Pfhorrest wrote:...Britain, where there would actually have been a period of frequently needing to specify what system is meant as the country transitioned from one to the other...
. Present tense.
Pints of beer (hopefully the good stuff, that doesn't actually need
chilling because otherwise it's indistinguishable from horse-piss), and cider, in the local pub, but in millilitres when in cans (with or without foaming 'widgit').
Milk still in pints on the doorstep or an allowable whole-number unit from supermarket cooled-shelves, but always with the less-rounded equivalent millilitre values. Or just in litres (or simple fractions thereofe).
Petrol(eum) (ie, Gas(oline), thus not confusable with gaseous fuel gas, and never (that I know of!) confused with petroleum jelly) is sold in litres, but some people still like to work in miles/gallon. (Noting that this is the British Gallon, not the US one.) Regardless, it's comparatively expensive1
due to taxes.
Yes, we still drive in miles (and measure our forward motion in miles-per-hour2
), but metres and higher/lower order factors of the metre tend to rule (NPI) in non-road distances, albeit often with a parallel indication of the yards, feet or inches (i.e. both scale-values supplied), especially of products where the imperial measure is the 'rounder number' for that distance for historic reasons.
(Also, being ruled by Johnson and his heirs rather than Webster &co, distances are "(prefix?)metres", whilst measuring devices (of flow, usually) are "(use?)meters". Near identical pronunciation, if not exactly
alike, but usefully distinguished in writing, assuming context does not already divert any confusion.)
I more precisely know my own height in feet and inches than in metres, although the 'milestone' [sic] when I was at primary school, was when each of us passed the "1 metre" height mark on the classroom's measure, rather than the three-feet/yard one that it might well have been a few years beforehand.
Acres and hectares tend to dominate in common usage when discussing agricultural land (or large gardens), but square metres seems to dominate 'floor space' of offices (rarely houses, unless the house is exceptional!) or actual/potential construction sites in business parks, although the sq/ft measure still isn't unknown. (The latter may
have to be accompanied by the converted-to-metric equivalent, because of legislation, in advertising situations.)
Weights can be given in grammes(/grams), kilogrammes(/kilograms) or tonnes(/metric tons), according to the magnitude needed, but remnants (or parallel listings) of ounces, pounds, stones or tons (long tons, i.e. 2,200lbs or slightly over a metric tonne, rather than the US short ton of 2,000lbs that is slightly under the tonne) are still used. While kg are
used (especially in body-mass-index), we still commonly talk of bodyweight in "stones" (each stone being 14lbs, "12 stone" being 168lbs, but that latter figure means nothing useful to me, without back-converting), "stones-a-fraction" (e.g. "12 and a half stone") or "stones and pounds" ("12 stone, 8 pounds", which for the US would apparently be 176lbs - and also notie that this exact figure would probably
be 'conveniently' described in terms of "12 and a half" or just "12" stones, when some form or other of self-denial kicks in).
Foot-pounds and the like still exist in some places, although newton-metres are probably the better use in modern engineering calculations.
People of an older age will still prefer (and understand) Fahrenheit temperatures over Celsius, as per above discussions.
People of an older age may still
bemoan the lack of LSD (i.e. Libra Solidus Denarius, the Latin versions of Pounds (->being 20 of->) Shillings (->being 12 of->) Pence, i.e. pre-decimalisation currency) although we actually did away with that back in 1971, when the shilling (=12 old pennies) was converted to 5 new pence (GB£0.05) so we were now handily decimalised away from "240 pennies in a pound" without at least changing the concept of the pound (beyond the inflationary pressures of the time, etc, of course). But the "guinea" (one pound and one shilling, as was) is still retained as a concept in the worlds of horse racing and livestock (again including horses) auctions. (Tradition has it that the 'guinea price' was paid by the purchaser, to an auctioneer, and then the same number of pounds was then passed onto the seller; the difference being retained as the auctioneering fees. Not sure if that still holds, though wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't in some places.)
However, some nicknames for old coinage (e.g. 'bob's and 'crowns' for shillings and five-shillings) may still occur to describe their modern equivalent (five and twenty-five 'new pences', respectively; two-bob being GBP0.10 (10p), although half-a-crown (12.5p) has been largely obsolete since we no longer used one-half-new-penny coins).
(Incidentally, because of both/either of inches-in-feet or pennies-in-shillings, as was, when I grew up it was traditional to learn the times-tables up to 12 - or possibly just up-to-ten-plus
-twelve, missing out the eleven-times one. I do not recall having to learn the 14-times-table because of lbs-in-st. or any of the larger ones. There are new calls, currently, to reintroduce the requirement of rote-learning of tables up to the 12s - apparently something that has been dropped at some point in the last three or four decades - but I haven't heard anyone trying to argue it down to top our merely with the 10s or
add onto it the 16s (useful for future hexadecimal fun in a code-driven world!), either or both these amendments seeming to me to have sufficient logic to pursue in the modern world.)
I'm sure there's other bits to our schizophrenic nature, w.r.t. weights and measures, that I forget. But the point is that we've somehow got to the point of being part-switched to metric.1
For useful reference, current prices for both petrol and diesel are a tad below £1/litre (usually 99.9GBpence, but I think I've seen 97.9 for one or the other, recently), which is about $5.45/US Gallon, on current exchange rates It has
been >120p/litre, or $6.59/US Gallon. Compared even with somewhere
I'd guess would normally have higher fuel prices than the rest of the US, from the logistics alone.2
With our most rapid legal road-speed being 70MPH, although many people seem to treat that as a "lower limit", on the major roads where it applies.