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Metric - I feel such a fool!

(60 Posts)
MamaCaz Sat 26-Jan-19 15:01:19

I have spent the whole of my teenage and adult life believing that 30cm equals 12 inches - exactly, not approximately.

Today, measuring my latest piece of knitting, I realized I was wrong. I couldn't believe it, and went to check my ruler with a tape measure, which just confirmed my ignorance.

Firstly, I can't understand how, as a very conscientious school child, I came to believe this (and passed my 'O' level maths ok). Secondly, with all the numerous crafts that I do, and the measuring they entail, I can't believe that I have not made this discovery before the age of 57!

Feeling very embarrassed now, and wondering how many other things that I think I know, but don't. blush

Marydoll Sat 26-Jan-19 15:10:22

Well, you are not far off, MamaCaz! It's 30.48cm, so not much in it. grin.

The one that I do remember exactly is one gallon= 4.456 litres.
I worked in NHS finance and the boiler house would order the hospital fuel in gallons and the oil company would deliver in litres and that was forty years ago.
It caused no end of problems.

eazybee Sat 26-Jan-19 15:46:40

It is probably because the standard ruler measured 12 inches, and was replaced with one measuring 30 centimetres, almost the same size. Some rulers had inch/centimetre measurements on different sides.

Coolgran65 Sat 26-Jan-19 16:23:37

I always use the 30cm = 12".
near enough.

Daddima Sat 26-Jan-19 16:29:07

I just remember the rhymes from long ago!

‘ Two and a quarter pounds of jam, weighs about a kilogram’


‘ A litre of water’s a pint and three quarters’.

Anniebach Sat 26-Jan-19 16:30:45

I just devide by 10 and multiply by 4 , I don’t / can’t do metric

Jalima1108 Sat 26-Jan-19 16:45:37

It's approximate and a useful conversion (I use 10cms = 4") if you're thinking of depth of snow, rainfall etc, but if you need something more precise best to measure carefully smile.

wildswan16 Sat 26-Jan-19 17:00:01

I've always just remembered 10cm = about 4 inches. I still don't know how much a pound of mince is.

Jalima1108 Sat 26-Jan-19 17:01:32

450g (give or take a bit!)

MawBroon Sat 26-Jan-19 19:25:07

It’s relative weight that gets me. I know what 11stone or 12 is 😱😱😱😱😱but when’s it’s in kilos I have no idea if that is good, bad or appalling!

JoyBloggs Sat 26-Jan-19 19:28:56

Well, you're not very far out MamaCaz!

Re weight...I've got lots of old recipes in lbs and oz and when I'm shopping find that 4ozs (or quarter of a pound) = roughly 100 grams very useful.

Lily65 Sat 26-Jan-19 20:24:15

I don't do metric.

MamaCaz Sat 26-Jan-19 21:26:48

Metric weights bring out my awkward side - I can't use them here in England, but have no problem at all with them when in France or Spain (well, except the time when there was a misunderstanding between me and a Spanish shop assistant that resulted in her filling several carrier bags with mushrooms, 4 kilos of them to be exact, when I only wanted a quarter of a kilo! blush)
Could have been worse though. I know someone who had a similar misunderstanding in French, except she was buying minced beef, and the penny didn't drop until the butcher had nearly finished feeding a huge amount of steak through the mincer.

JoyBloggs Sat 26-Jan-19 21:34:18

Mama grin

BradfordLass72 Sat 26-Jan-19 21:54:31

At least you were not too embarrassed to make a post of it !! grin Good for you.

Fortunately, I don't have that problem, I know the distance from my home to the supermarket is 11 kilos.

Urmstongran Sun 27-Jan-19 09:45:02

I have a weird disconnect between metric and imperial measurements. I would only know how heavy or light a baby was if it was given to me in pounds and ounces - yet for the temperature I always use centigrade to the extent that Fahrenheit doesn’t register with me any more!

H1954 Sun 27-Jan-19 09:47:25

Have to admit, I much prefer working in imperial, sewing, knitting, cooking etc all done in the old weights and measures. But, I was watching a YouTube video recently on the subject of sewing with jersey fabric; the presenter/seamstress said " turn the waistband casing 1cm and then 1 inch" ! Talk about confusing!!!!!

Aepgirl Sun 27-Jan-19 09:49:58

I still try to ignore kilograms and litres. I think I am with you Urmstongram.

JoyBloggs Sun 27-Jan-19 09:54:21

BradfordLass72 grin

mancgirl Sun 27-Jan-19 09:58:39

My only measurement guide - a metre measures 3ft 3, it's longer than a yard you see! Kilometres to miles is guessworksmile

Parsley3 Sun 27-Jan-19 10:01:47

After years of teaching metric I found myself looking for the words to “The Ten Days of Christmas “! 🤭 and it took a while for the new penny to drop.
Nowadays I am a mongrel when it comes to measuring. I do measure my knitting in centimetres and the temperature in degrees C but I still prefer pints, stones and pounds.

ajanela Sun 27-Jan-19 10:06:46

I started my nurse training in 1964 and we used litres and Kg etc as measurements. Very go ahead hospital. Babies were weighed in kg but immediately parents would say “What is that in real ‘money’.” I retired in 2007 and they were still asking the same question. Mainly because they wanted to compare the babies birth weight with their own and past generations and when they got home after clinic others would ask. These are parents who would not have learnt lbs and oz at school and would have no idea how to do sums in lbs and oz. We put a conversion chart on the wall as we got fed up with doing the conversion for them

I have no problem with metric but I will put in £20 of petrol or fill it up my car as I don’t know how many litres are needed. Cooking I use 30 grams to the oz but it is about 28 grams. I will ask for ham, bacon or meat etc in grams but then might ask for a bit more but I think we always did that. I measure in metric.

When I think of the complicated sums we did with £.S.P, lbs and oz and feet and inches no wonder we know how to do mental arithmetic.

ajanela Sun 27-Jan-19 10:07:54

P.s. I understand temperature better in C. Than F.

25Avalon Sun 27-Jan-19 10:38:35

30cm = 11.811 inches which to me is as near as dammit. If you did O levels as I did then cms didn't enter into it. If you are worried then I think the secret is when using a pattern for example to follow its instructions and check the measurements with a tape measure to be the same as in the pattern. The same with recipes you either work all in metric or imperial following what the recipe says and do not try to combine the two systems as they are not exactly the same.

megan123 Sun 27-Jan-19 10:41:45

I don't like metric, and have never understood it. If I need to, I ask Mr Google to convert for me.