Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I turn on my computer to blog something that has enraged me at least 8 hours ago (not to mention for the 35 years since I first entered a UK primary school), only to find bloody Thomas has blogged it first! Without even obtaining my permission! What a cheek!
What on earth is going on on the metric/imperial front now? I started school in 1972, I was taught centimetres and kilos. Weights in corner shops and market stalls back then were in pounds and ounces, and milk came in pints. I had no idea what a pound or ounce was, a pint I worked out by looking at the milk bottles on my parents' doorstep. As I grew up I was taught to measure myself in centimetres - for schoolwork, for my passport, for hiring my university graduation robes, for my medicals when pregnant - I am 160.5cms. I think that's around 5'2'' or maybe 5'3'' - but why should I have to work that out? It is of no use to me or any authority measuring me. I learned to weigh everything in kilos. Recipes, apart from brown-paged ancient books belonging to my 23-year-departed granny are also in kilos, grammes. I don't need to know ounces. I am not even sure how many are in a pound, and how many of those are in a stone - I know 16 and 14 or is it 12 come into it somewhere but it's definitely some perverse system you can't count on your fingers. I only know my weight in kilos. When I had babies they weighed them in kilos and measured them in centimetres - so why do I have to google a conversion chart to work out they were 8lb, 7lb2, and 7lb13.5 respectively? I always thought this stupidity would die out with my 'transitional generation', but now I hear my kids will be stuck with this pigheaded nonsense forever. So they'll measure themselves in kilos, then Charlotte will have a baby one day and I will instinctively understand its kilo weight but she'll be obliged to memorize some combination of 12s and 14s for god knows who...stop it now!

It's bad enough we were too stubborn to swap sides of the road back in the postwar era when it was still cheap enough to do so, causing us to close our car sales and push the prices through the ceiling. It is bad enough half of the tourist market we could entice every year goes elsewhere because they are too scared to attempt bringing their European cars here to drive on the wrong side of the road, costing us millions. But why torture another generation with this imperial nonsense. If we want that system, introduce it and teach us it like in the US. Otherwise please just let's use what everyone under 50 has learned at school and stop bamboozling us with 12s, 14s and 16s now!


The Scudder said...

Some of us ,, in fact all of us
(of a certain age !) agree with you wholeheartedly ,, but the other way round ,,,
Let's get rid of this bloody crazy Metric nonsense :) Never could understand what it was all about !
However I do agree we should be driving on t'other side of the road ,,,See I'm not all backward :)

Phyl said...

Sure - whatever but if we are gonna have to use imperial - we have to be taught it at school - no one under 45 has been taught imperial measures, and unlike metric they aren't intuitive! Why aren't there the same number of inches in a foot and ounces in a pound as pounds in a stone?