Default Re: speed units

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    It's k (not K), that stands for kilo, kilometre, kilogram, kilobar etc. It's the International System of Units, widely used in both commerce and science.

    Here's the usage:
    10 km/h
    10 Km/h
    10km/h
    10Km/h

    K, not k, stands for Kelvin, unit of temperature.

    273.15 K
    273.15 ºK


    That's the correct usage, in SI terms. But this colloquial usage doesn't have a 'correct' written form. And given the choice between 'The speedo is in ks' and 'The speedo is in Ks' I think most transcribers would choose the latter.

    As a matter of interest, this 'Ks' refers to a speed. I don't think I've ever heard that in the UK, except from the mouths of Australian cricket commentators.

    In the UK, "K" as an abbreviation for kilometre, doesn't have the s; people refer to 'A 10K run'.

    b

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    Default Re: speed units

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post


    That's the correct usage, in SI terms. But this colloquial usage doesn't have a 'correct' written form. And given the choice between 'The speedo is in ks' and 'The speedo is in Ks' I think most transcribers would choose the latter.
    b
    Of course, people don't give a **** about the correct usage.
    I would not use it that way. In formal writing, this colloquial usage is considered wrong.


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