?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The Existential Compost

Livejournal Flavour


8th July 2004

Metric v Imperial @ 12:01

Current Grassiness: contemplative contemplative

The Today program on BBC Radio 4 had an interesting article this morning about how the UK still works in imperial (yards, pounds, inches etc) despite moves by the European Parliament to put us in line with the rest of the world using metric (centimetres, grams etc).



What I think is "Why should it matter?!"

I was taught, as with most children born in 1973, in the metric system which is fine and splendidilyumptuos as the imperial system is too weird and complex. However the following does not happen:-

Me - Hello Mr Milkman
Mr Milkman - Hello Mr Gnomepants what a lovely morning
Me - Indeed! The birds are chirping the sun is shining....
Mr Milkman - How true! And what can I do for you today?
Me - Oooh I'll have 0.568 litres of milk please
Mr Milkman - Certainly!

However what does happen is:-

Me - Oi
Mr Milkman - What?
Me - Wheres me fuckin milk?
Mr Milkman - How much do you want?
Me - 0.568 litres please
Mr Milkman - Only what you see on the back of the float mate
Me - There! look!! 0.568 litres in a glass recepticle
Mr Milkman - you mean a fuckin pint! you wanker
Me - No we are metric now and have been since 1973!
Mr Milkman - Shut it weirdo....and have a shave......and get you're hair cut....you dont even get your milk delivered!


This scenario does not happen:-

Me- 0.568 litres of Big Jugs please sexy barmaid
Barmaid - Why certainly have some of my foaming Big Jugs.
Me - Fancy a shag?
Barmaid - yeah why not!


This scenario does happen

Me - A pint of Big Jugs please
Barmaid - Sexist bastard
Me - Noooo the beer
Barmaid - Oh right Im new to this
Me - Fancy a shag?
Barmaid - No thanks I have a great auk at home, I dont think they'd get on well.


I can cook and bake. A skill I was taught by my gran, sadly no longer with us, who taught me how many ounces there are in a pound and how many fluid ounces there are in a pint. Grams are easy to use and straightforward. But what I have a problem with is two fold.


  1. Distance - I will measure a piece of string or a line or something in metric ie. "oooh I need 2cm of stickytape to fasten this wrapping paper" but when it comes to distance I will say :- "Oooh Texas is Miles away" and not "Ooooh Texas is kilometres away" which doesnt have the same feel to it.....do you see what I mean?

  2. Temperature - What does my tits in is when its hot people say "Oooh it must be 90 degrees today!" - cos surely if it was 90 degrees we'd be dead! But if they had said "Oooh its 32 degrees today", immeadiately I'd be like "oooh thats quite warm!". But then, when its cold people tend to immeadiately switch to Celcius "Oooh its reet cold....must be minus 5 outside" not "Oooh its reet cold.....must be 23 outside". To me 23 is still warm....cos I work in celcius......confused? Not as much as me!



So Im going to try something new. Something 3rd Gen......Instead of centimetres I'm going to use gigameters, grams in fractions of a tonne, temperature in degrees Kelvin, and I bet they lock me up for being uberwierd! The cheek of it!
 
Share  |  |

Comments

 
[User Picture Icon]
From:potterwitch
Date:8th July 2004 04:44 (UTC)
(Link)
*grin* I'm going to be right confused when I go to the UK this year. The imperial system makes no sense at all, you're right. I do find, though, that when I'm writing I'll say "miles" or "feet" rather than "kilometres" or "metres" because that just doesn't have the same ring to it. On the other hand, if someone tells me Village Such-and-Such is thirteen miles from Village So-and-So I wouldn't have the foggiest about how far away it is. Or well, I know a mile is roughly a kilometre and a half, but I'm bad with distances anyway, so it means nothing to me *shrug*
[User Picture Icon]
From:stegzy
Date:8th July 2004 08:19 (UTC)
(Link)
I think it depends on how big or little you want something to sound.

0.001 Kilometer sounds like a big distance if you're not familiar with metric where as 1 millimeter we know is tiny.

Thats why its comfortable to say "Ooooh its in the hundreds today!" as to the untrained ear 23 degrees sounds warm, when infact its quite chilly so we tend to use -5 cos that sounds cold....but i know what you mean :-)
[User Picture Icon]
From:potterwitch
Date:8th July 2004 08:46 (UTC)
(Link)
Fahrenheit just confuses me. Besides, if people say "it's in the hundreds!" I just think "yeah, but that's Fahrenheit and about 652345379543 times as much as it really is in Celsius, so it's probably not that hot." Whereas if people say "It's 38 degrees!" I KNOW it's hot. I didn't know Fahrenheit was used in the UK though--I thought it was just America?
[User Picture Icon]
From:incendiarymind
Date:8th July 2004 05:12 (UTC)
(Link)
I never realized that you mixed the two systems so much in the United Kingdom (and I've been to Northern Ireland so it must be something I just plain missed). I do have to say that it seems like eventually it will be easier to just be on one system (like Canada).

But, um, the rest of the world doesn't all use metric. Don't forget, those of us in The States have been fighting metric conversion for decades. Well, I haven't, but many have.
[User Picture Icon]
From:stegzy
Date:8th July 2004 08:21 (UTC)
(Link)
Ah now...the US metric system is completely different again. Things are measured in cups. Thing is....if I used one of my cups (teeny tiny china thingies) i'd probably half the measure....confusing it is!
[User Picture Icon]
From:incendiarymind
Date:8th July 2004 09:44 (UTC)
(Link)
Yes, it is difficult to get used to the notion that a cup is not a cup.
[User Picture Icon]
From:lilfluffykitten
Date:8th July 2004 05:13 (UTC)

hmmmm...

(Link)
celcius? You're lucky - I'm still firmly rooted in centigrades

I'm stuck in the dark ages and no mistaking!
[User Picture Icon]
From:stegzy
Date:8th July 2004 08:23 (UTC)

Re: hmmmm...

(Link)
hey don't worry about it. I only started using celcius myself 5 years ago when I was writting scientific reports and my line manager told me off for saying centigrade
[User Picture Icon]
From:storm1jet2
Date:8th July 2004 05:35 (UTC)
(Link)
You know what you are so right! I was born in 1975 and I work in cms, not inches but miles and not Kms. Mmm Im all mixed up! And its deffo pints and not litres!
[User Picture Icon]
From:stegzy
Date:8th July 2004 08:25 (UTC)
(Link)
I agree. However I noted when I was in the Spar today that they sold milk not as pints.....but in 0.88's of a pint. (half a litre) which is a bit poo if you are trying to make Angel Delight or rice pudding.....
[User Picture Icon]
From:doglatin
Date:8th July 2004 06:50 (UTC)
(Link)
What's even more confusing than that is when we weigh stuff like people. In America, a man can weigh 168 pounds, in the UK he is 12 stone, whereas in France 'e weighs soixant-seize kilos! Madness!
[User Picture Icon]
From:stegzy
Date:8th July 2004 08:28 (UTC)
(Link)
weights a tricky thing. Tonnes and tons in themselves are completely different things.

"That elephant weighs 2 tonnes"

and

"That elephant weighs 2 tons"

Two different elephants....but someone not paying attention might think it was just an echo.

[User Picture Icon]
From:celticblissy
Date:8th July 2004 09:41 (UTC)
(Link)
lol loved the little scenarios.

Heard something on this on the Today program this morning. Gah it is really annoying people that want to push for a full metric system. It is such a dull and unnatractive system, sure useful for some things but it should not overwhelm all. I want to keep my pints, and my feet and inched and my pounds and stones dammit.
[User Picture Icon]
From:stegzy
Date:9th July 2004 01:18 (UTC)
(Link)
exactly! I'm happy to use all systems of weights and measurements. If I want quarter of a pound of aniseed balls I want quarter of a pound of aniseed balls not 2 grams or what ever it is.

Like wise if I need 5cm of string (maybe to tie up a beetle or something) then I need 5cm of string.

As long as I get the quantity I require I'll be happy :-)
[User Picture Icon]
From:dferahgo
Date:8th July 2004 14:36 (UTC)
(Link)
That was hilarious. XD;;

Likewise the fact that you replied to one of my polls, randomly, without any idea what was going on. Can I add you to my friends list?
[User Picture Icon]
From:stegzy
Date:9th July 2004 01:19 (UTC)
(Link)
add away :-)
[User Picture Icon]
From:orientalflower
Date:11th July 2004 14:23 (UTC)
(Link)
So are you a journo? Journos are the only people who measure bodies of text in terms of centimetres rather than a word count.
[User Picture Icon]
From:stegzy
Date:12th July 2004 03:08 (UTC)
(Link)
Erm no...but I used to fancy the idea of being a journo. Unfortunately that seed of development was squashed by the exam factory which was my highschool.
[User Picture Icon]
From:orientalflower
Date:12th July 2004 03:12 (UTC)
(Link)
Oh dear, I'm very sorry to hear that.
High School? Thought you were English?
[User Picture Icon]
From:stegzy
Date:12th July 2004 03:31 (UTC)
(Link)
hehehe I am...secondary college for boys was too much to type on a pda screen lol
[User Picture Icon]
From:orientalflower
Date:12th July 2004 03:37 (UTC)
(Link)
Public school?

The Existential Compost

Livejournal Flavour