How does this thing work?

So apparently I did it backwards the first time I made this. I’m using it to represent “importance” (not quite the word I’m looking for) and I just want to make sure I’m using it right.

Let’s say salt and pepper are my things on the scale if I want salt to be more important/better/“superior” would I put it on the higher end or the lower end?


Kind of like this with the weighing part ig

Attachment image

4 Answers

  • 9 months ago
    Favourite answer

    I agree with Karen L. that it's ambiguous.  Traditionally, a "balance" scale was used in trade to weigh goods.  Obviously, if you're weighing gold or diamonds, the lower end of the scale weighs more and is most desirable. In the "blind justice" application, the judge weighs one argument  against another and decides which "has more weight". Again, that makes the lower side of the scale the winner.  The problem is that balance scales are so archaic that they are now just a symbol. People these days don't intuitively understand that lower is better.

    To further complicate the issue, the phrase  "comes out on top" is often used when comparing things.  I compared the features of the two cars, and Toyota comes out on top. In this case "on top" refers to the top of my list.  Similarly, items "on the top" of my to-do list are most important. Using a balance scale, you run the risk of people mixing metaphors and thinking "I weighed both sides and the better one came out on top."

    → So, where does this leave us with your salt and pepper comparison?  IF you're using a balance scale as your graphic, the superior item belongs on the bottom. ←

  • RP
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    The matter of the order depends on whether you wish to show it from the best or highest to the bottom or lowest or the other way around (lowest to highest). In the first instance, salt would come first whereas in the second salt would come last.

  • 9 months ago

    Unfortunately, using a weigh scale as you are doing presents a complication: it introduces the suggestion that weight is at least one of the qualities being assessed and we have no idea if weight in this example represents a desirable quality or an undesirable quality.

    Superior can mean quite literally, 'above', physically above, so if that's the word you want to demonstrate then the upper end would be the one.

    Something being on one end or the other wouldn't suggest to me that it's important or better.

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    What happens if I put my glasses of waters on that paper, tilted?

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