ANSWERS: 1
  • (http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/custom.html) MILE -- The mile is a Roman unit, originally defined to be the length of 1000 paces of a Roman legion. A "pace" here means two steps, right and left, or about 5 feet, so the mile is a unit of roughly 5000 feet. For a long time no one felt any need to be precise about this, because distances longer than a furlong did not need to be measured exactly. It just didn't make much difference whether the next town was 21 or 22 miles away. In medieval England, various mile units seem to have been used. Eventually, what made the most sense to people was that a mile should equal 8 furlongs, since the furlong was an English unit roughly equivalent to the Roman stadium and the Romans had set their mile equal to 8 stadia. This correspondence is not exact: the furlong is 660 English feet and the stadium is only 625 slightly-shorter Roman feet. YARD -- The yard(3 feet) seems to have gotten its start in England as the name of a 3-foot measuring stick, but it is also understood to be the distance from the tip of the nose to the end of the middle finger of the outstretched hand. FOOT -- The foot (12 inches) was originally the length of a human foot, although it has evolved to be longer than most people's feet. INCH -- The inch represents the width of a thumb; in fact, in many languages, the word for "inch" is also the word for "thumb."

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