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date: 10 May 2021


A Dictionary of Weights, Measures, and Units

Donald Fenna

[Lat: ‘step’]Symbol ° generally, also deg. A step in any scale that is actually or figuratively discrete. When used in an ordinal manner, e.g. ‘second degree’, the degree often relates to gradations of authority, dignity, proficiency, or rank, with higher numeric values being superior. In other contexts, higher values can be seen as inferior. The common stance is that the terminology is open-ended at the numerically high end, leaving first degree tied to the anchor point from which to measure ascent or descent. For questioning, etc., the third degree is the implicit limit.... ...

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