The unit of measure in printing. The standard is a pica M; and
the width of a line is measured by the number of such M's that would
stand side by side in the “stick.” This dictionary is in double
columns, each column equals 11 pica M's in width, and one M is allowed
for the space between. Some work is made up to 10 1/2, 20 1/2, etc.,
ems; and for the half-em printers employ the letter N, which is in
width half a letter M. As no letter is wider than the M, and all
narrower letters are fractions of it, this letter forms a very
convenient standard for printing purposes.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Em from Fact Monster:
- Ems dispatch - Ems dispatch Ems dispatch, 1870, communication between King William of Prussia (later German ...
- Dortmund-Ems Canal - Dortmund-Ems Canal Dortmund-Ems Canal , waterway, 165 mi (266 km) long, NW Germany, from Dortmund ...
- Ems, river, Germany - Ems Ems, river, 208 mi (335 km) long, rising in the Teutoburger Wald, NW Germany, and flowing NW ...
- Ems, town, Germany - Ems Ems or Bad Ems, town (1994 pop. 10,130), Rhineland-Palatinate, W Germany, on the Lahn River. ...
- Bad Ems - Bad Ems Bad Ems, Germany: see Ems.