# Real dumb ??? - foot or feet

#### SW MI Planner

##### Cyburbian
I can't believe I'm asking this...

I want to say that an applicant is requesting a 64' variance. Saying '64 feet variance' doesn't sound right. But, we all know a 'foot' is one foot, so technically you can't say 'a 64 foot variance'.

What to do.....

((Does anyone else ever think of words or phrases so long that they start to look wrong...or am I the only jackass))

REALLY can't wait until this day is over.....

#### Chet

##### Cyburbian Emeritus
Stupid clarification

Square foot or lineal foot?

#### Tranplanner

##### maudit anglais
It would actually be a 19.5 metre variance wouldn't it?

I would say a 64 foot variance.

#### Chet

##### Cyburbian Emeritus
Here's an example of how we word area:

Minimum open space for the property is required in the amount of 6,844 square feet (75% of the 9,125 SF lot). The current open space is 2 square feet less than required, resulting in 75-percent of the lot area preserved as open space). The Appellant is proposing to construct an addition to the residence and to pave a 603 SF driveway, resulting in 67.3-percent of the lot area preserved as open space, and is therefore requesting an 7.7-percent variance to the Code requirement.

And here's an example of how we word distance:

A setback of 25-feet is required from the right-of-way line. The petitioner seeks a setback of 10.3-feet from the right-of-way line to permit the reconstruction of an attached garage, and is therefore requesting a 14.7-foot variance from the right-of-way line.

Hope it helps.

#### SGB

##### Cyburbian
foot

any of various units of length based on the length of the human foot; especially : a unit equal to 1/3 yard and comprising 12 inches -- plural foot used between a number and a noun <a 10-foot pole> -- plural feet or foot used between a number and an adjective <6 feet tall> --

From Merriam-Webster online.

#### nerudite

##### Cyburbian
Hmmmm... I read bturk's response, and I've always done it a little different (although I'm not saying this is necessarily the only way to do it).

I've always done like:

he wants a 64-foot variance; or

he is requesting a variance of 64 feet.

Anyone have their Strunk and White around??

#### donk

##### Cyburbian
Real picky, but I have used both, it depends on how the rest of teh sentence is phrased.

I would write it as a variance request of 64 feet (19.5 metres)has been requested. OR I would write a 64 foot (19.5 metre)variance is requested.

Good luck.

#### SW MI Planner

##### Cyburbian
Aha! Thanks for your help. Another question - do you put the dash between the number and word, example 64-feet or 64 feet. My spell check brings that up constantly and I never use it. It does that with 'single family', and 'multi-family' too. I can see multi-family needing the hypen, but single family?

And I always thought I was pretty literate.....

#### jmf

##### Cyburbian
hyphens

I avoid using them but I think the main thing is to be consistent with whatever way you choose.

#### Chet

##### Cyburbian Emeritus
SW MI Planner said:
Aha! Thanks for your help. Another question - do you put the dash between the number and word, example 64-feet or 64 feet. My spell check brings that up constantly and I never use it. It does that with 'single family', and 'multi-family' too. I can see multi-family needing the hypen, but single family?

And I always thought I was pretty literate.....

Ack! Reminds me of a conversation intiiated by our Clerk.

"Do you spell that non metallic , non-metallic , or nonmetallic ?

I don't care lady, just pick one!

#### Jeff

##### Cyburbian
SW MI Planner said:
Aha! Thanks for your help. Another question - do you put the dash between the number and word, example 64-feet or 64 feet. My spell check brings that up constantly and I never use it. It does that with 'single family', and 'multi-family' too. I can see multi-family needing the hypen, but single family?

And I always thought I was pretty literate.....

A hyphen goes between a double adjective followed by the noun it is describing... i.e. single-family dwelling.

#### Dan

Staff member
Moderator
I always worded it as ...

"A variance of [x] [distance] to the [minimum/maximum] [something] requirement of [x] [distance].

Thus ... a variance of 64 feet to the rear year setback requirement of 100 feet.

I tried dual unit staff reports at my previous job. Converting was too cumbersome, so I gave it up. I was already swamped, and it took too much time checkung to ensure that square feet were properly converted into square meters.

I expressed square feet as [number]'[superscript 2].

I never, ever, ever use both the written and numerical form of a number, i.e. "three (3) foot variance." It's redundant and pretentious. I don't know why some folks prefer to write in that style.

I'd love to see a staff report for a rural Texas municipality. "A variance of 103 varas to the minimum two smoke frontage requirement ..."

#### Tom R

##### Cyburbian
variances

I'd say "death to all variances" and be done with it.

#### Zoning Goddess

##### Cyburbian
Re: Stupid clarification

bturk said:
Square foot or lineal foot?

Lineal foot? Isn't it linear foot?

#### Trail Nazi

##### Cyburbian
I would say a 64-foot variance. And I would also say linear, but in case you want a definition.....

lin·e·ar
Of, relating to, or resembling a line; straight.

In, of, describing, described by, or related to a straight line.
Having only one dimension.
Characterized by, composed of, or emphasizing drawn lines rather than painterly effects.
Botany. Narrow and elongated with nearly parallel margins: a linear leaf.

lin·e·al
Belonging to or being in the direct line of descent from an ancestor.
Derived from or relating to a particular line of descent; hereditary.
Linear.

This applies to both words:
[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin līneālis, consisting of lines, from Latin līnea, line.]

#### Chet

##### Cyburbian Emeritus
Yep, I caught that after I posted but never edited. Good eye!

#### Jeff

##### Cyburbian
It is linear, but you wouldn't believe the number of people that say lineal....

#### Zoning Goddess

##### Cyburbian
Trail Nazi said:
I would say a 64-foot variance. And I would also say linear, but in case you want a definition.....

lin·e·ar
Of, relating to, or resembling a line; straight.

In, of, describing, described by, or related to a straight line.
Having only one dimension.
Characterized by, composed of, or emphasizing drawn lines rather than painterly effects.
Botany. Narrow and elongated with nearly parallel margins: a linear leaf.

lin·e·al
Belonging to or being in the direct line of descent from an ancestor.
Derived from or relating to a particular line of descent; hereditary.
Linear.

This applies to both words:
[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin līneālis, consisting of lines, from Latin līnea, line.]

Thank you for the excessively erudite explanation. By the way, where did you get the avatar of the pit bull with buggy eyes???

#### Runner

##### Cyburbian
I would word it:

"a 64 foot variance"

or

"a variance of 64 feet"

#### mike gurnee

##### Cyburbian
I think it is time to take a break, have a day off. Spell check fun: "cite someone for showing inadequate sight distance on the site plan".

#### donk

##### Cyburbian
One of the surveyors we deal with frequently always puts "site distance = x metres" on his site and survey plans.

#### Seabishop

##### Cyburbian
In conclusion, just don't say FEETS.

#### donk

##### Cyburbian
In conclusion, just don't say FEETS.

Unless you live in an area where a local politican refers to his constituents as "me peoples".

This is unfortunately true, he said it in the legislature.

#### Jeff

##### Cyburbian
Or unless you're saying.....

"Woman, get me them there pigs feets out of the refrigerator...and fetch me a Bud while your at it...YEE HAW!!"