One for the "Pet Peeve" catagory

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Traditional USENET stuff. One doesn't have type-sizes, faces, or any of the other traditional means of indicating degree-of-emphasis/mood/intonation/etc., so one has to make do with what _is_ available. (example: that sentence can have quite different connotations when read aloud; depending on whether it is read with or without emphasis on the word "is".)
In addition, "Spoken" English, and "written" English are actually _separate_ languages. (This is true, by the way, of many languages besides English.) The 'rules' are generally similar, but there are significant differences.
Traditional USENET style is much closer to the spoken word than formal writing, but without the benefit of inflection, intonation, emphasis, accent, and the raft of other 'hints' present in actual verbalizations. Attempting to convey such nuances leads to use of lots of "supplemental grammatical symbols".
Yes, one _could_ regard this as a "smart-ASCII" answer. *grin*
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Dear Robert Bonomi,
I just wanted to _thank_you_ for reminding me of a typesetting story that I have forgotten to tell my grandchildren. You reminded me about seeing my great-uncle making slugs on a Linotype, and reminded me of the clatter of the Linotype, the smell of the lead and the ink in his newspaper shop, and of picas, em's and en's too.
Thanks,
--
Al K
A CDC 1604 was a Univac 1103
  Click to see the full signature.
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Look at the posts on here. Apparently, this "traditional USENET stuff "isn't to traditional or we have a bunch of ultra modern types here. Seems more like the stuff seen in teenage chatrooms.
wrote:

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For those of us who have been on USENET for nearly 20 years, _yeah_, 'ultra modern' is an accurate description of "more than most" (i.e. more than 95%) of those using it today.
The USENET version of the 'older than dirt' survey --
Do you remember:
1) What a telebit trailblazer is? 2) The "Great Renaming"? 3) Mark V. Shaney? 4) "Bang path" email addresses 5) Where "cbosgd" was? 6) Who owned the original "ihnp4" 7) Who said "Always mount a scratch monkey"? 8) Kibo? 9) UUCP? 10) The names of (at least) three of the CABAL? 11) When did the first message originating from KREMVAX appear? 12) The deployment of DNS and hierarchical domain names? 13) acoustic couplers? 14) "talk", "finger", "who", and "write" 15) what "biff" does, and where the name comes from" 16) Who CJKIII was? 17) Where did Henry Spencer work? 18) What color was the LA-120? 19) What did the shift key on an ADM-3 do? 20) How many columns on a Burroughs punch card?
21) who A, W, and K, of AWK fame, are? 22) when the USENET 'flame' was an _art_form_? 23) Which government agency formerly owned the internet? 24) Where was 'seismo', and why was it important? 25) What does 'ick ack uck' refer to?
If you've never, for Internet access, used anything besides a: PC, Mac, Amiga, Commodore, or webtv, you're automatically disqualified.
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So how old were you when you ceased to progress?

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wrote a load of crap

So now you say there is a standard. Can't even keep your story strait.

Which all had standards.

True. Comparison to a known standard.

But you claimed there was no standard. Can't have consistency without it. So which is it. Did you not know what you were talking about when you said there was no standard or do you not now know what you are taking about when you say that printing is done with precision?

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up ventral orifice", wrote:

I stated that there was not an "exact relationship between points and inches."
*YOU* claimed that -- absent a definition in other units -- a standard didn't exist.

Do you know what the definition of a kilogram is? Can you recite it here?

Liar. Take your head out of your ass, and go re-read the thread to this point --
I said: "True printers points" vs. inches is -not- an exact relationship.
You responded: If that is the case, then "true printers points" are not accurately defined. What you are describing is an approximation and, that being the case, the notion of "precision printing" is nonsense. A precision approximation? What's that? Is it is similar to a smidge? Maybe closer to a gnat's ass?
To which, I replied: That's exactly right. They're *NOT* defined in any 'theoretical' manner. They are _measured_.
Whereupon, *YOU* said: Are you trying to be an asshole or are you really that stupid. You say that your system can not be defined by a known standard. If that is the case, there is no standard.
That is the first mention of a standard, or lack there of. Introduced by _YOUR_ lack of comprehension. I made no such claim. However, it _is_ true that there is *NOT* a "single, internationally-accepted" standard. The printing industries in various locales have settled on a reference standard for -their- locale. And are -not- necessarily consistent with each other. The old remark about "the nice thing about standards is that there are _so_many_ to choose from" applies with a vengeance in printing.

Since the premise is false -- that I said there was no standard -- the rest of your question is meaningless. In case it has escaped you, "precision" is a _relative_ term. If, in one area, an accuracy of 1:10**3 is generally acceptable, than a 1:10**5 can be regarded as high-precision. On the other hand, if the 'normal' accuracy is 1:10**8, then 1:10**5 is 'very crude'.
For a *lot* of printing, accuracy "+/- 1/2 pt" is 'good enough'. Measured against _that_ "standard", a job that _uses_ increments of "0.025 pt" _is_ "precision" printing. Don't take my word for it -- ask the platemakers, and the pressmen that had to _run_ that job. Ask why the 'composing' and 'paste-up' department was _completely_ bypassed.
To clarify: 0) "what's the definition of a 'point'?" "1/12 of a 'pica'" 1) "What's the definition of a 'pica'?" "THAT big (pointing)" 2) "How long is it?" "exactly 1 pica" 3) "What's that in inches?" "Measured as .166044 +/- .0000005 in." 4) "What's that in millimeters?" "Measured as 4.21752 +/- .000005 mm" 5) "Why not an exact value?" "it's *NOT* defined in terms of any                  other physical unit"
EVERYTHING I have said is absolutely consistent with those facts.
You persist in reading into my words things that I *did*not*say*. Followed by arguing against _your_ mis-interpretations.
And then *you* wonder out loud if _I_ am "trying to be an asshole or are really that stupid".
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True. You stated that it was an approximation.

Now you claim that it is not an approximation.

Very true. You have been, and continue to, go back and forth.
You will not stick to one story. Which is it? Are you a puzzle maker by chance?
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I stated:
"True printers points" vs. inches is -not- an exact relationship. 72.27 points for one inch is a 'good enough' approximation for almost all real-world work.
*YOU* are the one that claimed that that made the 'definition' of a point an "approximation".
To wit "If that is the case, then "true printers points" are not accurately defined. What you are describing is an approximation and, that being the case, the notion of "precision printing" is nonsense
A physical object has an 'exact' size _only_ in the system of measurement for which it _defines_ the size of a unit, and in secondary systems derived from that system.
Comparison with any system of measurement based on a _different_ physical standard, are, *BY*DEFINITION* approximations. Since the -only- way to establish the relationship is _by_ measurement, with the ensuing *unavoidable* errors and uncertainties.
Thus _any_ attempt to express the size of a printers point in inches (or even mm) _is_ an approximation.
That does *not* mean that the unit _itself_ is ill-defined, or an "approximation", in any way.
And it also should be obvious that 'the lack of an exact relationship' to a different system of measurement does _not_ preclude the existence of a reference standard for _this_ system of measurement.
However, that IS apparently what you believe. Since, based solely on my statements that: "True printers points" vs. inches is -not- an exact relationship. and They're *NOT* defined in any 'theoretical' manner. They are _measured_.
You state as incontrovertible fact: You say that your system can not be defined by a known standard. If that is the case, there is no standard. The increments on your scale won't necessarily be anything close to the next guys scale.

Either you are blind, or you are a deliberate liar, or both.
The value of _any_ "measurement" of a physical object is an approximation of it's true dimensions, *except* when that physical object _defines_ the system of measurement used.
If one _compares_ two physical objects, one can say: (A) they're the same size _within_the_limits_of_measurement_ (which does *not* mean that they are exactly the same) or (B) one is 'definitely' longer than the other, although we can't say "exactly" how much longer it is. (i.e. the _actual_ difference in size is greater than the possible measurement error.)
However, the reference object *itself* is not an approximation.
Since the measure in question _is_ defined by a reference object, and not in terms of any other unit of measure, then: (a) describing an _exact_ relationship between it and any other unit of measure is thus impossible. Because the _only_ way to determine the relationship is _to_measure_it. With unavoidable uncertainties and errors therein. (b) "approximations" *ARE* used in the real world. (c) The accuracy of the approximation that is required is determined by the nature of the work for which it is used.
I only stated that "72.27 points to the inch is a good enough approximation for almost all real-world work."
The pica does have an exact size.
Any attempt to express _what_ that size is, except in units _derived_ from the pica is an "approximation"
"Inches are derived from millimeters, which are derived from a _different_ physical standard than are picas."
Hence, any attempt to express the quantitative relationship between the two units of measurement is an approximation.
Using 2-place precision for the approximation, vs 4-place precision, makes a difference, across the entire width of a 21" display, of about 4 pixels. Or about 10 pixels, down the length of an 8.5x11 sheet of paper, on a 300DPI laser printer. It _is_ definitely noticeable, if you're looking for it. But usually _not_ enough to be a 'problem'. This is "why" low-end computer-based composing systems used 72 pts/in. instead of the 'closer' 72.27 pts/in. the math was 'simpler', and the system could be made 'less expensively'. The 'size error' wasn't enough to be a problem _to_the_target_customers_.
Go roughly another order of magnitude larger (say a 48" wide wall-chart), And impose an 'accuracy' requirement of less than 3 pixels (because you're drawing lines that are only 5 pixels wide), and the 4-place precision approximation isn't good enough any more. Almost, but not quite.
Double the size again, with the same 'absolute' precision required, and the 4-place approximation is "nowhere near" good enough.

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There you go again. Claiming that it is defined then claiming it's not. You still don't know what you are talking about. I doubt you ever will. It's time I plonk you under the heading of hopeless. You're beginning to get boring.

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So what's the definitoin of a pica?
--

FF

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http://www.photographic-vision.net/pica.htm
Bottom right includes a review of this thread.

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Apparently, they do come in various sizes. :)

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That's what I asked him. He would say it was undefined, then defined, then undefined, ect.

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Liar.
Facts:
No uniform "theoretical" definition (in terms of a different unit of measure) exists.
No _single_ international standard exists.
"Trade associations", or similar, in various locales have agreed on a standard for _their_ locale. These 'agreements' are not necessarily consistent, nor do they necessarily even use the same methodology.
Many use a 'mark' as the official reference.
The low-end computerized typesetting trade uses a "derived" definition, wherein a pica is _exactly_ 1/6 of an inch. this is about 1/3 of 1% larger than the 'traditional' unit in North America.

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Where the thing is that is being pointed at depends on the locale.
In North America, the 'thing' is approximately .166044 inches in length.
In most of Continental Europe, the equivalent thing is about 6.5% bigger.
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As I said in an earlier posting, in my 39 years of precision business forms, I have found that the difference between the old true point and a nominal 72 point per inch point really doesn't matter much. There are more variances in dot spread, paper swelling in humidity, and film size changes after drying, not to mention plate stretch or blanket distortion on the printing press. When doing precision computer form printing these all must be allowed for, with various adjustments and quality control checks, it is the finished product that counts as there will always be an assorted number of adjustments that have to be made in the pre-press or work-up materials, just as one would do in woodworking. We tried to work to be within .003" across the entire printed image which could be up to 11" x 17". This is similar to the accuracy that people who worked in four colour printing aimed for.
wrote in message >

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I have no doubt that you did.
. We tried to work to be within .003" across

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wrote:

of rules and boxes for computer imprinting of data. Since we never used lead type requiring shim stock to align, 72 points to the inch was the measurement that we used. We found that humidity and temperature could throw measurements off by more than the variation between true points and nominal 72 per inch points. Since we were using hand ruled artwork, then photo-typesetting and finally computer typesetting direct to film (and plate), we would have to add or subtract an occasional 1/4 point in order to effect the precision spacing.
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I never found temperature to be much of an issue. Humidity, on the other hand, could be a _real_ bugbear.
Just wait till you get involved in publishing straight technical graphics. <grin>
An early project involved producing charts on a 36" (wide) roll-feed pen plotter, overlaid with a graph-paper grid transparency for shooting the plates. _Moderate_ humidity changes could cause things to 'move' by a _full_ grid square. When the data value for point 224 ends up on the line for 223 this *isn't* good. Not to mention point 112, which is "smack dab in the middle" of the box between the grid-lines for points 111 and 112.
A later project involved computer-driven photo-typesetting directly to film positive, several layers of which got 'sandwiched' together for the actual plate-making. (It wasn't practical to set everything at once; one of the overlays -- used on almost every page, naturally -- took more than an _hour_ _per_page_ to render on the typesetter; this was a time-critical production run, I only had about 5 hrs from the time I could start composing until the press had to be running. For a 64-page 'book', of which only 4-5 pages could be composed in advance.)
A quarter of a point was a _big_ error, in -that- environment. The typesetter I was using had a command language that "officially" supported addressing to 0.06 point increments. Unfortunately it was somewhat "inconsistent" in it's handling of those units. Found out the "why and wherefore" of that, when talking with the service engineer one day. The actual hardware resolution was 0.025 pt increments. Now, fortunately for me, the typesetter involved was somewhat on the "dumb" side -- when it encountered a command that was outside the range of valid movement/scaling commands, it turned on a light on the console that read "Illegal Instruction", and then went ahead and _DID_IT_ANYWAY_, to the best of it's ability. "Abusing" that 'feature' let me write files that reliably positioned to 1/40 pt. I couldn't hit 1/25th of a point, but I _could_ hit 1/40th. <grin>
Other, similar 'abuse of the rules' allowed me to produce honest-to-goodness *gray-scale* output on *Ortho* film. Not half-tone, but _gray_. Even the vendor maintenance engineer didn't want to believe that _that_ came off his machine. :)
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