A quick search of amazon.co.uk for bathroom scales yielded this. Many of the individual items are called "scale" and some are called "scales". Is this due to Amazon leading the Americanization charge, or to BE speakers not knowing that scales used to have two pans but seeing that there is only one item on the bathroom floor that they weigh themselves on, I wonder?Not in BE. It is usually plural (like trousers, scissors, etc.) The plural comes from days when scales looked like this:
See #8I presume the plural comes from considering the device to be not a pair but a set of scales,
As sdg reminds us, even on androids and iPhones, we dial, and we turn the volume up by pressing a remote.
So a blank LCD screen is a "scale" even before it displays the weight?If you are looking for a scale on scales, it is the figures representing the weight around the dial.
Note the "often plural" -- this would appear to be BE-specific.WRD (Collins Concise) said:scale /skeɪl/ n
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old Norse skāl bowl, related to Old High German scāla cup, Old English scealu shell, scale1
- (often plural) a machine or device for weighing
- one of the pans of a balance
No, they don't! Only the really really expensive analytical scales might provide reference weights and auto-calibration. And yet, even those scales need be regularly calibrated with external reference weights to ensure proper and accurate operation at the specific location where it is used. (temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, gravitation, and Earth's magnetic field can play havoc when you're trying to accurately measure down to milli- and micro-grams. Don't even think about the Moon!)As for the digital ones, typically based on strain gauges, don't they have reference weights inside so that the device can recalibrate itself? Otherwise, how on Earth (!) are they going to work on the Moon?