5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Perimeter or Parameter?

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Today’s 5 Minute Grammar Lesson answers the question Perimeter or Parameter? Which word should you use when? Check back each Sunday for a new lesson! Perimeter or Parameter 5 Minute Week Grammar Lesson - check back each Friday for a new lesson.

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5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Perimeter or Parameter?

Today’s grammar lesson is super, extra special because it also contains a math lesson! You’re welcome. Recently I saw someone say, “I’d love to apply for this job, but I don’t think I fit the perimeters.” And that was the inspiration for this post.

Perimeter –

So here’s the math lesson, the word PERIMETER is a math concept, right? The perimeter is the distance around a two-dimensional shape. To calculate the perimeter, simply measure all sides and add them together. Why might you like to calculate the perimeter? Primarily because your math teacher told you too. 😉 But it’s also useful in practical applications too. My husband calculates perimeters in his job as a remodeler and home builder. You also calculate perimeter when you measure your waist, neck, arms, legs etc.

Parameter – 

Parameter can also be a mathematical term, just to complicate the matter. According to Merriam Webster, the definitions of Parameter are as follows:

  1. a :  an arbitrary constant whose value characterizes a member of a system (as a family of curves); also :  a quantity (as a mean or variance) that describes a statistical populationb :  an independent variable used to express the coordinates of a variable point and functions of them — compare parametric equation

  2. any of a set of physical properties whose values determine the characteristics or behavior of something parameters of the atmosphere such as temperature, pressure, and density

  3. something represented by a parameter :  a characteristic element; broadly :  characteristic,element, factor political dissent as a parameter of modern lifehealth care is a universal parameter, … a ubiquitous concern across every age, occupation, and class line. — Wayne Biddle

  4. limit, boundary —usually used in plural the parameters of science fiction The investigation stayed within the parameters set by the court.

Quiz time. Based on what I’ve told you about Parameter and Perimeter, what do you think the person should have said on Facebook? 😀

Perimeter or Parameter 5 Minute Grammar Lesson

Want more grammar posts?

It’s or Its?

Your welcome or You’re welcome?

Top 10 Mistakes Bloggers Make {and how to stop}

Who’s or WHOSE?

Who or Whom?

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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