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EU giving up on metrication of Britain


THR

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Nov 15, 2006
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The EU is giving up the hopeless task of turning the British into understanding the metric system

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6988521.stm

Well, let's not jump to conclusions. It said that the imperial system will be allowed as an additional system. Imperial only will still be illegal but the deadline of scrapping all imperial units has been abolished.

You in Ireland are also more familiar with the imperial system, so how is the situation regarding weights and measurements in your country? I personally understand both systems, therefore I don't understand the attitude of some people who simply refuse to understand a sytem they are not familiar with.

The fact is that as long as the US uses the imperial system(or their version of it, rather) there will never be a complete breakthrough of metrication.
 

MichaelR

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Jun 1, 2006
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I have more or less learned about miles and pounds, feet and inches are harder but still OK, but yards drive me nuts. "Slightly less than a metre", resulting in separate prices "per sq y" and "per sq m" even on metric-made things like (imported) carpets.

Edit: on liquids, pints are (of course) just great. But people for some reason want to calculate car fuel consumption in "miles per gallon" even though the petrol is actually dispensed in liters! I have no idea how many mpg my car does, but I can calculate liters per 100 km rather easily because I know how many liters I buy and the distance on the odometer. (It's ion miles, but "per 62 miles" is the same as "per 100 km" of course)
 

Rebel CNC

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Most people have taken metric on board, except on the golf course... people still prefer yardages in yards!
 

THR

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There is a wealthy anti-metric lobby in Britain which encourages shopkeepers to keep imperial only and then pays off their fines. I really don't understand the logic behind all that. I can understand that someone feels loyalty to one's country, family or even football club but someone feeling loyalty to units of measurement :eek:
 

Rebel CNC

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It's not the units per se - they just see metric as another sign of modernisation and they ain't best pleased with what progress has brought in the last couple of generations!

Brits are always slow anyway where Johnny Foreigner has some involvement, UN, EEC, Euro, ETC. They even took their time before entering World Cup competitions in football!
 

NotDevsSon

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Nov 25, 2007
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174
THR said:
The EU is giving up the hopeless task of turning the British into understanding the metric system

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6988521.stm

Well, let's not jump to conclusions. It said that the imperial system will be allowed as an additional system. Imperial only will still be illegal but the deadline of scrapping all imperial units has been abolished.

You in Ireland are also more familiar with the imperial system, so how is the situation regarding weights and measurements in your country? I personally understand both systems, therefore I don't understand the attitude of some people who simply refuse to understand a sytem they are not familiar with.

The fact is that as long as the US uses the imperial system(or their version of it, rather) there will never be a complete breakthrough of metrication.
We aren't just familiar with it. A large proportion of the Irish electorate use imperial, not metric. I was in the local butchers lately, just before Christmas. EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, asked for meat in imperial, not metric. Most people I know over the age of forty use miles, never kilometres, and so now that road speeds are in kilometres take rough stabs at what they think that kilometres mean in miles. (Police have constant experiences of people driving at the wrong speed because they get the guesstimate wrong.)

My generation were largely taught in metric, yet I'd say 2/3 of my friends of my age group think in imperial. I know what my weight is in stones and pounds. I haven't a clue what it is in kilogram. I have always known my height in feet and inches, never metres. In fact I cannot think of anyone of my age group who describes their height in metres. My closest friend, who is 31, describes himself as 6 foot 5 inches. His wife is five foot seven inches. My ex-flatmate has the target in his diet to lose one and a half stone. Of my family, only my youngest brother uses metric primarily. Yet even he can use imperial and does so occasionally.
 

corkman2007

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167
Catalpa said:
Once again proves the point about us 'having to' and that we 'must' obey EU Law while other States can do as they please. :x

Another nail to drive into the coffin of the Lisbon Treaty methinks!
It was the choice of the Irish government to bring in metric distances and metric speed limits on the roads (although the speed limits were about 20-30 years behind the distance signposts)! As this old news story makes clear, the EU isn't imposing anything on the UK. They've left it to the UK government to decide.

Why the implied nostalgia for the British system of weights and measures anyway Catalpa? Got a secret hankering to return to the bosom of the UK?
 

Catalpa

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Jun 10, 2004
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10,301
NotDevsSon said:
THR said:
The EU is giving up the hopeless task of turning the British into understanding the metric system

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6988521.stm

Well, let's not jump to conclusions. It said that the imperial system will be allowed as an additional system. Imperial only will still be illegal but the deadline of scrapping all imperial units has been abolished.

You in Ireland are also more familiar with the imperial system, so how is the situation regarding weights and measurements in your country? I personally understand both systems, therefore I don't understand the attitude of some people who simply refuse to understand a sytem they are not familiar with.

The fact is that as long as the US uses the imperial system(or their version of it, rather) there will never be a complete breakthrough of metrication.
We aren't just familiar with it. A large proportion of the Irish electorate use imperial, not metric. I was in the local butchers lately, just before Christmas. EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, asked for meat in imperial, not metric. Most people I know over the age of forty use miles, never kilometres, and so now that road speeds are in kilometres take rough stabs at what they think that kilometres mean in miles. (Police have constant experiences of people driving at the wrong speed because they get the guesstimate wrong.)

My generation were largely taught in metric, yet I'd say 2/3 of my friends of my age group think in imperial. I know what my weight is in stones and pounds. I haven't a clue what it is in kilogram. I have always known my height in feet and inches, never metres. In fact I cannot think of anyone of my age group who describes their height in metres. My closest friend, who is 31, describes himself as 6 foot 5 inches. His wife is five foot seven inches. My ex-flatmate has the target in his diet to lose one and a half stone. Of my family, only my youngest brother uses metric primarily. Yet even he can use imperial and does so occasionally.
Great - so this means we don't have to use it either? :D

I mean if the Brits don't have to obey the rules then why the hell should we? :evil:
 

Catalpa

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corkman2007 said:
Catalpa said:
Once again proves the point about us 'having to' and that we 'must' obey EU Law while other States can do as they please. :x

Another nail to drive into the coffin of the Lisbon Treaty methinks!
It was the choice of the Irish government to bring in metric distances and metric speed limits on the roads (although the speed limits were about 20-30 years behind the distance signposts)! As this old news story makes clear, the EU isn't imposing anything on the UK. They've left it to the UK government to decide.

Why the implied nostalgia for the British system of weights and measures anyway Catalpa? Got a secret hankering to return to the bosom of the UK?
Nope - but there is an old American saying that makes a lot of sense in Catalpa's books:

If it ain't broke don't fix it!
 

corkman2007

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Jun 5, 2007
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Yeah, let's ditch the French-originated system of weights and measures for the British-originated system. Why not dump the Euro too and go back to Sterling?

Actually let's go the whole hog and return to the UK while we're at it, eh Catalpa?
 

THR

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NotDevsSon said:
We aren't just familiar with it. A large proportion of the Irish electorate use imperial, not metric. I was in the local butchers lately, just before Christmas. EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, asked for meat in imperial, not metric. Most people I know over the age of forty use miles, never kilometres, and so now that road speeds are in kilometres take rough stabs at what they think that kilometres mean in miles. (Police have constant experiences of people driving at the wrong speed because they get the guesstimate wrong.)

My generation were largely taught in metric, yet I'd say 2/3 of my friends of my age group think in imperial. I know what my weight is in stones and pounds. I haven't a clue what it is in kilogram. I have always known my height in feet and inches, never metres. In fact I cannot think of anyone of my age group who describes their height in metres. My closest friend, who is 31, describes himself as 6 foot 5 inches. His wife is five foot seven inches. My ex-flatmate has the target in his diet to lose one and a half stone. Of my family, only my youngest brother uses metric primarily. Yet even he can use imperial and does so occasionally.
That was very interesting. Thank you! I have always thought that as soon as schoolchildren are taught in the metric system only, the old system would die out but perhaps that old system is more resilient than the metric people would have imagined it to be.

However, I'm sure that most people in Ireland understand both systems but only prefer the other, the imperial. 2+2=4 under any system, I have no problem with that. As I said earlier that Fahrenheit-system is the only old measurement which really gets me.
 

NotDevsSon

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Nov 25, 2007
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THR said:
NotDevsSon said:
We aren't just familiar with it. A large proportion of the Irish electorate use imperial, not metric. I was in the local butchers lately, just before Christmas. EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, asked for meat in imperial, not metric. Most people I know over the age of forty use miles, never kilometres, and so now that road speeds are in kilometres take rough stabs at what they think that kilometres mean in miles. (Police have constant experiences of people driving at the wrong speed because they get the guesstimate wrong.)

My generation were largely taught in metric, yet I'd say 2/3 of my friends of my age group think in imperial. I know what my weight is in stones and pounds. I haven't a clue what it is in kilogram. I have always known my height in feet and inches, never metres. In fact I cannot think of anyone of my age group who describes their height in metres. My closest friend, who is 31, describes himself as 6 foot 5 inches. His wife is five foot seven inches. My ex-flatmate has the target in his diet to lose one and a half stone. Of my family, only my youngest brother uses metric primarily. Yet even he can use imperial and does so occasionally.
That was very interesting. Thank you! I have always thought that as soon as schoolchildren are taught in the metric system only, the old system would die out but perhaps that old system is more resilient than the metric people would have imagined it to be.

However, I'm sure that most people in Ireland understand both systems but only prefer the other, the imperial. 2+2=4 under any system, I have no problem with that. As I said earlier that Fahrenheit-system is the only old measurement which really gets me.
Most of my generation learnt only metric, yet abandoned it as soon as we left school. To give an example, I bought a half pound of mince today in the butchers. I have never bought meat in kilograms. I know the square footage of the apartment I live in, but I haven't a clue what it is in metric. In fact the only think in metric I use is litres of milk.

Older people only have imperial. Younger people know both. Some use one. Many the other. Both will continue to co-exist indefinitely. Certainly if Europe tried to ban one they would face a massive backlash. 40 years of pushing metric still hasn't stopped millions of Irish people using imperial, and won't stop them.

The one thing very few people use is fahrenheit, simply because people abandoned it, and chose to abandon it, many years ago. But interestingly, though almost everyone uses celsius, the change in name from centigrade to celsius has been as unsuccessful as the attempts to get everyone to use metric. Both names are still used, even though the latter has been the official name for ages.

I suppose the bottom line is that you cannot force people to do things they are unwilling to do. People choose to use imperial, and so no EU directorates and government decisions can change it. It is a lesson it took the EU and the Irish government a long time to learn. Quite a few years ago an effort was made to insist that shops only use new metric scales. I remember the comedy of seeing shops with their new metric scales having to bring out their old imperial scales because hardly anyone wanted anything in metric. Eventually the government gave up and all modern scales can do both. :lol:
 

THR

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I can easily understand that. After all, 6 years after the introduction of the euro still many people count the prices in the markkas.

I'm sure it is more or less the same with the units of measurement. If you are used to one system, at an adult age it is impossible to change your thinking.

The whole fuss was about all this was that some shopkeeper kept only imperial measurements in view, which is illegal. Now the EU has given up trying to force Britain(or Ireland, perhaps) to adapt to the metric system. They rather hope that by educating the younger generations there won't br many "imperialists" left.

One interesting question as I've never been to Ireland myself: Are the speed limits and distances between towns always given in miles on the Irish roads?
 
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Rebel CNC said:
It's not the units per se - they just see metric as another sign of modernisation and they ain't best pleased with what progress has brought in the last couple of generations!

Brits are always slow anyway where Johnny Foreigner has some involvement, UN, EEC, Euro, ETC. They even took their time before entering World Cup competitions in football!
Slow to surrender, you mean. Unlike us, begging foreigners to pat us on the head and tell us how great we are now we've done as we were told. Pathetic.
 

THR

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Canada, NZ and Australia turned metric in the early 70`s. I really must ask some of them if that has been a successful changeover or if people still think in the old system.

As for Canada, even though officially metric, being neighboroughs to a giant country, they might still think in imperial. However, certainly not in Quebec.

By the way: Politics.ie posters, how talla re you and how much do you weigh?

I am 188cm tall and I weigh 80kg.
 

pocleary

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Rebel CNC said:
It's not the units per se - they just see metric as another sign of modernisation and they ain't best pleased with what progress has brought in the last couple of generations!

Brits are always slow anyway where Johnny Foreigner has some involvement, UN, EEC, Euro, ETC. They even took their time before entering World Cup competitions in football!
they are still confused

Calendar Reform in England, 1752
It is widely known that in September 1752, Great Britain switched from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar. In order to achieve the change, 11 days were 'omitted' from the calendar - i.e. the day after 2 September 1752 was 14 September 1752.
This change was as a result of an Act of Parliament - the "Calendar Act" of 1751 An Act for Regulating the Commencement of the Year; and for Correcting the Calendar now in Use.

What isn't so widely known is a second change which the Act introduced - as named in the first part of the Act's title. The Act changed the first day of the year (or, if you want to impress your friends with a new word, the Supputation of the Year).

Prior to 1752 in England, the year began on 25 March (Lady Day). Lady Day is one of the Quarter Days, which are still used in legal circles. The Quarter Days divide the year in quarters (hence the name :), and the Quarter Days are: Lady Day (25 March), Midsummers Day (24 June), Michaelmas Day (29 September), and Christmas Day (25 December).

So, in England, the day after 24 March 1642 was 25 March 1643. The Act changed this, so that the day after 31 December 1751 was 1 January 1752. As a consequence, 1751 was a short year - it ran only from 25 March to 31 December.
To throw some more confusion on the issue, Scotland had changed the first day of the year to 1 January in 1600 (in 1600, Scotland was a separate kingdom). When King James VI of Scotland became also King James I of England in 1603, the possibilities of date confusion must have been very large.

Historians have to be on their toes with dates prior to 1752. For example, in The Tower of London there is some graffiti scratched into a cell wall by someone imprisoned in January 1642 for his role in the Battle of Edgehill (which took place on 23 October 1642).

some say there were riots revisionists say not, but a Painting from the times shows this,
 
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