One of the more ludicrous things that’s come out the Brexit shenanigans is the recent idea that the exit from the EU might allow retailers to begin selling goods in imperial measures.
Whilst I’m sure this will appeal to the Al Murray-esque (or the ones that don’t get he’s satire), I fear for the sanity of our isle if such a thing we’re to happen. The only motivation for such a thing is surely “it had Napoleon’s hands all over it”, and centuries after the event we should probably let that go.
Why am I so opposed to the repatriation of “good British weights and measures”? Well because I, and I imagine most people under the age of 50, were never taught them. It would be the greatest act of consumer deception ever perpetrated.
My own generation have a strange relationship with measurement. Weights are metric, except when it comes to our body weight which we know in stones. I certainly have no idea how many kilogrammes are in a stone. Let alone how many pounds.
We measure in centimeters, metres and miles. We judge the fuel efficiency of a car in miles per gallon even though we only know the price of petrol in pounds per litre. Litres and milliliters work fine for liquids except when it comes to beer.
Temperature is Celsius. Except body temperature – where 100° F is bad (although not as bad as 100° C would be).
We are mess enough without moving back to more of the Imperial stuff. Chains, fathoms, furlongs…
Of course our new closest partner of the future, the US, is the last great bastion of the Imperial system. No doubt that will be cited as good cause to revert. Do not let such talk fool you. They have smaller pints on the other side of the Atlantic…