Despite being overwhelmed by festive emotions and enjoying the sight of carollers happily plying their trade and dodging shrapnel in the lanes and byways of North East Hampshire, I am moved to compose this letter of complaint. I do this with charitable motives. No one can accuse me of being less than generous in sharing my wisdom.
I refer to an article headed "Spider as big as a plate among scores of new species found in Greater Mekong". Despite the fact that the article itself goes on to stipulate that the plate at issue was a dinner plate, I feel that this is a wholly unsatisfactory comparison.
You see, my dear sir, many of us do not limit our mealtime habits to always ensuring that our crockery is of standard dimensions. In short, I have no idea what size a "dinner plate" is. Come supper time, chez mois, a plate (trough/bucket) is chosen according to my appetite. I suspect that the resulting choice would be larger than any arthropods known to science, be they south-east Asian or no. "A deepwater stingray, the size of Scurra's dinner plate" would be a description more likely to result in understanding among your readers.
I have to inform you that many of your patrons, in these modern times, will have attended school, and picked up the rudiments of weights and measures. We are familiar with concepts such as "feet" and "inches". Had you said that the creature in question was 1/64th of a furlong in diameter, you would have sensed the vibration of heads nodding in comprehension up and down the country. I am told that in schools these days pupils are taught the metric system. You need not overly concern yourself with this, as it will be very many years before these people are mature enough to interest themselves in your journal.
I hope that you take note of my concern, and address this issue. If not, I fear that my next missive will be as long as an under-butler's cummerbund.
with very best wishes