Sunday 2 November 2014


I like metric. I cache in kilometers and meters. I had a debate with Jeff Bones, he prefers Imperial, feet and miles, he said it's easier to think in feet and miles. So I asked him how many meters there are in a kilometer. He said 1000, because it's easy. Then I asked him how many feet in a mile, and he didn't know. I suspect most people wouldn't know unless they looked it up, or had a long think.

So I'm in favour of metrication. The problem is, we're making such a dogs dinner out of it. The UK speed limit is still in miles per hour, and almost all signposts are in miles. Except some which tell you "Give way in 180 meters", which is probably a "translation" of 200 yards.

Milk is in litres, beer is in pints. People's weight is in stones and pounds, potatoes are in kilos.
And the whole mess is summed up by this notice:

This was in the bathroom of my hotel. Metric litres of water, imperial tons of washing powder. Why not "millions of litres of water, millions of kilograms of washng powder"?


  1. The argument for not switching to entirely metric was that it would confuse people.

    Because of course working out your MPG based on how many litres you've put in isn't confusing at all.

  2. Hobgoblinkiteflier6 November 2014 at 12:44

    We recently visited the observatory at Greenwich. The guide showed us around the Harrison clocks and explained how in 1884, at the International Meridian Conference held in Washington, D.C., 22 countries voted to adopt the Greenwich meridian as the prime meridian of the world. This was mainly because most of the charts at that time already used Greenwich, but as part of the deal Britain was supposed to adopt the metric system.