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29 April 2009 @ 06:43 pm
But, but, but...  
If my pants don't go around my waist, why do most of them use a W to indicate the number of inches of, um, circumference along with an L to indicate the number of inches of length?
Current Mood: confusedconfused
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debate: tanakaakiko on April 30th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
Because waist measure doesn't necessarily indicate measurement around the waistband. Waist measure refers to the measurement of your natural waist. I own a pair of 34x30s that sit just above my 42" hips.

Because patterns are drafted based on averages, the waist measure (say, in my case, 30") refers to the anatomical point known as the natural waist (approximately 2 fingers above the belly button.) Pants, say, won't *necessarily* go around that line (in fact, they rarely do; they look goofy and can get uncomfortable). More commonly, they'll sit a finger or two below the belly button (or lower, if you've got the trendy hip-huggers.)

Because patterns are drafted based on averages, the designer can take the average increase in circumference between the natural waist and where they want the top of the pants to be, and that's the size of the waistband. But the pants DO NOT SIT ON YOUR NATURAL WAIST.

(This is why petite pants are important; we've got a lot more curve in a shorter space: I have a 10-12" increase between my waist and hips in a 6" vertical space. Non-petite women have 8-10" to get that increase in.)
DonAithnendonaithnen on April 30th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC)
Okay, is there technically a difference between the "waist" and the "natural waist"? Because i've heard two different definitions of something called a "waist" now =P

And in case it wasn't clear when this all started, i'd just like to point out that the measurements shelleycat took were for weight gain/body whatever tracking, not SERIOUS BUSINESS sewing stuff, and as such i don't feel any particular obligation to use sewing terms rather that ignorant normal person terms ;)
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DonAithnen: blankdonaithnen on April 30th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, i didn't think it was offensive :( I certainly think my hobbies are Serious Business, or at least the ones i take, you know, seriously. (Books, video games, anime etc.)
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Pava: AD_TeachersFightingjmpava on April 30th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
... but you have been asking about this in conjunction with clothes measurements. Did you really just say 'Explain why x and y are different. But don't speak in the terms that y uses'?

Anyway... I'm not sure about what OTHER definition you are using, but what I've seen (for example): http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/waist doesn't really throw 'pants' into the mix at all. That is, where your pants go have nothing to do with the 'definition' of the waist. The waist is, explicitly, a certain part of the body. *shrug*

Edited at 2009-04-30 02:10 am (UTC)
DonAithnen: blankdonaithnen on April 30th, 2009 02:17 am (UTC)
All i did was give some measurements of various body parts, and then suddenly everyone started telling me i was doin it rong, and i made the mistake of either disagreeing and/or asking for clarification of how i was doin it rong, i've totally lost track by this point :(

Pants came up cause _my_ waist is where _my_ pants go, and the definition of pants involves the waist, and the measurements of pants seem to involve the waist. I certainly don't think the waist is _defined_ by where the pants go, but there's an obvious correlation, at least for _me_ :(
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DonAithnen: blankdonaithnen on April 30th, 2009 02:24 am (UTC)
I'm sorry :( I had just responded to akiko's comment i think and was being silly. i shouldn't have :(
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Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on April 30th, 2009 02:22 am (UTC)
I'm guessing the "other" definition is : the waist is where my pants sit because that's where pants go because it's your waist. Rather circular, really.

Yet we're trying to explain that no, that's not how the words work. So when "words mean what [you] say they mean" rather than the normal definitions, and you try to say "no, don't use ur srs bzns talk!" we beat our heads on our desks and GIVE UP because it's frustrating!
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DonAithnen: blankdonaithnen on April 30th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
But you guys have said on multiple different instances that the waist is also the narrowest part of the abdomen, which is where my pants _do_ go, so why were you telling my i was doing it wrong? :( Especially when i started out in a non-sewing, non-interior anatomy context? :(
Pava: Osaka Sez!jmpava on April 30th, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
I would imagine the point is that there is a definition that can be objectively applied and a definition that is based on subjective personal impression. And you consistently have this habit of questioning the objective one (in this case, the narrow part one) in lieu of one that just happens to work for you (in this case the 'where my pants go one'). I don't think anyone is questioning your use of the second one. I think they ARE questioning your insistence that the one that could actually be, I dunno, universally applied is not relevant for some reason ;->

It's like saying, we'll I'm not going to put stuff in UTC becuase even thought everyone would know what it is, it's still Pacific time zone for me. I mean, that's not a great example becuase there's a direct conversion between the two, but still - objective definition vs. subjective definition. So, while that might be where the pants go ON YOU, it's not a 'definition' since that's not necessarily the case for everyone. You said that yourself. But yet you insist on challenging and correcting people who ARE using the objective definition, even though you yourself pointed out the other one isn't objective.

If you are ok with confusing people, use whatever terms you want. But if you care what people think you mean, and you are using subjective rather then objective terms, then, yeah, you might have people responding with 'wait, don't you mean...?'. That's all. It's whether or not you care that people will be confused by your use of the terms. You can CALL it whatever you want otherwise. It's just about communication (and as someone who makes up words ALL THE TIME, er, yeah ) ;->

Whether or not you agree with any of that, that's how it comes across on this side, and yeah, it gets a little frustrating, like akiko said. Believe it or don't ;->

ETA: (Perhaps a better example would be how when we did werewolf, you insisted in calling everything by the old names. Which no one but you or Cora were even familiar with. And every time you did, everyone else went 'Huh'? Sure, you are certainly ALLOWED to call them by those terms, so long as you are ok with no one understanding what you say each time and having to repeat yourself. And then its frustrating becuase we don't WANT to have to keep asking you 'wait, did you ACTUALLY mean this other thing that you won't actually say'?).

Edited at 2009-04-30 02:56 am (UTC)
DonAithnen: blankdonaithnen on April 30th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC)
Uh, i didn't insist on it. Most of the time i actually couldn't remember the new names.

But what was so confusing about saying one measurement was around my stomach and one measurement was around my waist? Especially when it wasn't a subjective term, it was actually one of the objective definitions of waist? :(

I only brought up pants _after_ someone told me what i was saying was my waist wasn't my waist, and it actually _was_! :(

Edited at 2009-04-30 03:04 am (UTC)
DonAithnen: blankdonaithnen on April 30th, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)
_and_ in the process starting off using a technical term from a field that i'm not familiar with, and not clarifying that it's not the same as a commonly used objective definition, and not giving a definition for the field specific technical term, and then defining it in multiple different ways, and totally confusing the heck out of me :(
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DonAithnen: blankdonaithnen on April 30th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
Uh, i wasn't referring to you, i'm sorry you thought so =/ Akiko, who started the whole alternate definitions of stomachs and waists in the first place, started out claiming that the natural waist was the narrowest part, but now is saying that the natural waist is just below your ribs and the narrowest part is the other kind of waist. She probably just had a brain fart or something, but having two different people tell me (sometimes) different definitions for something that was supposedly different from the term "waist" that i normally use, but that according the explanation sometimes had the same technical definition, (and not clarifying at first that "natural waist" is different from "waist") was confusing the heck out of me :(
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Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on April 30th, 2009 12:34 pm (UTC)
NORMALLY the narrowest part of the torso is just below the ribcage, so when some says "waist," that is the part most people think of.
Squidceph on April 30th, 2009 03:31 am (UTC)
I don't know--if this little device with the buttons on it is called a mouse, why can't I feed it to my snakes?

I believe people are getting frustrated because you seem to be trying to generalize something that is true for you--"my pants sit at my waist"--to something that is true for everybody. But "all pants sit at the waist" (or, alternatively, "the waist is where your pants sit") is demonstrably untrue, so people are getting confused.

The difference between my highest-cut pants and my lowest-cut pants is at least three inches, so unless my anatomy is changing radically every time I change clothes, I think we can safely say that "pants sit at the waist" is not universally true. ::grin::

Also, maybe the W stands for "width."
DonAithnen: blankdonaithnen on April 30th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
All i said to begin with is that my waist is where my pants go, because someone seemed to be saying that's not where my waist was at all (by using an alternate ant totally unknown to me definition) not that my waist is there because that's where pants go. Then everyone seemed to be trying to convince me that there was absolutely no relation between the two when i think it's pretty clear there's definitely a correlation (though not a causation) (for the definition of waist that i was using )

And then everyone seems to be assuming that i'm trying to prove a causation...

I also can't recall anywhere where i claimed that it was universally true. The closest i came was to say that it seems pretty close to universal for guys wearing pants around a waist (rather than hip huggers) to be using the same waist i do, rather than one of the alternate waists that girls use quite frequently. I could certainly be wrong about that, but the concept of "universal" never came into it.
Squidceph on April 30th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
I'm sorry if you feel ganged up on. It sounded to me as though you were saying that the waist was where pants go, and it seemed like other people had the same interpretation of what you were saying. You said you were confused, so I was trying to explain what I saw as the point of disagreement. (Because I tend to interpret "I'm confused" as "please explain!"--maybe that's just a User Education thing ::grin::)

If I told you where I think you implied that it was universally true, would that be helpful or would you just feel more like you were being ganged up on and told you were doing it wrong?

DonAithnendonaithnen on April 30th, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
"I'm confused" generally _does_ mean "please explain." However what i wanted explained was "how does using a definition of 'waist' that i've apparently been told in this exact same discussion is one correct definition of the term count as insisting on using the term incorrectly?"

I'd love to know where you thought i made the implication that it was universally true though.
Brie2gouda4u on April 30th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
I really haven't read all of this thread, or the previous one, so sorry if what I'm about to say doesn't make sense or was said elsewhere. I gather that the standard definition of waist - the narrowest part of one's abdomen - isn't so much a definition as a convenient trick for many people. The waist is actually a specific region of your torso, a little below your ribs and almost certainly above where your pants rest. That place happens to be the narrowest part for many people. So I'm guessing when people quoted the standard definition, they were attempting to convey the region definition, and/or the notion that it's the narrowest part of the "typical" person's torso. So by using waist to refer to a different part of your torso as a result of your atypicalness, people felt like you were being pointlessly stubborn. But I'm really tired, so yeah. Enjoy your salt shaker with this.