The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

Scales Options
Atatürk
Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 12:35:30 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/2018
Posts: 1,631
Neurons: 6,705
Location: İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
I weighed the meat on the scales.

Fine?
palapaguy
Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 1:39:45 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/28/2013
Posts: 1,754
Neurons: 13,780
Location: Calabasas, California, United States
Atatürk wrote:
I weighed the meat on the scales.

Fine?

Yes, but "scale" (singular) would be more common, I believe.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 4:49:54 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
Posts: 1,554
Neurons: 9,930
Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
palapaguy wrote:
Atatürk wrote:
I weighed the meat on the scales.

Fine?

Yes, but "scale" (singular) would be more common, I believe.


I would say scales, I wonder if it's a BrE/ AmE difference.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/recommended/home/best-kitchen-scales/
https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/house-garden/best-kitchen-scales-8437576.html

Both these UK based sites use scales as well.
coag
Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 6:46:11 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/27/2010
Posts: 1,257
Neurons: 6,770
Yes, it is a BrE/AmE thing. This is what the Webster says:

scale

: a device that is used for weighing people or things

[count]
(US) a bathroom scale

[plural]
(Brit) He stepped onto the bathroom scales.

After reading this, I wanted to ask BrE speakers, how would they say:
I measured the meat on a scale.
But I found an answer on the first web site that Sarrriesfan cited.

"So, are you a modern cook looking for a digital (efficient, lightweight, easy to store) scale, a nostalgic homemaker seeking a mechanical (pleasing to look at, but chunky and heavy) scale, or a vintage fiend hunting for a balance (looks great and fun to use but slow) scale?"

Any way, I would like to hear comments of BrE speakers. What expressions do you use in referring to scales when you mean an indefinite weighing device?
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 11:48:05 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 12,267
Neurons: 60,793
I tend to think of scales, plural, as being like this:





And a single scale as this:

palapaguy
Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 12:15:11 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/28/2013
Posts: 1,754
Neurons: 13,780
Location: Calabasas, California, United States
FounDit wrote:
I tend to think of scales, plural, as being like this:





And a single scale as this:


YES! Lady Justice and her scales! I'd know them anywhere.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 2:06:32 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
Posts: 1,554
Neurons: 9,930
Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
FounDit wrote:
I tend to think of scales, plural, as being like this:





And a single scale as this:



To me both are scales.
Weighing scales and bathroom scales.
http://www.salterhousewares.co.uk/bathroom-scales.html
thar
Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 3:06:06 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 20,873
Neurons: 84,479
Same here - in my experience they are still scales (or a balance).


To me the scale is the actual numbers - either static scale with a moving pointer or moving scale and static pointer (no scale for a digital display). Or the stuff that builds up in kettles. Whistle


Kidding slightly - of course I would understand 'bathroom scale' to be the device not mineral growth or just the numbers - but I would naturally say 'bathroom scales','kitchen scales'.

(But scientific balance. Odd. Exactly the same product.)


Quote:
The Grammarphobia Blog
Weigh station
AUGUST 13TH, 2012
Q: I’m a New Yorker living in London. My housemate, who is British, refers to her scale in the plural. For a while I thought she was weighing herself on multiple scales, but that’s not the case—just one! What is the history behind this and what is the correct way to refer to the weighing instrument?

A: The thing you weigh yourself on in the bathroom can be called either the “scales” or the “scale.” The instrument is usually singular in the US and plural in the UK, though Americans often use the plural too.

For the full story, we have to go back to medieval times and to Old Norse, a language in which the word for a bowl was skal.

In the Middle Ages, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, this Old Norse word had several descendants in English, including “scale,” which once meant a cup or drinking bowl.

Weight entered the picture in the first half of the 15th century. That’s when “scale” began appearing in a new sense, says the OED: “the pan, or each of the pans, of a balance.”

The plural form, “scales,” was used soon after that to mean the weighing apparatus itself, according to OED citations.

In Oxford’s words, “scales” became a noun meaning “a weighing instrument; esp. one (often called a pair of scales) consisting of a beam which is pivoted at its middle and at either end of which a dish, pan, board, or slab is suspended.”

At about the same time, the OED says, the singular “scale” also came to mean the weighing instrument, though the singular form was often used figuratively, especially in the expression “to turn the scale” (to indicate an excess of weight on one side or the other).

Here’s an example of the singular from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (1600): “If the scale doe turne but in the estimation of a hayre [hair].”

As for use of the singular form today, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.) says one definition of “scale” is “an instrument or machine for weighing.” But AH adds that it’s often used in the plural too.

When used in the plural, the word requires a plural verb: “The scales aren’t weighing correctly … I’m sure of it!”

One final note. If you feel you need a drink after weighing yourself, here’s something to think about.

That old sense of “scale” as a cup or drinking bowl has long since died out and is no longer used by speakers of English (except in South Africa). But its Old Norse ancestor (skal) lives on in a familiar drinking toast, “Skoal!”


Icelandic
Quote:
skál f ( -ar, -ar)
bowl
drekka ~ e-rs drink to sby's good health
~! cheers!
vera við ~ be (slightly) tipsy


In Icelandic a bowl stayed a bowl, so you have a different word for the scales - vogarskál, / vog. From vega - to weigh.
Quote:
vog f ( -ar, -ir)
1. (vigt) balance, scales
2. (stjörnumerki) Libra
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 4:10:43 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 33,174
Neurons: 208,218
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
My summary of my usages.

Beam balance - used in laboratories - rather like Lady Justice's scales, but much more fancy and accurate.
Pair of scales - like Lady Justice's scales

Spring balance -
(strangely, it's not a balance, but a scale . . .)

Kitchen scales - usually on a stand with one big bowl (scala) and one little one with brass/iron weights.
Kitchen scales - on a stand. A single bowl on top with a dial and pointer underneath

Butcher's scales - the other way up - a single bowl/platform at the bottom, with a dial and pointer above.

Bathroom scales - like the pictures above.

scale - a ratio of measurements. The scale on the bathroom scales is just under 1lb : 1 degree or "one pound per degree".

scale - calciferous deposits in kettles and steam-irons (from hard water) in the south of England. Not so much in the north, where the water doesn't come from chalky areas.

thar
Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 4:54:49 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 20,873
Neurons: 84,479
It is a coincidental confluence of meaning, I guess.
Norse/ Old English skal - bowl used to contain the objects.
Latin French scala, escalier - ladder/stair/climb
Norman: éqùile (continental Normandy), étchelle (Guernsey), êtchelle (Jersey), ekyel (Sark)

Edit - Very strange combination of apparent cognates to that!
Quote:
From Proto-Indo-European *skend- (“to jump, dart, climb, scale, scan”). Cognate with Sanskrit स्कुन्दते (skundate, “to jump, rise, lift”), स्कन्दति (skándati, “to leap, jump, hop, dart, spring, spurt; to assail; to copulate”), Sanskrit स्कन्ध (skandhá, “trunk, nape, shoulder; branching, scale, ordering”), Ancient Greek σκάνδαλον (skándalon, “stumbling-block”), Sanskrit छन्दस् (chándas, “scansion, metrical aspect of verse”).

Confer Ancient Greek σκιρτάω (skirtáō, “to leap, skip, bound”), Sanskrit आस्क्र (āskra, “attacking, assaulting; united, joined”), Ancient Greek σκαρθμός (skarthmós, “leap, dance, prancing”).




I assume there is no etymological link, as these are completely unrelated objects and ideas.
So the bowls you compare things in become the scales; and the number ladder you use to see how big it is makes sense as a scale.

Which possibly contributes to the flexibility in singular/plural.


Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 5:36:21 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 33,174
Neurons: 208,218
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
That's true - I didn't look at etymology, but with Old English "scale" meaning ONE of the bowls in a pair of scales" and Norman "scale" meaning 'ladder' or "rising sequence of steps" it would be confusing by the time they combined into Middle English.

Now we just need to combine in the "leap, skip, dance, prance, bound" meaning from Greek, and we're all set . . . ?

***********
This is another set of words which show the "rumoured/hypothesised" datum that French accents show an omitted "s" (sometimes).

scala - escalier - éqùile - étchelle - êtchelle
I first saw it in school and my French French-teacher mentioned it.
dis-gustare (Latin, to give a bad taste) - desgouster (Old French) - dégoûter - to disgust
thar
Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 2:55:17 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 20,873
Neurons: 84,479
And Welsh is apparently ysgol. Again, didn't they have ladders before the Normans invaded? Or the Romans? Where did that come from? Monks? Bizarre.

Also confusing because ysgol is a school and ysgol or hysgol seem be options for a ladder.

so English confuses skal and scala (and sceal), while Welsh confuses scala and schola. Whistle

Welsh
Quote:
ysgol

ladder n.f. (ysgolion)
school n.f. (ysgolion)
schooling n.f. (ysgolion)



ysgol
Quote:
Etymology 1
From Latin schola, from Ancient Greek σχολή (skholḗ).

Noun
ysgol f (plural ysgolion)

school
Bydd hi’n gadael yr ysgol yr haf ’ma i fynd i’r coleg.
She will leave school this summer to go to college.

Etymology 2
From Middle Welsh yscawl, from Latin scāla.

Noun
ysgol f (plural ysgolion)

ladder


Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2019 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.