[Ads-l] Transmission rates and related goodies

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 25 20:46:45 UTC 2015

What about M, which can, in financial contexts, mean "thousand" or
"million" (yes, it's confusing), and MM, which clearly means million?


On Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 4:36 PM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com>

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       victor steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Transmission rates and related goodies
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> A current Verizon FIOS radio advertising uses "Megs" to represent data
> transmission rates (it's possible that copy writers don't know the
> difference bytes, bits and bps, but the usage is pretty common).
> A quick check of online OED revealed entries for Meg == megabyte, baud &
> baud rate, bps == bits per second. No variations, however, involving
> combinations of these.
> In particular, there's no entry for "bips", which became a colloquial
> substitute for bps (and standard pronunciation), nor one for megabips or
> "Meg" for "Mbps". In fact, there are two separate entries for Meg,
> including one for megohm. Would it make sense to have a unifying article
> with subentries for different "megs"? Contrast this with FLOPS that get a
> full treatment with separate entries for FLOPS, megaflop and gigaflop (not
> sure why -s was dropped in those two -- I suppose, one could find an
> occasional reference to a single megaflop or gigaflop).
> Similar uses of K (for kilo-, from computing, including "transformative"
> for $1000) and G (for "grand", $1000) have subentries under the respective
> letter entries. But there's no sign of "mil(s)" as a common truncation for
> million(s), particularly millions of dollars. Nor K for kilowatts or G for
> gigawatts of power (the former as a rating for speakers, for example, the
> latter as network capacity).
> VS-)
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