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Upper Case Lettering on Calculations
3

Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

(OP)
I've been noticing a lot of engineers using lower case lettering for their calculation sheets.  I never saw this before when working for pivate engineering firms, but now that i work for the government it seems rather common with gov employees.  Is this common?  Any comments?  I personally don't like the look of it, but that is not to say the calculations are in any way inferior.   

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

I generally use lower case lettering for calculations and sketches.  I don't work for the government.   

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

Legibility is what matters.  I am an upper case guy, but that is just because I had to do a lot of lettering when I started, and the company did it that way.  Style on drawings was a concern in those days, but not anymore.

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

Definitely upper case here too, mainly because I buy all my old engineering reference books from "Upper Case Books" in Snohomish.   

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
http://mmcengineering.tripod.com
 

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

Almost all of the calculations I have done in 32 years working and before that in school have been done using lower case lettering. I would guess it has been 100% lower case for the last 20+ years. Except for one summer interning at Caltrans, all of my experience has been on the private side.

I have two problems with all upper case lettering: it's harder to read and it can be ambiguous once in a while. I would also prefer to use lower case lettering on drawings,  but most people prefer all upper case lettering. I think this goes back to hand lettering and LEROY lettering, where using only half the available characters materially improved efficiency. I think the gain now is getting close to zero.

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

fel3...I think you're right about the origins.  I was taught in drafting classes to use both upper and lower case.  We were required to use all upper case in some instances and lower case in others.  One thing I noticed with doing Leroy lettering is that it was better if you dropped a pen size when using lower case to cut down on ink blobs, and you had the longer pull to get to the lower case on the template plus you had to clean the pens more often...less efficient.

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

Just my opinion, but to make my calculations more readable, I use upper and lower case, just like writing a letter. First word of a sentence is capitalized, proper names, etc. I always try to write a narrative and to make it easier to understand, I write sentences. All upper case makes it harder to follow.

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

Jed, that's why highway guide signs are going to title case lettering.

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

Moment always "M"
PLF load always "w"
inches = "in"
Feet = "ft"
Foot-lbs = "ft-lbs"

Etc, etc.

Just depends on what you learned or grew up with!!

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

@MiketheEngineer:  Doesn't "M" mean Mega?? - Guess its an SI vs English thing . . .

All drawings our company ever did was in upper case; my dad taught mechanical drafting and it was always upper case, too.

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

Just how I grew up with at college!!1

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

I don't know how you guys can get by using only upper or lower case variables, don't you run out?  :)

In hydrology, big Q and little q mean different, related things.  (runoff in inches, flow rate in cfs)  I've never in my life seen someone use a big N for Manning's roughness, I've never seen a lowercase P for rainfall, and I've seen both big and little Ts for time of concentration.

In my opinion, engineering is too complicated a game to go switching things back and forth just because your caps lock is on.  Find out what the industry standard is and use that.

 

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

That's because a lower P case will never give you max. run-off.

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

I just did a search through ASME Y14.5-2009, and the issue of case is never addressed...

Cliff

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

Mike... I haven't grown up yet... but:
M moment
Mf factored moment
q Klf
Q total q
P point load, and Pf...
" inches
' feet
'K foot kips
'lb foot pounds
usually... and anything a word or so longer in written script... and I waste lots of paper...

Dik

RE: Upper Case Lettering on Calculations

We haven't grown up, but we have grown out...

out of our clothes, our budgets, and our houses... to name a few things.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
http://mmcengineering.tripod.com

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