Wednesday, August 06, 2014

A Gill Wide

I wasn't aware until Cathy mentioned it in a post, that Maroondah Highway was known as The Three Chain Road. Interesting. I did know Dandenong Road was known as The Great Three Chain Road.

Fortunately my Victorian Authorised News Agency, VANA, school books schooled me well in chains, furlongs, gills, kilderkins, avoirdupois pounds and most importantly inches and liquid ounces, both of which have been a preoccupation of mine at times. Somewhat of a pity that the back of my schoolbooks did not tell me about hectopascals and kilojoules, or perhaps they did and I have forgotten, both of which concern me greatly, our car tyre pressures and our calorie intake. 

I forget most of the old measurements and I am really troubled that Australia has gone so far backwards on the matter of metrics. Now even tv screen sizes have gone back to imperial and it is pointless to go shopping for a tv with a cm screen diameter in mind. The weight of babies is reverting to pounds and ounces from kilograms. Pounds per square inch is an ascendancy over hectopascals when pumping up the car tyres. What gay man doesn't know that 8" is probably a lie. It is a very disturbing trend. It is also quite odd, as Europe uses metric and most, if not all of our Asian neighbours.

Can we say, yes America, we will buy your product, but you need to convert it to metric for us?

 


17 comments:

  1. Andrew, as you know in Europe we use metric system . So I am very nervous when I am in Great Britain because they use the different system. So I can check in the Internet when I want to buy something from American shop so complicated. Rules are different and we must accept them.

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    1. Gosia, it does make it very difficult. I kind of know both weights and lengths in some things. That the UK is a mix of two is silly, and we are going back to that.

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  2. I hadn't noticed that we are backsliding - but will keep my eye out for it now.
    Thank you.
    Mind you, I never got the hang of metric height. I still think in feet and inches there.

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    1. EC, I think it is something people our age have to force themselves to do if they want to change. But is there a need?

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  3. I'd noticed the TV measurements trend, but not anything else. I really don't pay much attention there. I always thought a gill is 8 liquid ounces, not any kind of width measurement as well.
    I lived on Port Pirie's Three Chain Road for six years when I was much younger. 5 minutes walk from the beach.

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    1. River, a gill is a liquid measurement, but I had forgotten how much.

      Another Three Chain Road. There must be a lot of them.

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  4. You have subtly touched on why, for most of my 65 years, I have known that 20 centimetres is the equivalent of 8 inches.

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    1. Indeed Victor, it is a benchmark figure that we judge by and in modern times we certainly need to know both.

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    2. Anyone who bakes knows that 20cm is 8 inches as that is a popular size for cake pans. Sewers will know that 6 inches is 15cm and 4 inches is 10cm, a good depth for hems on skirts and dresses if you wish to let them down as kids grow.

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    3. River, more American imperialism. I know it as an 8" cake tin. I don't sew. My mother didn't. She said to her mother, "Mother, can you darn these socks please, and take this dress in an inch", but Grandmother wasn't much better at sewing. It seems to be a skill that is not in our family. Odd really for a family with a furrier heritage.

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  5. I remember the day we changed to metric currency (14th Feb 1966) and never had to deal with Imperial again. Hooorah!!!

    There are three countries in the world that use Imperial and Australia is not one of them (USA, Liberia and Thailand, I believe). But you are correct, sadly. If tv screen sizes have gone back to imperial, I will not deal with the salespeople until they get it right.

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    1. Hels, Thailand is metric and England only part metric. They still use miles, at least.

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  6. Oh please no I just figured out the current system, maybe.
    Merle............

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    1. Stick with it Merle, and be a thoroughly modern person.

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  7. Thanks for the mention Andrew. Wikip. provided that little bit of trivia for me lol.
    It's true about the UK being a bit half hearted about metric/imperial measurements - one time we were there seeing a kilo sign as well as lbs on a fruit stall I automatically asked for a kilo of bananas. A very obnoxious man said, I have to have the sign there but I don't have to sell that weight. None of that poncy stuff for me - we British use imperial!
    He didn't like it when I asked if he'd sell me 2lbs 2 ozs of bananas! I walked away in disgust at his reply (certainly not repeatable here)
    Cathy

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    1. Cathy, that is down right rude and you did the right thing and I think you got the better of him, otherwise he would not have sworn. While I regret our backward steps from metric, the situation in England is absurd.

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    2. That is they need to be forced over to metric, as we need to still be forced here.

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