Big news here in England: the EU has decided to back down and stop trying to force the metric system on Britain. It is difficult to know what is more silly than the extent to which this has become such a huge battle. The linked article talks about “metric martyrs” and criminal prosecutions for grocers displaying prices in Imperial terms. It sounds remarkably overblown until you recall the overriding importance of the British pint. Although for someone new to town, it’s hard to know which is actually more common and important here: the pint of beer or the pint of milk. Of course, we gluttony-prone Americans tend to buy our milk in gallons! Yet our beer comes in measures of 12 ounces, not pints (which can be 16 or even 20 ounces depending on the system, just adding to the confusion!)
There are always these dramatic statements about generations of children being the last to have to learn two systems. Really, is this so much of a struggle? We have the same sort of duality in the US as is here in the UK, and people seem to get along just fine with elements of both systems. I’m not sure it’s really taxing to worry about burdening our children this way, especially in a world where it’s become increasingly useful to be bilingual. We should be teaching our kids more, not less.
The real question on my mind is, could I please get a new dial for my oven? If we are going to be allowed to continue on with the old units, I’d really rather bake in Fahrenheit. Thanks.