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Article
August 1986

SI Units: Are They Really Useful?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Departments of Pathology and Nuclear Medicine St John Hospital 22101 Moross Rd Detroit, MI 48236

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(8):735-736. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140220017003

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Abstract

In Reply.—Dr Bader's irritation is understandable enough. Like most of us, he has invested many years in the current "old" system. This may even be the second time he has been asked to discard a familiar system for a new one. After all, the present dosage units have been in general use only since World War II, and there are still many of us who think of some drugs in very "old" units: a sixth (of a grain) of morphine or five grains of aspirin. I vaguely recall having heard the complaint that milli was perfectly proper for a girl's name, but why were we expected to use it for medication?

In passing, there are endless puns on units. Try the remark that kilohertz sounds like an Avis commercial. The katal (abbreviated kat and a proposed unit of enzymatic activity) has produced a string of puns on kilokats, kitty-kats,

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