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Using one of me is common in science and other areas,
but in other areas they sometimes use me the wrong way

Using two of me is taboo in science, unless one of me is larger,
but in other areas they abuse me again by using two small variants of me

Using three of me is taboo everywhere.

What am I?

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you consider computer science a science or an other area? $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Feb 21 '16 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald I don't think that that really matters. $\endgroup$ – wythagoras Feb 21 '16 at 12:46
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This is a long shot, but is it:

The letter 'k'

Using one of me is common in science and other areas,

k could be many things in science, such as a variable or a prefix to a unit.

but in other areas they sometimes use me the wrong way

'k' is sometimes used as an informal abbreviation for 'okay'.

Using two of me is taboo in science, unless one of me is larger,

If 'k' is a variable, it would not be good to name two variables k as you couldn't tell them apart, unless one was lowercase and the other capital. If 'k' is a unit prefix, there is no unit 'kk', but there is the unit 'kK' (kilokelvin).

but in other areas they abuse me again by using two small variants of me

The word 'kk' is also used as an informal way of saying 'okay'.

Using three of me is taboo everywhere.

Three k's would represent the KKK, a racist organization.

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  • $\begingroup$ You have the right answer. The k used in the wrong way refers to writing 100000 as 100k, which is common in other areas than science, but really a no go in science. What is even worse that some use 1kk for 1000000. $\endgroup$ – wythagoras Feb 21 '16 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't say it's taboo everywhere, mainly just in the US. Other countries don't have the negative history associated with that. I remember hearing it was the name of a supermarket chain in - Sweden I think? Somewhere Scandinavian anyhow. $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman Feb 21 '16 at 18:17

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