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The Waits: SI Unit of Vocal Roughness

The Waits is an absolute scale (i.e. a similar concept to the Kelvin) of the raggedness of someone's voice, particularly with regard to singing. Specifically, 100 Waits (Wts) is the precise roughness of Tom Waits' voice after an night out on the town until four in the morning in some very noisy bars, drinking cheap bourbon and chain-smoking cigars.

Being an absolute scale, there is some confusion as to what occurs at absolute zero. Spurious metrologists generally agree that absolute zero Waits represents an inhuman theoretical point, unachievable by any living being. It's either the voice of Karen Carpenter after eating a large tub of Belgian ice cream and necking two pints of Guinness, or Celine Dion.

The milliSting: SI Unit of Career Discrepancy

The milliSting is the current standard used to define the level of discrepancy between an artist's solo career and their earlier, genuinely entertaining work with a band. It's currently defined as one thousandth of the level of disappointment felt between briefly hearing Can't Stand Losing You blaring on a passing car stereo on a warm sunny day in May, and walking into a small, stuffy and slightly malodorous supermarket to hear Fields of Gold over a barely-working tannoy.

Controversial EU directives have led to a number of prosecutions for using the pre-decimal demiClapton* in the UK.

*Approximately half the difference between hearing Sunshine of Your Love at a party whilst slightly intoxicated and getting on really well with someone you fancied for ages, and having to sit through Eric Clapton: Unplugged on a barely-working casette deck in a sixth-form common room for the third time in a day whilst waiting for a General Studies exam.

The hectoPistol: SI Unit of Nostalgic Inflation

The hectoPistol is the degree to which the attendance and contemporary appreciation of a particular pop-culture event has been distorted over the following years. Specifically, it is the ratio of the number of people who claim to have attended, enjoyed and been directly influenced by the Sex Pistols' first gig at the 100 Club in London in 1976 to the number of people who were actually there and enjoyed the experience. This currently stands at approximately 0.131 Woodstocks.

The Gallagher: SI Unit of Musical Conservatism

One Gallagher represents the tenacity in profitably ploughing one musical furrow over a number of years. It is calculated as the number of hit records that all sound the fucking same whilst still making tabloid headlines, divided by the average lifespan of a one-hit wonder. Formerly known as the Status Quotient.

(See also: Angus Young's Modulus)

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astatine210

March 2007

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