In our quotes, you’ll see us refer to “M”. Technically, M represents a Roman numeral – 1,000. Sometimes someone will use an M to imply one million. That is only a shorthand technique, rather than an official designation. If you were to continue with M as a Roman numeral, what would MMXXIII represent? 2023!

OK. If M is 1,000 What is mm?

The lower-case mm has nothing to do with a unit of time or a Roman numeral. It represents a linear distance in the metric system. One thousandth of a meter. It takes 1,000 little mm to make one meter. There are about 25.4mm in one inch. We often use mm in measuring a linear distance because they are more accurate. A mm dimension can be multiplied or divided into greater or smaller portions much easier and more precisely than inches or feet.

Had enough? Going on from above – What is a ml?

Staying within the metric system, a ml is the abbreviation for milliliter. You can pronounce ml as “milliliter” or as “m” “l”. Using the latter will remind you that ml is for liquid measurement rather than for time or distance. Once again, 1,000 ml = 1 liter of liquid measure. There are about 30 ml in one ounce of liquid. Using ml as a unit of liquid measure is easier and more precise than trying to determine the amount of liquid in 1 cup or fraction of a cup.

Now, one more, and not to totally confuse you. What is mil?

A mil is pronounced just like it’s spelled – “mil” and is not derived from any metric system. How bad does it get? Mil is derived from the Imperial System and is used to measure the thickness of an item. We refer to mil thickness or decimals of mil thickness. This type of denomination is often used when we need to specify the thickness of plastic film. The plastic film in a single-use shopping bag might be 0.125 thick. Or, a typical credit card is 30mils or 3/100 of an inch.

If you’re totally confused, don’t worry, we know how to work out the numbers…without using a crystal ball.