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  1. #1
    mouse2009 is offline Newbie
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    Question Is it a weigh scale, weight scale or weighing scale?

    Hi. I am writing a user manual for a bathroom scale. Can I call it a weigh scale, weight scale or weighing scale? Maybe I could use any of them. But is there any subtle difference in choosing which one to use? Thank you.

    A Reference Design for High-Performance, Low-Cost Weigh Scales
    from: Analog Devices website

    A weighing scale is a measuring instrument for determining the weight or mass of an object.
    from: Wikipedia website

    Digital Weight Scale
    from: Tanita Website

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Is it a weigh scale, weight scale or weighing scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by mouse2009 View Post
    Hi. I am writing a user manual for a bathroom scale. Can I call it a weigh scale, weight scale or weighing scale? Maybe I could use any of them. But is there any subtle difference in choosing which one to use? Thank you.

    A Reference Design for High-Performance, Low-Cost Weigh Scales
    from: Analog Devices website

    A weighing scale is a measuring instrument for determining the weight or mass of an object.
    from: Wikipedia website

    Digital Weight Scale
    from: Tanita Website
    "Weight Scale"

  3. #3
    magimagicE is offline Member
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    Default Re: Is it a weigh scale, weight scale or weighing scale?

    The general term is "weighing scales".

    But, they are often referred to by type: bathroom scales, bench scales, platform scales etc.

    If "Bathroom Scales" is printed on the packaging or if it is to be the heading of the instruction manual, then you need only refer to it as "scales" for the rest of the manual as the function is clear.

    I own three different types of scales (all purchased from Adams Equipment), so I know a little about the instruction manuals.

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    mouse2009 is offline Newbie
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    Thumbs up Re: Is it a weigh scale, weight scale or weighing scale?

    Thanks for the quick response. I think I will use "weight scale" to make it sounds more professional.

    It's lunch time in Australia now. I am surprised to see replies from UK and US. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it very much.

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Is it a weigh scale, weight scale or weighing scale?

    I would really just use "scale."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    jlinger is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Is it a weigh scale, weight scale or weighing scale?

    To add my two cents: it's a "weigh scale" here.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Is it a weigh scale, weight scale or weighing scale?

    I agree with MagicmagicE about BrE usage; we use the plural.

  8. #8
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it a weigh scale, weight scale or weighing scale?

    I still need someone to explain the value of adding the word "weight/weigh/weighing" before the word.

    I agree whole-heartedly that the scale/scales difference in AmE/BrE is worth noting, but really, what do you do when you step on a scale(s) if it's not check your weight? It doesn't check your cholesterol, determine if you've flossed adequately, or assess your roots to determine whether it's time you dyed your hair again. It tells you how much you weigh.

    If I picked up a box containing an item I would use in my bathroom to check my weight and it was called a weight scale, or weigh scale, or a weighing scale, I'd assume it was written by someone who did not speak English as their first language.

    The word does not add clarity, formality, or utility. It has no value.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  9. #9
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Is it a weigh scale, weight scale or weighing scale?

    I agree. Scales are for measuring weight.

    (There are other uses of "scale" like the Richter scale, but that hardly seems relevant to a consumer product.)

  10. #10
    magimagicE is offline Member
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    Default Re: Is it a weigh scale, weight scale or weighing scale?

    The core function of all the different types of scales is to measure weight, however, not all of them output weight readings.

    Weighing scales primarily output weight readings. Whereas, counting scales, for example, output the total number of items based on the weight of a single identical item.

    In banks, counting scales are used to verify manual counts based on the weight of a single identical denomination. The output reading will not be the weight of the money itself but the actual currency total.

    This is why the distinction, "weighing" is needed.

    Also, "weight scale" is not used in BrE as it might be a cause of confusion - referring to the measuring units itself as opposed to the function.

    Weight scale = tonnes, kilograms, grams etc.
    Temperature scale = kelvin, celsius, fahrenheit etc
    Length scale = miles, kilometers, meters, centimeters etc.

    Hopefully, the OP is wise enough to read between the lines of my previous post and do some research before writing the manual.

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