The kilometre or kilometer is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one thousand metres. K is occasionally used in some English-speaking countries as an alternative for the kilometre in colloquial writing. A slang term for the kilometre in the US military is klick, there are two common pronunciations for the word. It is generally preferred by the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, many scientists and other users, particularly in countries where the metric system is not widely used, use the pronunciation with stress on the second syllable. The latter pronunciation follows the pattern used for the names of measuring instruments. The problem with this reasoning, however, is that the meter in those usages refers to a measuring device. The contrast is more obvious in countries using the British rather than American spelling of the word metre. When Australia introduced the system in 1975, the first pronunciation was declared official by the governments Metric Conversion Board. However, the Australian prime minister at the time, Gough Whitlam, by the 8 May 1790 decree, the Constituent assembly ordered the French Academy of Sciences to develop a new measurement system. In August 1793, the French National Convention decreed the metre as the length measurement system in the French Republic. The first name of the kilometre was Millaire, although the metre was formally defined in 1799, the myriametre was preferred to the kilometre for everyday use. The term myriamètre appeared a number of times in the text of Develeys book Physique dEmile, ou, Principes de la de la nature. French maps published in 1835 had scales showing myriametres and lieues de Poste, the Dutch, on the other hand, adopted the kilometre in 1817 but gave it the local name of the mijl. It was only in 1867 that the term became the only official unit of measure in the Netherlands to represent 1000 metres. In the US, the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 prohibits the use of highway funds to convert existing signs or purchase new signs with metric units. Although the State DOTs had the option of using metric measurements or dual units, all of them abandoned metric measurements, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices since 2000 is published in both metric and American Customary Units. Some sporting disciplines feature 1000 m races in major events, but in other disciplines, even though records are catalogued
division of the meridien
Chinese expressway distances road sign in eastern Beijing. Although the primary text is in Chinese, the distances use internationally recognised characters.