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Imperial or Metric

(116 Posts)
goldengirl Wed 16-May-12 20:38:36

We have such confusion in this country eg tyre treads are in metric but the diameter [or is it circumference - one or the other anyway] is in imperial; Milk is listed both in litres and pints and so it goes on. Should we bite the bullet and go completely metric like Europe or should we spurn metric and return to imperial like the US?

Anagram Wed 16-May-12 21:00:51

No, no, not metric! I refuse to adapt to kilometres - all our speed limits would have to change to kph, and I can only relate to my weight when it's in stones, pounds and ounces! I still can't work out whether it's hot or cold in centigrade, I think I just have a mental block.

I agree that it's all a bit of a mish-mash, but I can't see the powers-that-be ever going back to imperial measures completely (unfortunately sad)

glassortwo Wed 16-May-12 21:02:38

Foot and inches girl me, I cant get my head around metric.

Notsogrand Wed 16-May-12 21:06:46

I still think in old money. Ten shillings for a packet of crisps?

Anagram Wed 16-May-12 21:07:58

And more than that for a first class stamp! shock

POGS Wed 16-May-12 21:10:25

I am very old fashioned and would stick with Imperial. I get quite confused with metric and I feel ashamed to say that. I think if clothes can label their goods with british sizes and continental and shoes likewise why can't all goods be labelled with both?. Having said that if one is bigger than the other then if it means more for my money I'll take that option, e.g. pint of lager. I think I just confused myself.

fieldwake Wed 16-May-12 21:20:05

Imperial. I can visualise something described in in feet, inches, pints, acre etc. Surely they descend from human mesurements not a mathematical division we have to learn? Yes I still think in shillings, pence and it is shocking when you do the conversion how much more everything costs.

glammanana Wed 16-May-12 21:40:37

I used to get myself in a right old state when we first moved abroad when the euro came in,first I had to convert euro's from pesatas and back again then I had to work it out in my head as all I could work out in was pounds so total confusion all round.
But I did buy a lovely bunch of bananas to day at 68p per kg.I also still do my weights for baking in lbs and ozs or if stuck cups and tablespoons grin

Annobel Wed 16-May-12 22:01:16

I can't get over the fact that we British find it so hard to think in metric terms. I was living in Kenya when everything changed from imperial to metric more or less overnight and nobody batted an eyelid. Our children and grandchildren have been educated in the metric system are we less intelligent or adaptable?

specki4eyes Wed 16-May-12 22:03:54

I had to embrace metric measures and weights when I was studying for my design degree in the early 80s. I quickly grew to love them. So much easier than Imperial. I just have a mental block when it comes to my personal weight though - I still like to know what I weigh in stones and pounds, so have to do my sums then!

Jacey Wed 16-May-12 22:43:53

Are new borns still not weighed via imperial?? hmm

I don't fill my car in gallons or litres ...I just fill it up and grimace at the cost!! shock

Joan Wed 16-May-12 23:42:55

Metric for me. I got used to it as an au pair girl in Vienna, then later when I worked for social security in the UK my work got so much easier overnight when we decimalised the currency. I can only relate to metric now. I know that 2 degrees c is a nice temperature and 18 is a bit cold, whereas it's getting uncomfortable at 30. I know what 500g of mince looks like, and know I'm 161cm tall.

I have dreadful awful memories of my first job, at 16, at a local County Court where I had to balance the daily cash summary book - loads of columns in pounds shilling and pence. A nightmare.

But here in Australia we use metric for everything so it all makes sense. Still, my husband automatically confirms kilometers to miles, much to my confusion. He'll talk about a 30 speed limit, meaning miles, whereas i only think in kilometers.

Joan Wed 16-May-12 23:44:34

I meant 24 degrees not 2 degrees!!!! All the decimalisation in the world can't make me stop doing typos!

Ariadne Thu 17-May-12 06:14:08

But we couldn't really go back, could we? Most of our DG and DGC think metric, don't they. And it is quite simple.

I do agree that the way the system works, or doesn't, is confusing; I have never understood why we still have miles, and this nonsense with tyres is ridiculous.

Pennysue Thu 17-May-12 07:31:35

I was buying some lace and asked for a yard - was told it was sold in metres and did I want 1/2" or 1" !

Mamie Thu 17-May-12 07:45:45

Yes, that always makes me laugh. I'll have two metres of 48" wide, please.
It is interesting that TV screens have a "pouce" measurement here in France - was the inch based on a thumb length? I also found an old document talking about "acres" which must have been used before the hectare here.
But go back to multiplication and divisions of pounds, shillings and pence; yards, feet and inches; hundredweights, pounds and ounces? No thanks, I'll pass on that.

goldengirl Thu 17-May-12 10:41:15

I think the problem is that we've still got both! If we'd totally switched over on 'Decimal Day' then I think life would be much easier. Also children adapt very quickly. Not being good with figures I welcomed decimal coinage - no more ha'pennies or farthings to contend with but this duality does give me grief. As it stands an Oldie like me gets confused - and it doesn't take much to get me confused confused

Anagram Thu 17-May-12 10:47:43

Farthings, goldengirl? Didn't they go out in the olden days? grin

goldengirl Thu 17-May-12 10:52:35

I told you I was an Oldie Anagram grin

granjura Thu 17-May-12 11:00:54

Oh dear - not going to make friends here - but metric came in 1971! So you've had 41 years to adapt- and it isn't difficult, is it? I am sorry to say. 41 years.
1 kg is just about 2 lbs (give or take one bite of an apple). 1 stone give or take 7kg, and so one. There are exchange table available on the internet everywhere- for us to print and practice a bit. It really isn't that hard smile honest.

At least things have improved a bit. Not that long ago, carpet was advertised in £ per square yard, then sold in 3m, 4m, etc width and by the linear foot. WHAT? Many in the computer world agree that imperial is better as 12 is more infinitely divisible than 10.

Personally, I am very adaptable - have had to be! But make up your mind and stick to it. Go metric, or go imperial. One OR t'other- the mixture is a nightmare.

Of course in a world-wide business context- where machine, goods, etc, are constantly exported or imported- it would make much more sense to go properly metric for ease of exchange.

granjura Thu 17-May-12 11:02:04

Many of us are old biddies NOW - but we were NOT 41 years ago, were we?

Anagram Thu 17-May-12 11:07:02

granjura, decimalisation was introduced in the UK in 1971, but there was never a specific date to change to metric - it was largely optional until the late 70s and even now regulation is very lax. So you can't really blame us for not embracing metric measures, as we've usually had a choice!

Faye Thu 17-May-12 11:14:33

I think Australia started to go metric from the seventies so we have been switched over for years. I drive in kilometres, measure in feet and inches. I have no idea how much a baby weighs unless it is in pounds and ounces. The temperature for me is in Centigrade or Celcius. What I find interesting is people who would not been born when the system was completely changed still talk about a babies weight in both pounds and kilograms. confused

granjura Thu 17-May-12 11:24:51

I know, I know - but even the late 70 = 30+ years ago.

Either system is fine by me - I don't really care. But the mixture of the do is disastrous. I'm used to it, so again it does not bother me much- I constantly switch from 2 languages, 2 cultures, 2 driving systems, 2 measuring systems, monetary systems - that's is fine by me (it's actually very good for ze little grey cells,as Poirot would say). You must agree that selling the example of selling carpet in £ per su yard, then sold in metre widths by the linear foot was farcical and confusing, no!? But we do live in a 'global' economy, and failure to adapt is costly.

Also how can we help our grand-children with homework, etc, if we do not understand what they are supposed to learn?

Anagram Thu 17-May-12 11:33:23

Don't get me started on homework, granjura! Never mind metric, I don't understand how they do their sums any more! Even when my daughter was at school I would try to help her with, say, long-division, only for her to tell me "We don't do it like that any more" !

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