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The Lounge: Chat. Relax. Unwind. > 0 floor or first floor?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13796 comments It may be a little confusing (for me it is) when half of the world counts floors from zero, while another half - from 'one'. I mean you don't count cars or cows from "0", on the other hand architects use elevations above the ground/zero level, so for buildings it has some logic.
Anyhow, I regard this, as well as different sockets around the world, left and right-side driving, as a little annoying peculiarity.
Which numbering do you find more appropriate?
I know it's not a very deep philosophic theme, but should be fine for Sat after a beer or two -:)


message 2: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I am accustomed in Canada to call the floor directly above the ground-level floor as the 'first floor'. I believe that most other people do the same. One thing that I find a bit idiotic is this supersticious custom of avoiding to designate what should be the thirteenth floor as such, as if no 13th floor existed in the building when there is clearly one. But, if you want a really hot, confusing dispute, just ask about how they name the various decks inside a ship.


message 3: by Segilola (new)

Segilola Salami (segilolasalami) | 405 comments the floor you walk into in a building is the ground floor and the first one up is the first floor etc


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9779 comments The problem comes from counting. For something discrete, such as eggs, you have 1 egg, or two . . . Zero becomes sort of irrelevant because if you have no eggs, unless you need them, you don't count them. But think of age. If your child is one, you say he has one year under his belt, but what was he before that? Zero. (I know, you end up by counting days or months to get around that.) This was the problem of when was the millennium really, because there was no year zero. As for floors, you have either gone up one level to the ist floor, or you enter the building and find a floor. Here we tend to call it the ground floor.

Worse problems arise when there are various levels below the ground floor. This happens for buildings on hills, where the main entrance is on the uphill side.


message 5: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments Like Segilola, the floor you walk into in Australia is the Ground (G) floor. The next floor up is the first floor.

Floors below Ground tend to be called Lower Ground here. (LG)


message 6: by Ian (last edited Oct 09, 2017 10:31AM) (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 211 comments Leonie wrote: "Like Segilola, the floor you walk into in Australia is the Ground (G) floor. The next floor up is the first floor.

Floors below Ground tend to be called Lower Ground here. (LG)"


That is what I grew up with in Britain. I guess the ground doesn't count as a "floor" so the first floor is the first floor above ground level.

However I now live in Canada and have had to get used to the first floor being the one you walk into. Interesting the Michel also lives in Canada and uses the other convention. Is there a conflict within Canada? It wouldn't surprise me, we seem to have a blend of both American and non-American customs to deal with.


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 211 comments One thing I would add, back to the OP, nowhere have I ever heard anyone talk of a "0 floor". It would always be either the first floor (as per American usage) or the ground floor.


message 8: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9779 comments No, floors are like eggs, if you don't have one, you don't count them. The difference arises because you also don't usually number floors when you have only one - it is the floor. So you can either count floors, (the American way) or sound floors you have ascended (the British way).


message 9: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5532 comments Here, if you have a 4-story building, you have 4 floors in the building (makes sense, since there are in actuality 4 floors to walk on). The first floor and the ground floor are the same.


message 10: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13796 comments In former USSR (at least in parts I know), the ground floor is the first and the buttons in the elevator are from 1 up, while here it's from zero (ground) up. Often when hosting guests from there, we have this one floor difference problem -:)


message 11: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9779 comments Ha, so the USSR was American in style. How ironic!


message 12: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13796 comments Yep, same same. Or maybe it was a Stalin - Roosevelt conspiracy? -:)


message 13: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2151 comments Nik wrote: "In former USSR (at least in parts I know), the ground floor is the first and the buttons in the elevator are from 1 up, while here it's from zero (ground) up. Often when hosting guests from there, ..."

I don't know why, but that sounds almost like a Yackov Smirnoff parody. "In Soviet Union, you don't count the floors, the floors count you."

Okay, so maybe I'm being a little silly...


message 14: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13796 comments -:)


message 15: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13796 comments So, from which point have you started your ascent? :)


message 16: by Marie (new)

Marie Interesting thread! :) As always we have "lots of thoughts" in these threads!

Well all these floors depends on what you are trying to access.
If you are in a business building with parking garages and utility basements everything changes as sometimes parking garages will be below ground level depending on where you work. So let's get technical for a moment - are parking garages considered "ground level"? But then what if there is an utility basement below the parking garage - would that then be considered "ground level"?

Leaving the parking garage to go to work - you would get in an elevator and go up to the first floor, second floor, etc. :)

Now in apartments - that is easy - ground floor, then first floor, etc. Unless you live in a place that has a parking garage below your apartment complex then you are back to square one with "ground level" questions! lol :)


message 17: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9779 comments There is a hotel in Wellington where, because it is built on the side of a hill, has two levels where you can walk out at "ground level" - depending on whether it is the uphill or downhill side of the hotel :-)


message 18: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5532 comments Cool!


message 19: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13796 comments Marie wrote: "...If you are in a business building with parking garages and utility basements everything..."

Yes, sometimes there might be a long way up for one to put his/her head above the water/ground :)


message 20: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13796 comments Ian wrote: "There is a hotel in Wellington where, because it is built on the side of a hill, has two levels where you can walk out at "ground level" - depending on whether it is the uphill or downhill side of ..."

And if there were 4 uneven sides of the hill, it could be a little complicated :)


message 21: by Marie (new)

Marie Ian wrote: "There is a hotel in Wellington where, because it is built on the side of a hill, has two levels where you can walk out at "ground level" - depending on whether it is the uphill or downhill side of ..."

Oh that sounds really neat! :)


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