"A message from 30,000 feet above the ground"

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EnglishBug

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi, everyone. Today is the first time that I am able to surf the web on an airplane. I sent my wife an email and said: "This is a message from 30,000 feet above the ground." Does the sentence sound right to you? If you were me, what would you say?
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    It doesn't sound right to me for technical reasons. Airliner altitude is measure in feet above sea level, not above ground. If the pilot of the airliner in which you were flying announced that you were at 30,000 that would mean 30,000 above mean sea level (MSL)

    Therefore your statement would only be accurate if, on the off chance you were above some place with altitude of 0 feet above sea level (New Orleans, perhaps). The ocean, of course, is at sea level, but that would mean you were above the water, not the ground.

    Rover's response takes care of this point quite nicely.
     

    EnglishBug

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you, guys. I ask this question because I do not remember how native speakers say it. According to my experience, if I make up a sentence in accordance with grammar, it sounds weird nine out of ten.
     
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