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    #1

    width vs length?

    The following is a quote from a college textbook:

    "One of the main reasons people go to the Churaumi Aquarium is for the Kuroshio Sea, the world's largest fish tank. In fact, it is so large that they call it a 'sea'! It is 10 meters deep, 35 meters wide, 27 meters long and holds 7,500 tons of water...."

    In the last sentence, should it be "...35 meters long, 27 meters wide and....."? Thank you very much.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: width vs length?

    Quote Originally Posted by maoyueh View Post
    The following is a quote from a college textbook:

    "One of the main reasons people go to the Churaumi Aquarium is for the Kuroshio Sea, the world's largest fish tank. In fact, it is so large that they call it a 'sea'! It is 10 meters deep, 35 meters wide, 27 meters long and holds 7,500 tons of water...."

    In the last sentence, should it be "...35 meters long, 27 meters wide and....."? Thank you very much.
    It depends on the measurements! Surely they know how long and wide their tank is. If it is actually 35 metres wide and 27 metres long then they're right.

    It also depends on which way they're looking at it and which direction they have decided is length and which is width!

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: width vs length?

    Quote Originally Posted by maoyueh View Post
    The following is a quote from a college textbook:

    "One of the main reasons people go to the Churaumi Aquarium is for the Kuroshio Sea, the world's largest fish tank. In fact, it is so large that they call it a 'sea'! It is 10 meters deep, 35 meters wide, 27 meters long and holds 7,500 tons of water...."

    In the last sentence, should it be "...35 meters long, 27 meters wide and....."? Thank you very much.
    That depends. What are its measurements?

    PS: Oh, I think I see your point. You're saying that the longest measure should be the length? This is not always true. With a fish tank, it can be difficult to decide which is the long side and which the wide side. The front could be either its length or its width - and that would leave 'width' for its depth from the front to the wall. But 'depth' is already taken for its vertical dimension.
    The point is that what the measurements are called depends on the object, and often on other factors, such as the viewpoint of the observer.
    For example, a piece of plumbing pipe can be wider than it is long - you can only measure its length in one direction, regardless of whether that is its 'longest' dimension.
    Last edited by Raymott; 04-Oct-2011 at 11:29.

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    #4

    Re: width vs length?

    PPS: If the fishtank came in a box, the 'depth' measurement would become the 'height' of the box. You'd then give it a length and width (or breadth). It doesn't have a 'depth'.
    If you had to put these boxes on a shelf, the 'depth' of the box is the size of the side which is going to take up the depth of the shelf (which is the distance from the front to the back).

    So even though we live in three dimensions, we have at least five linear measurements for rectangular objects: height, width, breadth, length and depth.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: width vs length?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    PPS: If the fishtank came in a box, the 'depth' measurement would become the 'height' of the box. You'd then give it a length and width (or breadth). It doesn't have a 'depth'.
    If you had to put these boxes on a shelf, the 'depth' of the box is the size of the side which is going to take up the depth of the shelf (which is the distance from the front to the back).

    So even though we live in three dimensions, we have at least five linear measurements for rectangular objects: height, width, breadth, length and depth.
    Exactly.

    I think.

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