Use of the kilometre in the UK

As noted in a comment on our last article, the BBC’s acclaimed new series Blue Planet 2 uses metric measures for smaller distances and depths but miles for greater ones. Ronnie Cohen takes this opportunity to look at instances when kilometres are preferred to miles.

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Autumn watched

UKMA has received a message from a viewer of BBC’s ‘Autumn Watch’. This article includes the message and the response.

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Posted in Education, General, Media, Myths, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

DfT myths and reality

Over the years, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) has come up with many arguments in support of successive Transport Ministers’ reluctance to convert UK road traffic signs from an outdated and poorly understood system of measurement to one that is simple, logical and almost universal. Ronnie Cohen puts forward counter arguments.

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Posted in Road signs, Transport | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A case of dumbing down on measures for US audience

Amid the reports last year about the failure of consumer tests for the Galaxy S7 Active phone, one notable difference between the official use of the International Protection (a.k.a Ingress Protection) marks and the consumer reviews on an American website is the use of different measurement systems. Ronnie Cohen explains.

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Problems with US spelling variants for writing metric

This week, Ronnie Cohen takes issue with an example of American exceptionalism.

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Posted in General, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

New Internationalist, a metric role model for the British media

Back after our summer break, Metric Views is happy to publicize a periodical that might have escaped our readers’ attention in recent years. Ronnie Cohen explains.

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Posted in Consumer affairs, General, Media | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

DfT has done no cost-benefit analysis on metrication of road signs

Ronnie Cohen draws some conclusions from a recent Freedom of Information (FoI) request that he made to the UK Department for Transport (DfT).

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Posted in History, Road signs, Transport | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

British drivers’ exposure to metres

Ronnie Cohen takes a look at some of the ways in which British  drivers are exposed to metric measures. Metric Views would be interested hear of readers’ experiences, though it is not possible, unfortunately, to post photos with your comments.

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Posted in Road signs, Transport | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Do we sacrifice consistency and clarity for the sake of convention?

We are familiar with size numbers for shoes, hats, dresses and so on. Ronnie Cohen looks at the convention for screen sizes based on inches and asks if this really makes sense.

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Posted in Consumer affairs, General, Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Does metric-only labelling require changes to package sizes?

An argument made against metric-only labelling in the US is that manufacturers would need to change packaging to rational metric sizes. Ronnie Cohen looks at the UK’s experience over the past 50 years.

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Posted in Consumer affairs, Education, General, Myths | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments