Welcome to the Drawing Room

Hello! I assume you are here desiring an audience with Lord Heartless? He is out at the moment but I anticipate his return at any time. Until then, find a comfortable chair, settle in, and enjoy a spot of tea. Browse through the available reading material, learn what you can of the heartless duke, and decide if you really want to meet him. Please leave your calling card in the form of a comment.

It was lovely to see you! Please stop by again.

***Please BEWARE*** If you have yet to read Heartless, certain aspects of the story may be inadvertently spoiled for you here. Please take care while exploring.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Miles vs. Kilometers

One of my beta readers questioned why I used miles instead of kilometers in Heartless. Her question actually floored me; it was something I'd never really thought about. I knew miles to be the unit of measurement used during the Regency but I wasn't sure when kilometers came into use in Britain. 

Usage des Nouvelles Mesures 1800So I decided to look it up. 

The metric system was created in France in 1790 and adopted by the French government in 1795, though the common people weren't required to use it until 1840. (Strange that they'd be worrying about units of measure in the midst of the French Revolution, but humans ever were odd creatures.) According to Wikipedia, "...the United Kingdom announced its metrication program in 1965..."* This definitely would not allow me to use kilometers in a Regency.

While we're on the subject of words one cannot/should not use in a historical novel, the phrase go to pot, used in the sense that a person has allowed their looks to go to pot, should not be acceptable in a historical novel supposedly taking place in 1165. According to the online etymology dictionary, "phrase go to pot (16c.) suggests cooking."**

(Sorry, bit of a mini rant there.) 

*For more info on the metric system, check out the article called History of the Metric System at Metric! Metric!; A Brief History of Measurement Systems (PDF located at standards.nasa.gov); Wikipedia article History of the metric system  
**History of the word "pot" at Etymonline.com