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Old Apr 15 2012, 02:07 AM   #1
Jaysi
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Does anyone know how the Pernese measure things? I've heard of a "dragonlength" and a "weaverlength" but have never seen what they are in feet and inches. Help?
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Old Apr 15 2012, 09:57 AM   #2
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Old Apr 15 2012, 03:18 PM   #3
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From the top of my head I seem to remember hands and finger sizes like we used to use before (metric) standardization.
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Old Apr 16 2012, 04:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pern measurements

Hand (equine measure) is usually taken as 4 inches.

Dragon-length: I usually visualise this as thirty feet.

Weaver-length: traditionally 27 yards (the amount a competant weaver was supposed to do in a week).
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Old Apr 16 2012, 10:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pern measurements

IIRC, the DLG lists a dragonlength as the average length of a green dragon. So the measure would depend on the time period and the conversion of length (meters vs feet vs something else entirely).
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Old Jun 2 2012, 05:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by semantre View Post
IIRC, the DLG lists a dragonlength as the average length of a green dragon. So the measure would depend on the time period and the conversion of length (meters vs feet vs something else entirely).
When did the dragonlength come in as a measurement, and was it always the length of the average green? Because if so, over time, as the dragons grew, it would change. A dragonlength in, say, the 6th Pass would be somewhat smaller than one in the 9th...unless it's only the larger dragons that were still getting bigger over generations by then, msybe greens had reached their 'design parameters' several Passes back? Any ideas?

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Old Jun 4 2012, 12:47 PM   #7
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The only source that I am aware of for the term 'dragonlength' is the DLG, which I do not currently have access to.
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Old Jun 9 2012, 12:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pern measurements

The MasterHarper of Pern, had a boat the size of a queen dragon. Dragondrum Piemur had a dragonload of tubers I think
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Old Jul 28 2015, 03:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pern measurements

Weaver-length could also be a clothyard, i.e. the distance from the tip of one's nose to the tip of your outstretched hand.
10 hands=1 weaver-length (roughly)
10 weaver-lengths= 1 dragon-length
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Old Sep 13 2015, 12:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pern measurements

According to The Dragonlovers Guide To Pern here is what the measurements are:

Fingertip – ½ inch wide

Hand – 4 inches

Hand-Span extended thumb to little fingertip; 8-9 inches

Man's height – varies; over 5 feet 2 inches, under 6 feet 2 inches

Dragonlength – size of a green; 40 fet

Weaver's length – from nosetip to extended arm fingertip; approximately 1 yard

Note:

Various crafts, such as the Smithcraft, have their own special sets of measurements. Fandarel has evolved descriptions of sizes of microscopic objects seen through his magnifying device. In Leathercraft and Woodcraft, necessary calibrations for the thickness of hide or wood are established by the use of metal calipers and Rules provided by the Smithcraft. In the Weavercraft, cloth grades are established by the Masterweaver based on how many threads lie in a square fingertip of cloth.
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Old Sep 13 2015, 02:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: Pern measurements

Most of these measurements are more like visual aids for people not involved in an actual measurement process. I.e. for 10 dragonlengths, picture a green dragon you've seen before, then picture 10 of them nose-to-tail.

The various crafthalls would have had physical representations of the measurements relevant to their craft, possibly dating back to when a given Masterweaver (for example) put his nose to a notch in the wall, stretched out his arm, and said, "Mark where my middle finger touches the wall. Now mark the spot and measure how far away it is. That's our standard length." And then they made a bunch of wooden "clothyards" to use for measuring at the hall and to display at Gathers so people could figure out how much cloth to order. And at some point they'd send a new clothyard to the Smithcraft Hall to get one made in metal for the official standard. The Harper Hall would have the complete set for all crafts, and something to represent a dragonlength for land surveying (in this case they might have used an existing surveyors' measurement, and the length of a green dragon was a close enough approximation for non-surveyors).

The Masterweaver is apocryphal, of course, but in fact the 36-inch yard is supposed to have been the nose-to-fingertip measurement of an English king. And I believe there is a platinum bar somewhere in Paris representing the standard metre.
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Old Sep 13 2015, 04:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Pern measurements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriflor View Post
Most of these measurements are more like visual aids for people not involved in an actual measurement process. I.e. for 10 dragonlengths, picture a green dragon you've seen before, then picture 10 of them nose-to-tail.

The various crafthalls would have had physical representations of the measurements relevant to their craft, possibly dating back to when a given Masterweaver (for example) put his nose to a notch in the wall, stretched out his arm, and said, "Mark where my middle finger touches the wall. Now mark the spot and measure how far away it is. That's our standard length." And then they made a bunch of wooden "clothyards" to use for measuring at the hall and to display at Gathers so people could figure out how much cloth to order. And at some point they'd send a new clothyard to the Smithcraft Hall to get one made in metal for the official standard. The Harper Hall would have the complete set for all crafts, and something to represent a dragonlength for land surveying (in this case they might have used an existing surveyors' measurement, and the length of a green dragon was a close enough approximation for non-surveyors).

The Masterweaver is apocryphal, of course, but in fact the 36-inch yard is supposed to have been the nose-to-fingertip measurement of an English king. And I believe there is a platinum bar somewhere in Paris representing the standard metre.
The colonists would have used the metric system. Anne mentions clicks in the books. A click is 1 kilometer. I can not see the descendants moving away from the metric system, even if they do not use the terms So I can see one dragon length being 1 decameter, or just around 30 to 40 feet.
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Old Sep 13 2015, 07:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Pern measurements

Decameters relate nicely to hectares, which the surveyors were probably using before Thread.
1 hectare = 10,000 square meters = 10 x 10 dragonlengths.
I think.
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Old Sep 13 2015, 08:46 PM   #14
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The colonists would have used the metric system. Anne mentions clicks in the books. A click is 1 kilometer. I can not see the descendants moving away from the metric system, even if they do not use the terms.
Anne also mentions miles, and horses weighing 70 kilos and 9 stone --- and of course horses being measured in hands. And however the Harper Hall tried to maintain the standards over a period of well over 2000 years, all those Pern equivalents have crept into the common language and stayed there. People who spend all their life in the same hold don't need to know much about distances, just how to get from A to B and how long it will take. And you can always use your hands to show how big something is, rather than trying to estimate how many inches high and wide it is.

Trade goods are generally not sold by weight or volume on Pern, but as X items per mark, Y marks per item, so much per sack (using standard-sized sacks for flour/wheat/coal) --- and then you start bargaining for a better deal. Even with fabric, you might tend to purchase by the bolt (headwoman) or the remnant (cot-holder).
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