Friday, February 18, 2011

How large are you shoes?

The subject line will be cryptic to some, but most will get it.

Red Nomad likes to mix her miles and metres. I have been known to also. Nothing wrong with 'its about an inch short of a metre'.

There is a certain stupidity in the way we generally express length. I believe in Europe, and no doubt Peter will correct me if I am wrong, they don't generally use silly tiny measurements such as 780mm. They would say it is 78cm. It must easier to form a mental picture of a distance with the larger number. A metre is 100cm, so 78cm is about 3/4 of a metre. Easy to picture. And why don't we use centilitres rather than the minute millilitres?

Generally in Australia though, we seem to be retreating with our metrics. Our old fashioned tyre gauges at car service stations used to be marked with hectopascals. I had to learn hectopascals to know how much air to put into my tyres. I recall it was around 200. Now, the very good but I suspect very American tyre gauges on a stand with the alterable pressure read in pounds per square inch.

Kilojoules had began to be embraced, but we seem to be reverting to calories. Likewise with baby weight. More people seem to be using pounds now rather than ten years ago when when kilos seemed to be more popular.

I find it quite disappointing that we aren't embracing the far superior metric system. Worse, our growing children are hearing us use these old measurements and are using them too.

As I am talking of measurements, what an ugly word kays is. God Gough told us how to say it when metric arrived to our shores, KILOmetre and that is not kilOMetre and certainly not kays. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

19 comments:

  1. Nah, youse gotta say "It's only about fordy clicks from Bendigo ta Dunolly."
    Kays is for wanky dicks like my ex who'd rattle it off like it was a Bachelor's Dregree in Backblock Bullshit.

    Twas a joke on Big Bang Theory about Jimmy Carter introduing Metric system to USA and wondering why he was a 1 term president.

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  2. Dude, I have big feet. When I was in the 'primers' at school, I could always find my shoes easily in the line outside our classroom cos they were the longest. And now I find it hard to find a pair of woman's tramping shoes and I often have to buy men's. A pain, as they are too broad. I don't know why I never grew tall to match my big feet!

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  3. Haha! Thanx so much for the dob in!! I learned the imperial system (63,360 inches per mile!) but left it behind other than descriptively! How can you have traffic 'centimetering' along the highway? Or a large 'hectarage' of land?? But I draw the line at filling up with petrol in litres, then converting it back to gallons to work out mileage...

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  4. Yep. I have to explain so many things to so many patients using all of the above measurements. You can imagine having to speak to a 90 odd year old person and then in the next bed having to speak to someone in their teens.. and having to convert all the time :)

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  5. Actually Jayne, I don't mind clicks. Wonder where that came from? It sounds very Australian. Having said what I said about metric, we are kilometres ahead of the UK and the US.

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  6. I have little feet, they forgot to grow. As for measurements, meh, I use whatever I can remember at the time!!

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  7. KN, clearly you were born to tramp and were supplied with feet to displace your mass over a large area.

    Red, given where I live, the word for land area is not something I need to use often. Metreage might be more apt for me. I don't mind hectarage though.

    Something I have never thought about Cazzie, but I see, it must be difficult at times.

    Fen, I expect that would be a mix, like many of us do.

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  8. 'The subject line will be cryptic to some, but most will get it.'

    OK, I read the post but am still none the wiser. I don't get it.

    My first thought about the subject line was typically gay man. Size of shoes (feet) indicates likely size of...well you know...but then all that followed in your post was a discourse on measurement systems and a bit about pronounciations thrown in (for good measure).

    Ho, ho, how droll. How disappointing. :)

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  9. Well, Victor, it is all about measurements. I was going to slip something in about 20cm, but I have done it before.

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  10. I loik this sort of post, but, humour me I am from NSW. What is a 'click'?

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  11. I only guessed the first time I heard the word Julie, but each time a speedo turned over to register another mile/kilometre travelled, it clicked. In very old cars it is possible that there was actually an audible click. I have a vague idea I bought an odometer for my by bicycle when I was a kid and it clicked as turned over. So one click now means one kilometre.

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  12. Andrew I can visualise a pound of chops but not a kg -and I haven't learned to convert accross - it was seven miles between my hometown and the next - unless I do a conversion which i never seem to remember i cannot for the life of me tell you how many kms it is between those two very important (to me) towns

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  13. Anonymous2:54 pm

    I began my education during the 'imperial' days and ended it in the 'metric' days, so my knowledge of measurements is a bit erratic. I use feet to describe a person's height but metres to measure distance. I too can visualise a pound of veggies but only use metric measurements to cook.

    The speedo on my first car was in miles and I had to learn to convert to km/h so I knew how fast I was driving.

    Temperatures should only be given in Celcius/Centrigrade - Farenheit may as well be Vulcan!

    Incidently, Japan is 100% metric but they use it a little differently, eg. you can't buy a litre of milk here, only 1000ml! V.

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  14. MC, I may once have knows what a pound was, but they are a bit meaningless to me now, although for baby weight, they still work. I have totally forgotten stones. It is interesting that none of us are at the same point with metrics.

    V, I am starting to forget feet. I am 180cm tall, and I can judge other's height from that. I think fully in kilometres now. Miles seem so tediously long. I am sure though, you remember that 100 deg F is hot. So Japan uses silly small millilitres too. I didn't notice about milk but I did about another liquid in a bottle.

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  15. I blame the American dominated media for the confusion.

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  16. I think clicks may be an American term, it seems to be used in Vietnam war movies a lot, such as " Charie is just 2 clicks over that ridge".

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  17. I think you are right about American influence Ben. Interesting about clicks in US movies. We must reject clicks then.

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  18. Okay, I'm way behind in reading blogs, even ones that refer to me.

    You're right cm is easier than mm, same goes for cl, unless you have to insert an needle for medication than the ml come in handy. No-one needs an O.D. [said the insuline dependent commenter]

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  19. Indeed Peter. There are times when you need finer measurements, but not all the time.

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