Friday, 15 January 2010
Metric vs. Imperial
Recently a writer calling himself 'Lancashire United' wrote in to my local newspaper, The Oldham Evening Chronicle. I'm going to quote his entire letter (13/1/10), just so you can grasp my motivations to act.
INCHES NOT CENTEMETRES
'I read in the Chronicle that the EU has granted The United Kingdom permission to continue to use imperial measurements. The standing joke about Great Britain becoming part of the United States of Europe seems to be getting frighteningly real.
'Well within my lifetime, England was the bulldog of the world, respected around the globe for engineering, manufacturing, and service, but gradually we have become the tail of the dog, being a dumping ground for every other country following Brussels decrees.
'I sincerely hope that the BBC and Granada Television read the item, and realise that we are still English (just about).
'In recent times we have been receiving the weather reports in cms and meters. It is bad enough getting the weather in Celsius, but to hear that there will be a snowfall of 15cms is totally meaningless to most of us, and is yet another piece of enforced metrication.
'I fear for our once great country.
I responded, and my letter (following) was printed 15/1/10.
METRIC OR IMPERIAL?
'Lancashire United's letter (13/1/10) requesting that we all revert back to imperial measurements is typical of the naïve and ignorant views that damage this town. The idea that the rest of the world no longer respects us because we are starting to use the metric system is utterly ridiculous. The whole of Europe uses it because it is simple and uniform. I am 27. In my lifetime I have never been taught imperial measurements. I have a good grasp of the metric system: my education was funded by LU's taxes. It would, however, be helpful if the media industry supplied us with both imperial and metric measurements for temperatures (and weights and lengths). But to say we should abandon 'new' methods because he doesn't like them is unrealistic. Does LU know what year it is?