Make Your Editor Cry: Do a 360 vs. Do a 180

Make Your Editor Cry: Do a 360 vs. Do a 180

In plain geometry, there are 360 degrees in a circle. A right angle, say north in one direction and east in the other, is 90 degrees from zero with north at 90 degrees and east at 0 degrees. A straight line with each end in opposite directions, say east and west, lies along 180 degrees from zero with west at 180 degrees and east at 0 degrees.

Turning 360 degrees results in arriving exactly back where you started. When you’re looking to make a complete reversal in direction, you don’t want to end up back where you started by traversing the entire circle. The diametrically opposite direction is properly expressed as 180 degrees away from your starting point.

The correct expression is to “do a 180” or to “make a complete 180.”

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