I have been following an ongoing discussion in a group with interest. The subject started innocently enough, as they do, about a metric to imperial measurement conversion. The dialogue became a little heated at times and critical of US and UK and old people who want to live in the past.
The UK and the US have not forced people to switch to metric. Australia was forced. Imperial became illegal. While you can now buy a ruler with both measurements, for a long time you could only buy a metric ruler. I really think being forced was the best option, even though it was very difficult for older people and perhaps manufacturers at the time.
Like, aren't units of ten so much easier to work with?
I am bi when it comes to many measurements. I can do both. Well, maybe not. I pick and choose.
The measurement of eight inches is very meaningful to gay men, but I readily recognise that 20cm is just as good. But be it 8" or 20cm, the measurement is usually taken with a wrongly calibrated measuring instrument. That can be the only explanation for the invariable inaccuracies.
Stones, pounds and ounces are meaningless to me. I can still do miles, but I don't think in miles. I have nearly forgotten gallons, pints, quarts and fluid ounces. My mind works in litres and millilitres.
I have gone backwards with tyre pressure. I have reverted to psi because that is what all the modern garage tyre gauges indicate. I did know that tyres needed to be inflated to at least 200........200 what? Hectopascals?
I can perhaps visualise one foot better than its metric equivalent, but then a metre is more meaningful to me than a yard. I do a reverse calculation. Ok, a yard is a bit less than a metre.
As for calories or kilojoules, I have no idea about either except that I think I take in too much of them.
On the backs of school exercise books when I was using them, there were some measurement charts. No, not imperial to metric, but to convert chains to miles or furlongs or nautical miles and other such conversions. I can only recall chains, 22 feet to the chain. I expect I only know this because I was interested when I heard of the great three chain wide Dandenong Road.
While they don't so much now, oh what trouble spanners caused me when I had stuff to do with autos. We had Whitworth spanners, A/F, no idea what that stood for but it seemed to be Australian, and some foreign loving types had cars that used metric. My Humber car was Whitworth sized.
I have a full set of A/F spanners and metric spanners and a couple of Whitworth spanners. They were all different. I can only recall that you could get away with interchanging an A/F 1/2 inch with a 13mm spanner, so long as you did not need a tight fit.
I won't even go down the road of nut and bolt thread sizes, US or Europe sizing for shoes, how clothing size has altered. What an absolute mess and after reading the internet discussion I mentioned earlier, it so much worse than you can possibly imagine. World wide differences are a serious restriction on trade and a huge impost on business.
My time for becoming ruler of the world has passed, but if I was, I would fully impose the metric system on the world. Australia does not get off scot free. We will ditch millimetres and millilitres in general use and use centimetres and centilitres to the first decimal place, unless a greater accuracy is needed.
As for the spanner problem, let us bless whoever invented the shifting spanner.
Later edit: Daniel also found the same discussion on the same group interesting.