Difference between revisions of "Kilometer - kilometre"

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The correct spelling in British English is '''kilometre'''. In American English, it is 'kilometer' (see also [[meter - metre]]).
 
The correct spelling in British English is '''kilometre'''. In American English, it is 'kilometer' (see also [[meter - metre]]).
  
The pronunciations also vary. The traditional British stress, which is to be preferred in academic circles, is on the first syllable, 'KILL-er-meet-er', {{IPA|ˈkɪl ə miːt ə<sup>r</sup>}}. This appears to be being replaced by the normal American pronunciation with the stress on the second syllable, which has the vowel sound of 'got': 'kill-O-mitt-er', {{IPA|kɪl ˈɒ mɪt ə<sup>r</sup>}}.  
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The pronunciations also vary. The traditional British stress, which used to be preferred in academic circles, is on the first syllable, 'KILL-er-meet-er', {{IPA|ˈkɪl ə miːt ə<sup>r</sup>}}. This appears to be being replaced by the normal American pronunciation with the stress on the second syllable, which has the vowel sound of 'got': 'kill-O-mitt-er', {{IPA|kɪl ˈɒ mɪt ə<sup>r</sup>}}. In doubt, follow the preference of your teachers.
  
::''[[LPD]]'' records that where, in 1988, 52% of British speakers used the 'KILL-er-meet-er' pattern, by 1998, it was only 43%. 16% of American speakers in 1993 used this 'British' pronunciation. The note in ''[[LPD]]'' is instructive: ''On the analogy of  ''ˈcentimetre, ˈmillimetre'', it is clear that the stressing ''ˈkilometre'' is logical and might be expected to predominate. Nevertheless, many people (particularly in the US, but also elsewhere) say ''kilˈom-''. It might also be observed that in such other measures from the [[S.I.]] as '''kilo'''gram and '''kilo'''litre, the stress is always on the first syllable; and the [[prefix]] '''kilo-''' is the same: 'KILL-oh' or 'KEEL-oh'. A further advantage in terms of consistency is that the second element in 'kilometre', the '''metre''', sounds more like itself when the first syllable of '''KILL-oh-meet-er''' is stressed.''
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::''[[LPD]]'' records that where, in 1988, 52% of British speakers used the 'KILL-er-meet-er' pattern, by 1998, it was only 43%. 16% of American speakers in 1993 used this 'British' pronunciation. The note in ''[[LPD]]'' is instructive: ''On the analogy of  ''ˈcentimetre, ˈmillimetre'', it is clear that the stressing ''ˈkilometre'' [~KILL:-oh-meet-er] is logical and might be expected to predominate. Nevertheless, many people (particularly in the US, but also elsewhere) say ''kilˈom-''. It might also be observed that in such other measures from the [[S.I.]] as '''kilo'''gram and '''kilo'''litre, the stress is always on the first syllable; and the [[prefix]] '''kilo-''' is the same: 'KILL-oh' or 'KEEL-oh'. A further advantage in terms of consistency is that the second element in 'kilometre', the '''metre''', sounds more like itself when the first syllable of '''KILL-oh-meet-er''' is stressed.''
  
 
::(''[[OED]]'' adds that the variation is "prob[ably] under the influence of such words as ''speedometer'', ''thermometer''."  
 
::(''[[OED]]'' adds that the variation is "prob[ably] under the influence of such words as ''speedometer'', ''thermometer''."  
  
'''Kilo''', as a free-standing word, is most often used as an abbreviation for 'kilo'''gram''''; but it has also been used for 'kilo'''metre''''.)
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'''Kilo''', as a free-standing word, is most often used as an abbreviation for 'kilo'''gram''''; but it has also been used for 'kilo'''metre''''. This latter use seems unnecessary: AWE recommends writers to avoid it. 
 +
::::The US  military uses the abbreviation '''click''' for 'kilometer'.
  
 
See also [[Prefixes in units of measurement]].
 
See also [[Prefixes in units of measurement]].

Latest revision as of 12:36, 11 July 2019

The correct spelling in British English is kilometre. In American English, it is 'kilometer' (see also meter - metre).

The pronunciations also vary. The traditional British stress, which used to be preferred in academic circles, is on the first syllable, 'KILL-er-meet-er', IPA: /ˈkɪl ə miːt ər/. This appears to be being replaced by the normal American pronunciation with the stress on the second syllable, which has the vowel sound of 'got': 'kill-O-mitt-er', IPA: /kɪl ˈɒ mɪt ər/. In doubt, follow the preference of your teachers.

LPD records that where, in 1988, 52% of British speakers used the 'KILL-er-meet-er' pattern, by 1998, it was only 43%. 16% of American speakers in 1993 used this 'British' pronunciation. The note in LPD is instructive: On the analogy of ˈcentimetre, ˈmillimetre, it is clear that the stressing ˈkilometre [~KILL:-oh-meet-er] is logical and might be expected to predominate. Nevertheless, many people (particularly in the US, but also elsewhere) say kilˈom-. It might also be observed that in such other measures from the S.I. as kilogram and kilolitre, the stress is always on the first syllable; and the prefix kilo- is the same: 'KILL-oh' or 'KEEL-oh'. A further advantage in terms of consistency is that the second element in 'kilometre', the metre, sounds more like itself when the first syllable of KILL-oh-meet-er is stressed.
(OED adds that the variation is "prob[ably] under the influence of such words as speedometer, thermometer."

Kilo, as a free-standing word, is most often used as an abbreviation for 'kilogram'; but it has also been used for 'kilometre'. This latter use seems unnecessary: AWE recommends writers to avoid it.

The US military uses the abbreviation click for 'kilometer'.

See also Prefixes in units of measurement.