Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 21, 1888
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3.“Two Suggestions for the Consideration of the Governors of the New Zealand Institute,” by A. de. B. Brandon.


The writer, in calling attention to the many ways in which the measurements of small objects were recorded, stated that fractions (both vulgar and decimal) of an inch, lines, millimetres, and micro-millimetres were used by different writers, and suggested that the Governors of the Institute, in order to lessen the labours of a student, should insist on the adoption of one system of measurement in papers submitted for publication

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in the “Transactions.” The writer also pointed out the incongruity sometimes caused by the use of personal surnames as the specific description of certain animals of small size, and suggested that proper names should not be used indiscriminately in the naming of new genera and species, but that good reason should be assigned for such use, and the approval of the Governors first obtained; and he further proposed that the Governors should publish a few elementary rules for the formation of the possessive case when proper names were latinised.

Mr. Hulke was glad that Mr. Brandon had brought the matter of measurement forward. It was most important that there should be a uniform system, and it ought to be that formerly introduced by the French, but now used in America and all continental States—namely, the metric system. We should teach it in our schools, to prepare for its general use fifty years hence.

Captain Hewett agreed that the decimal system should be uniformly adopted.

The President agreed entirely with the author's views on this subject. He suggested that Mr. Brandon should bring the matter before the Governors of the Institute, in the form of a definite resolution for their consideration.

The President drew attention to a valuable series of works, giving the latest information on the Hessian fly, which had been presented to the library.