Feb 10, 2010

Rapid Rhetoric - RÉAUMUR

Raphael's depiction of Plato defining the difference between true and false rhetoric This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.

Réaumur (ray-oh-MYOOR) adj. of or related to a temperature scale in which water freezes at 0° and boils at 80°.

I came across a reference to the the Réaumur scale in a 1909 text on cheese-making. Yes, I need to get out more, but I had a legitimate research purpose in perusing the cheesey text - honest.

The scale is named after eighteenth century French scientist René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, who developed the system of temperature measurement in 1730. These were the days when scientists were engaged in the pursuit of answers to questions a bit more substantial than the pursuit of the perfect acne treatment lotion, kiddies. The Réaumur scale enjoyed a measure of popularity in the eighteenth century, but the introduction of the metric Celsius scale doomed the work of Réaumur.

Readers obsessed with knowing the various temperature conversions will be pleased to know that there exist on the Internet charts to convert Celsius, Fahrenheit, Kelvin, Réaumur, and Rankine temperatures. Thus, 98.6° Fahrenheit represents a mere 29.6° Réaumur. Those of you too impatient to click on the converter link can use the following conversion formula:
Re = ( F - 32) / 2.25

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