Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 00:38:24 -0500 From: Gregory {Greg} Downing Subject: Re: Rima's rule of thumb At 11:19 PM 11/11/97 -0600, you (Donald Lance) wrote: >I've always assumed, and have heard so from others, that the rule of thumb >refers to the use of the last joint of the thumb to be an approximation of >an inch. It's not too mucn of a stretch to imagine a taylor or seamstress >measuring the distance from the tip of the thumb or index finger to a spot >that would be an inch from the tip and then using that spot in making "rule >of thumb" measurements. My mother used a spot about so far past the first >crease in the index finger on her left hand. And it's not too much of a >stretch to see sailors (or pirates) using the thickness of the thumb or the >length of the first joint to determine whether a rope would be strong >enough for certain tasks. > Well, I guess it seems as if it would be likely to be something like this (though other sources talk about the distance from thumb to thumb with arms stretched out to each side from the shoulders etc.). But there's always the problem o them consarn cites and/or other ancillary or suggestive evidence. Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]