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September 21, 2021

Going metric. Not. Or, the empire strikes back.

Pic only - UK meters to feet copy

[A road sign in South Shropshire, England, that Tony Bennett changed so that it would display feet and not meters.]

Anyone but me old enough to remember the 1975 U.S. Metric Conversion Act which went over like a lead balloon?

Predictions then that the country would be left behind and implode didn't quite come to pass.

Now this, nearly half a century later, from last Friday's New York Times:

Britain Signals Intent to Revert to the Imperial System

The government announced plans to allow shops to sell produce in pounds and ounces, rather than using the metric system, as part of an effort to 'capitalize on new Brexit freedoms.'

Tony Bennett, a member of Active Resistance to Metrication, a small group that has for years been pushing for England to return to its old weights and measurements, said he was celebrating the development.

Mr. Bennett said the campaign to leave the European Union and the campaign to revert to imperial measurements had to do with preserving what he saw as the gradual erosion of British culture and tradition.

"The system of weights and measures is integral to our daily life and also to our written culture, our language," he said, citing expressions like "an inch is as good as a mile," and "inching forward."

He estimates that he and his group have placed stickers over thousands of signs in public parks and on roads that use the metric system in England over the last two decades.

September 21, 2021 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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