Units of measurement: How to use them correctly

In the hotel and catering world, the use of units of measurement and their abbreviations is very common. The problem is that this language is often used incorrectly, and the error is compounded when it is, moreover, accompanied by prefixes to indicate multiples or submultiples. A common example of this is the abbreviation of the term “kilowatts”, written as “Kw.” (upper case K and lower case w, with a full stop at the end), when according to the rules it should be just the opposite: “kW” (lower case k and upper case W, and without a full stop).

The legal system of units of measure applicable in Spain is the International System of Units (SI) adopted by the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) and applicable throughout the European Union.

At Fagor Industrial we would like to share with you some basic rules for the correct use of the symbols for the units of measure:

The symbols for the units of measurement are written in lower case except when they are derived from a proper noun, in which case the first letter is written in upper case. As an exception to the rule, the use of the letter L in upper case or l in lower case as symbols for litre is permitted to prevent confusion between the number 1 (one) and the letter l.

The symbols for the units of measurement are mathematical entities and not abbreviations, and therefore they are not followed by a full stop, unless at the end of a sentence, nor are they used in plural, nor are symbols for units mixed with the names of units in the same expression, as names are not mathematical expressions. Consequently, the symbols «kg.», «Kg.», «gr», «grs.» and any other variant are not valid symbols.

Captura de pantalla 2014-05-20 a la(s) 11.41.00 Captura de pantalla 2014-05-20 a la(s) 11.41.10Captura de pantalla 2014-05-20 a la(s) 11.45.37

If you want more information about units of measurement, how to use them correctly click here


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  1. Valido para muchisimos campos en la vida, no solo la hosteleria. Se agradece mucho el articulo!

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