Metric Style Guide

In addition to the SPE Style Guide, which everybody should have on their desk or hard drive to consult frequently as their technical writing bible, SPE also publishes a Metric Standard to help you report numbers and their units correctly. Here’s the link:

There is some very interesting stuff in there.
Did you know that the unit “degree centigrade” is now obsolete?
Yup, it is. So is the planet Pluto. What is this world coming to?
We are now supposed to use “degree Celsius.”

Here are a few other tidbits you will need to keep in mind when writing reports and such:
•       Units of measure are not capitalized unless they are the first word of a sentence or appear in a title.
•       Short forms of metric units are called “unit symbols,” and these are not capitalized unless the unit is named for a person.
•       One exception to this rule in the US is the symbol L for liter.

Unit Name       Unit Symbol
meter                 m
gram                  g
liter                    L
newton              N
pascal                Pa

Unit symbols should not be in italics, as italics are reserved for quantity symbols.
m       mass
L       length


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