Matt, Canada's confusion is no doubt the result of not allowing the french to secede. :whistling: Blansky has america right we love to bastardize anything we can english freng german spanish chinese . If it's spoken we'll "borrow" it mispronounce or misspell it and claim it as our own.:laugh:
We tend to give the shorter dimension first. This is true of both film and paper.
For example, a 35mm frame is 24mm x 36mm, even though 24mm is the height, not the width.
The exception is 6cm film. Since there are so many formats using that film, the 6 is usually given first (6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, 6x17, etc).
The narrow dimension of the paper defines the minimum size of the machine needed to process it.
Take a look at your computer printer. It can print 8.5" x 11", or 8.5" x 14", or 8.5" high banner of arbitrary length.
But it can't print B-size (11" x 17"). That requires a different machine.
And the head is part of the engine instead of being the roof, though we screw it up by referring to the material on the inside of the car under the roof as being the headliner.
And we shorten "gasoline" to "gas", though it's not a gas, and in UK they call it "petrol", even though it's not petroleum, just made from it, which is like calling a pork chop, "pig".
Well, enough of this. I'm getting tyred.
To those who are so enamoured of the metric system I say try building a house using a meter stick. The metric system makes sense for scientific use but the englsh system is based on common practical units used in everyday life.
Perhaps if the english hadn't been so intent on cozying up to europe and prove that the english were europeans too they would also still be using the english system.