Bible, Personal, Standard, Medium, Agenda – what’s in a name?


In Sweden, a mile is 10 kilometres. So when people say five miles they mean 50 kilometres. I have to constantly remind students that there are British miles, Irish miles, Scot Miles, nautical miles and metric miles (for sporting events) and they are all different. They sigh and ask me why everything is not the same all over the world.

I agree totally and often wish we all spoke the same language as well (though that would mean me being out of a job!)

It applies to clothing sizes as well – an American clothing size 10 is about a British 12 or 14 and their shoe size 6 is about a British 4. A Swedish clothing 34 is a British 36.

And then we come to planner sizes. The Filofax personal size is called a Medium in Gillio, a Standard in Van Der Spek, a Bible in Asia and an A5 by Aspinal (who measure the cover rather than the pages to get the sizing so the cover is A5 but the inserts are personal – I think they may have changed that now but when I bought my first Aspinal I wanted an A5 and ended up with what was actually a personal). As Gill, one of my readers pointed out below ‘Then throw in Day Timer with Portable and Franklin Covey with Compact! They’re equivalent to FF personal size too’

Compounding this problem is the names of the planners themselves. Filofax is actually called a Filofax Personal Organiser so if someone advertises a Filofax personal planner with a rather ambiguous photograph you are never sure (and often neither are they) if they are referring to the size or the name of the planner.

And speaking of planners, Mulberry call their three sizes (which don’t correspond to Filofax rings or sizes) pocket, agenda and planner so if someone advertises a Filofax Agenda Planner on eBay, what size is it?

mmmm, food for thought!

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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