Three bowls, one too hot, one too cold, one just right. Three beds, too big, too small, and just right.
Parametrics are words that compare one size to another, one thing to another thing, without specific measurements.
Hot, hotter, hottest, scalding hot, impossibly hot.
Cold, colder, coldest, impossibly cold.
Small, smaller, smallest, impossibly small.
Big, bigger, biggest, impossibly big.
The same parametric usage can be applied to color – red, redder, brilliant red. One can picture red, but what intensity? One person’s brilliant red might be more or less than another person’s.
Another lesson to be learned about parametric measurement is that today’s metrics, i.e.: 5 foot 3 inches, or 87.9 pounds, is tomorrow’s parametric. A foot is twelve inches, and at one time was a very accurate measurement, yet today it is commonly used to estimate size: it’s about a foot long. The more infinitesimal sizes can be, the more our past methods of measuring become parametric. Yesterday’s megalithic yard became inches and tenths of inches. Today’s ability to measure microns and atoms relegates yesterday’s 10th of an inch to mere parametric accuracy.
Our descriptions of people are parametric – were they tall? Short? Skinny? Fat? Blonde? To be more specific, one would have to ask, “Compared to what?” Even male and female have become relative in today’s culture.
Historical records are also parametric. BC and AD are very general relegations for event dating. We group events into eons, eras, millennia, years, even months, and days. All are parametric in concept. The universe moves with such astronomical precision that in order to be metric rather than parametric, complex charts must be made as to the position of all the planets and stars at the time of a particular event, such as the day you were born.
All language starts with nouns. One must have a noun before a verb, which is the movement of a noun, or even an adjective, which is the description of a noun. Parametric language is the beginning of measuring. The more technical our tools, the more specific our measurements have become.
Judgment does not escape. This article could be good, great, wonderful, bad, worst, or horrible. People are labeled parametrically; good people, bad people, evil people, saints, etc., are not metric measurements; they are parametric comparisons that have relative meaning to the one using them.
Have a wonderful day!