Close Enough

This is a combo of my last post, “Fuzzy or Clear,” and another one, three posts back, called “Fading Units.”

“Fuzzy or Clear” is about our different preferences for degrees of accuracy. “Fading Units” concerns my attempt at becoming comfortable using Celsius when talking about the temperature – just like the rest of the world does.

An Italian reader passed on an easy temperature conversion tip. Simply subtract 30 from the fahrenheit temperature you’re talking about and then divide that result by 2. Easy!

That’s the “Fading Units” part. So for example if it’s 50 F,

then: 50-30 = 20… and 20/2 =10… or 10 degrees Celsius. Spot on.

Here’s where it gets combined with the “Fuzzy or Clear” post. As the temperature gets warmer the simple formula only gives a ballpark number in Celsius. For example, 86F – 30 = 56… and 56/2 = 28C. But 86F is really 30C. Kinda fuzzy. But it’s close, and you could always just tack on a degree or two when talking about warmer temperatures.

It’s like having an analog wristwatch when you’re giving the time. If your wristwatch says 4:32, you probably knock two minutes off and say it’s 4:30, right?

The Italian reader’s formula is close enough for talking about the weather, which is what most people like to chat about sometimes.