In questions there may be discussion related to temperature. Some answers are using farenheit as the unit, others may use celcius.

What (if any) is the convention for usage of these units?

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    Use whatever you want - simples. – user9517 Apr 29 '13 at 21:28
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    Temperature in Kelvin, notated in hexadecimal, expressed as an haiku? – oɔɯǝɹ Apr 29 '13 at 21:29
  • @o: Now you're just being obtuse. – user9517 Apr 29 '13 at 21:30
  • @Iain you said i could use what i wanted... – oɔɯǝɹ Apr 29 '13 at 21:34
  • Why the downvote? – oɔɯǝɹ Apr 29 '13 at 21:35
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    @o: Do you want to be obtuse and use those measurements or do you want answers to your questions. The choice is simple really. – user9517 Apr 29 '13 at 21:41
  • @Iain No, i really like to know what the convention (if any) for this is. Forgive if i'm being silly to make a point. – oɔɯǝɹ Apr 29 '13 at 21:51
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    @oɔɯǝɹ The convention is "Specify your units". We expect professionals to be able to do some math. As long as you're not doing something insane like expressing distance in Angstroms you'll probably be fine, and if you do insist on using insane units someone will probably edit the question to use one of the two "standard" systems (which one depends on who sees the question first - If I see it you're getting feet, pounds, and Fahrenheit, if Iain sees it you might get Meters, Stone/Kilograms, and Celsius). – voretaq7 Apr 29 '13 at 22:03
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    It takes, literally, 5 seconds to open a new tab and type 90 degrees F in C into search. Do you really think this is big enough of a problem that we should attempt to educate and enforce this across the tens of thousands of users that visit here? Is googling the conversion is you can't estimate it in your head enough of a problem? – MDMarra Apr 29 '13 at 22:11
  • @voretaq7 can you make your comment into an answer? – oɔɯǝɹ Apr 29 '13 at 22:15
  • I really don't understand the way this question is handled. First i get downvotes with no explenation, then rude comments, and now a delete flag. Does anyone have the courage to tell me what i did wrong with this question? Is this question offensive in some way? Whoes toes did i step on? – oɔɯǝɹ Apr 30 '13 at 6:12
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    Votes on meta sites are different. Explanations of specific downvotes are not required, the tooltip that appears over the downvote arrow is the default explanation. There are no rude comments here - since English isn't your native language I think you are misunderstanding what's been said. Voting to close is not a delete flag. – Ward - Reinstate Monica Apr 30 '13 at 7:18

If you're really in doubt, list both. It takes about 3 seconds to type "10c to f" into Google and you have your conversion. Just make sure you mention which temperature gauge you're using - 60F is very very different to 60C. If someone elses question doesn't mention, but it's pretty obvious, then edit it in with a conversion to both F and C. Or to K as well if you really want to hammer the point home.

Really though this should go for anything where units differ between countries - for example, voltages. I received warnings once from a user who didn't realise my systems run on 240v - and why should he? I never made any mention of it in my question.

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  • +1 for demonstrating why this is important – oɔɯǝɹ Apr 29 '13 at 21:57

The correct set to use is the one you specify in your question. Unfortunately, due to the US dominance of the site, the unlabeled default is usually Fahrenheit. Except for when it isn't, such as that time of day when the US is sleeping and the rest of the English speaking world is active.

Which is to say, there is no canonical correct. Just be specific about what you're talking about, which will let people know that converting needs to be done.

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  • Since this site aims to do more than just Q&A, i don't think the unit used by the asker is the unit to use. Don't we aim to develop a widely usable knowledge base? I can't ask a question in Spanish and expect Spanish anwers either, so there are some common conventions. I'm curious what the convention for these units is. – oɔɯǝɹ Apr 29 '13 at 21:27
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    @o: The official language for non language specific sites is English. There are no official units of measurement. – user9517 Apr 29 '13 at 21:30
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    @oɔɯǝɹ The units specified by the person asking the questionare the ones that will be most useful to that person (i.e. the ones that answer the question) - The key is specifying the units. In terms of building a "widely usable knowledge base", temperature conversion is not rocket science. Frankly, if someone can't manage to do conversion between common temperature units (F<-->C) (with the assistance of a pencil, the units program, or Google) I'm not sure I'd let them near my servers... – voretaq7 Apr 29 '13 at 21:51

While I agree with the simple "just state your system" notion, I have to mention that there is an international standard of measuring systems which is the official system to use in many countries (including most of the EU, with some exceptions for the UK and Ireland). I would consider it a worthwhile goal to get rid of the imperial system once and for all, so if in doubt, prefer SI units (adapted to use Celsius instead of Kelvin).

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  • Celsius and Kelvin are SI units....with actually preference being given to Kelvin over Celsius in most scientific equations that I am familiar with. You may mean you prefer K and C over F. – mdpc May 6 '13 at 20:38
  • @mdpc: No, the official SI base unit for temperature is the Kelvin, not Celsius (although the difference is just the shifted zero point) and I simply meant that since it's much more practical one shouldn't adhere strictly to the standard (I know people who do this - they are morons...) and use Celsius instead, which is allowed by the system anyway. – Sven May 6 '13 at 21:56

Depends! Since the site is most popular in the US, so F except in medical matters where it is C. In the metric world, it's C, except in medical matters where it is F (yeah, doctors like to try and obfuscate every little thing they do). Scientists typically use C or K

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    I have never heard of a doctor using F in metric countries. And I live in a metric country and have multiple medical professionals in my family (including my wife). – Mark Henderson May 5 '13 at 23:27
  • Yeah, that statement was a little bit of a blanket statement. Stuff differs from country to country. e.g. UK doctors now uses C, but only a few decades ago, used F. – OC2PS May 5 '13 at 23:48

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