Friday, August 12, 2005

"Shitload" Becomes Standardized Unit of Measurement

After years of controversy surrounding it's relatively ambiguous status in the business and manufacturing community, the term "shitload" has been officially adopted by the US Bureau of Weights and Measures for commercial use. The term, which first originated on the Boston docks in the 1800s, originally represented the full capacity of one sewage scow. Starting in the late 1800s these scows began making regular "export" trips to New Jersey, and their full capacity (approximately 2.7 tons) became a common benchmark for the shipping community. The term soon spread to other industries, where it began to slip from its original meaning.
Professor Emil Watkins of the Harvard Department of History explains, "as soon as other industries adopted the term it's meaning became more ambiguous. Soon, instead of a true measure of weight it began to be used for both weight and volume. Its meaning became relative. The so-called "east coast shitload standard" hovered at around 2 or 3 tons. The "west coast shitload standard" however, was sometimes held as low as a ton and a half. While in the mid-west, the standard shitload could be as little as five hundred pounds. Really the only industry to keep a straight shitload was the drug running trade. Those guys never deviated from the 2.7 ton benchmark, God bless 'em!"
In an attempt to standardize the shitload, the BWM has officially set it at the original 2.7 tons of (wet or dry) weight. This also settles the long standing argument over use of the shitload for measures of volume. The BWM has determined that since the shitload is now a weight standard, large volumes will now be measured with the somewhat secondary term "assload".

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