Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 291

Hole punch holes

Yes, I really am going to blog about hole punch holes in the USA. The thing is, I got myself in a right old pickle today.

There I was happily punching holes in my paperwork with my BRITISH hole punch (yes, it travelled all the way over on a boat with us) so that I could be super efficient and put all my stuff in a lovely shiny new American folder.

BUT….when I came to putting the beautifully two-hole-punched paper in the American folder I was flummoxed.

The folder had three rings. What’s a British gal, who’s been very happy with herself for getting organised using her British two-hole hole punch, to do when presented with such a conundrum? She googles ‘USA vs UK hole punches’, that’s what she does.

(Actually, my initial thought when presented with the situation was – ‘How on earth am I going to fit that in there with only two holes…’, followed by – ‘That’s what she said/As the actress said to the bishop’…..) πŸ˜‰

Three rings....see?!

Three rings….see?!

My folder was of the three-ringed variety for the three-hole standard in the USA:

‘In regions that use the U.S. “Letter” paper format (8.5″ x 11″ or 216Γ—279 mm; United States, Canada, and in part Mexico and the Philippines), a three-hole standard is widely used. The holes are positioned symmetrically, with the centres 108 mm (4-1/4 in) apart. The diameter of the holes varies between manufacturers, with typical values being 6–8 mm (1/4 to 5/16 inch). (The 5/16 value is most commonly used, as it allows for more variation in both ring binder and paper punching.) The distance of the hole center to the paper edge also varies, with 12 mm (1/2 inch) being a typical value. Unlike ISO 838, this 3-hole system appears to have no well-established exact specification. It can only be applied to paper formats that are at least 240 mm high.’

Boring stuff, but it does explain it.

A two-hole hole punch :)

A two-hole hole punch πŸ™‚

In the UK, we generally just have a two-hole hole punch and two-ringed ring binders. I think.

Anyway, whatever the hole punch issue is, I had no more time to waste pondering such things.

And that is all I have to say about that perplexing, confusing and amusing very small difference.

(For the record, I bought some three-holed plastic folders and shoved my paperwork in them so that is all tickety-boo now.) πŸ™‚

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4 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 291

  1. Andy says:

    It’s funny how the most mundane things are so different over here from back in good old blighty. Ah well vive la diffΓ©rence (as the actress said to the bishop πŸ™‚ )

  2. liveworktravelusa says:

    I also still have (and use) my two hole punch from Germany. And to not run into any issues, I just use German binders as well… in America. Problem solved! πŸ˜‰
    I’ll need a few more years to wean myself from using it.

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