The text is this, quoted:

"Well, you know how you can figure the distance between two points by measuring the distance along two parallel axes, right? If an object is three steps east of you and four steps north, then it's five steps away in a direction 37 degrees east of north. That total distance of five steps will be the same, no matter how you orient your coordinates."

I think he is discussing conversion from cartesian to polar coordinates but I'm not sure what he means by parallel axes. Can someone explain?

This is from: How To Teach Relativity To Your Dog, by Chad Orzel, page 95.

thanks