Thursday, September 12, 2019

A million here, a million there ...

Yes, I'd say that at 48 kilometers, "towering" barely begins to do it justice:
YUMA, Ariz. — On a dirt road past rows of date trees, just feet from a dry section of Colorado River, a small construction crew is putting up a towering border wall that the government hopes will reduce — for good — the flow of immigrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

Cicadas buzz and heavy equipment rumbles and beeps before it lowers 30-foot-tall (48-kilometer-tall) sections of fence into the dirt. “Ahí está!” — “There it is!” — a Spanish-speaking member of the crew says as the men straighten the sections into the ground. Nearby, workers pull dates from palm trees, not far from the cotton fields that cars pass on the drive to the border.

True it is that everybody's going to count the toes and forget to divide by 10 at some point; the AP isn't the first to get its zeroes and decimal points crossed up in those pesky metric conversions. The more likely sign of the apocalypse is that nothing's built into the system any longer to catch a wire blunder before publication. (The screen grab is from the AP's own site; the text from Military Times.)

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Picky said...

Help! It’s fairly early here, but I whatever I do with decimal points I can’t get 48 anythings out of 30ft. Not even those common units of measurement double-decker buses, football pitches, or Waleses. Help!

4:03 AM, September 13, 2019  
Blogger fev said...

I think I have finally figured it out, without resorting to the Coke can or Olympic swimming pool. Your handy Stylebook conversion table will tell you to multiply miles by 1.6 to get kilometers, or “how much is that in real money?”

11:10 PM, September 13, 2019  
Anonymous Picky said...

Aha! Thank you, that must be it. At three feet to the league.

8:35 AM, September 15, 2019  

Post a Comment

<< Home