When I was in high school in the early 90’s I was tasked with selling advertising for the school newspaper. With little understanding of what media and printing was all about, I was told our school newspaper sold ads by the column inch. But the column inch wasn’t a real inch. It was 11 picas or roughly 1.83 inches. This confused me as I didn’t understand how I was going to convince an advertiser to place an ad in a measurement that really wasn’t what it was. I soon figured out that the column inch was standardized across all newspapers and it wasn’t unique to my particular school. After I mastered the column inch learning curve, needless to say I was much more successful at selling newspaper ads than trying to explain what it is.