Can someone please explain to me why the UK has a mixed unit system?

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by redshift, Dec 8, 2011.

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  1. It always confuses me as an American as to why you guys use a "hybrid" system of mix 'n' match. I've been living here for about a year now full time, I still can't get my head around why some stuff is in metric while others are still in imperial units. MPH, pounds, degree Celsius, pints, stone (which I have no idea about), kilos, inches, cm etc., etc.

    We Americans stuck with the imperial system for everyday use (for better or worse), while the Canucks up north went completely metric.

    Would you please make up your mind already? ;P

    While I am glad that your speed signs are still in MPH, I am only now getting the hang of thinking in Deg.Celcius.

    Also, it doesn't help that your vehicle fuel consumption figures are published in MPG(UK), while the fuel itself is sold in liters. And even those UK gallons have to be converted into US gallons while explaining to my friends back in the states as to the fuel economy figures of my car. Sigh!

    You certainly start to do a lot of mental math, living as an American in this country.

    p.s: The funny thing is I have a degree in engineering (now pretty much all of it is taught in metric), which means while I feel weird doing work calculations in imperial, I somehow can't naturally get a feel of metric stuff in real life. Like KPH, Degree Celsius etc. I have to do a reverse calculation.
  2. We do it to confuse the bloody foreigners.
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  3. Standby for an onslaught on the subject of the EU

    It's easier to work stuff out in 10s, 100s & 1000s so being British we choose to hang onto as much of the imperial system as we can in order to avoid facing the fact that we are genetically the same as every one 25 miles SE of Dover and beyond.
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  4. We're that good at everything we need to complicate things so we challenge ourselves :)
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  5. They do it because they have to admit that the metric system makes more sense, while at the same time keeping their foot down to maintain that the Imperial system is more fun.

    And it works too, I've had a mixed system at home for years!
  6. Porridge_gun

    Porridge_gun LE Good Egg (charities)

    Its there to confuse the Americans for their own good.

    If you are too busy worrying about units and mentally converting from imperial to decimal then you aren't thinking about supersizing you're dinner.

    When you finally come round to lunch, and making your bottoms bigger than Lincoln town cars you concentrate on loading the calories and trying not to bite your own fingers off rather than starting more wars and further fcuking up the war on terror.
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  7. We do it because there's absolutely no good reason to. If you'd ever been in the British Army, you'd understand how important that rationale is to us.
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  8. We have a system that teaches more or less a decimal system and has done for the best part of 40 yrs, however the country is full of old people who convulse at the thought of eu regulation. So the stage is set for a mix and match of both systems.
    Common sense says that going up in multiples of ten is piss easy to teach and understand, however some of the imperial measurements are actually very succinct and "tidy" a mile for instance sounds better in conversation than a kilometer, and going into a pub a pint is easier to slur out when your pissed than a half litre.
    Same goes for some fractions 1/4 and 1/2 are "tidy" not 0.25 and 0.5. So in conclusion how big are your wifes tits, and do you have pics?
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  9. Imperial system for everyday use? How many cents in a dollar 240?
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  10. Ouch!
  11. I will give you that!
  12. Why do spams mention their weight in lbs and not in stone?
  13. What I never got was a few years back grocers were being fined for selling veg by the pound because of some EU-generated bollocks but pubs were never touched for selling pints. Did a course on EU law at uni many a year ago. Never a -fucking - gain.
  14. Because when road signs were introduced they used miles. Then we changed to metric and no one could be fucked making new signs.

    I made that up on the spot and it sounds reasonable.

    PS. You have some boring fucking friends who ask you about your car's fuel economy. You moved to a different country and that's what they have to fucking ask?
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  15. Actually, I have no f-ing clue. I was never taught to think in stone. My first experience of weight being described in stone was here in England. I had to look it up.