But seriously folks. The article below was an April fool joke but the decimal tape measure is real. In Britain surveyors did use the decimalised foot before going metric. Clearly they recognised the advantages of a decimal system but realised that the metric system proper had much more to offer. The tape featured in the article is in fact American where they still use old fashioned units of measurement. They too clearly see the advantages of decimal in measurement, so the next step is …
“Following the recent consultation by the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML), in which Weights and Measures legislation has been reviewed, Metric Views has learned that the Government is to propose a radical solution to the problem that has resulted from the excruciatingly slow and piecemeal approach to metrication in the UK, namely that of running two incompatible measurement systems side-by-side.
Acknowledging the benefits that the decimal-based metric system has brought to UK manufacturing and industry, the Weights & Measures Review Committee has concluded that a single decimal-based measurement system should now be used for all official purposes. However, in a compromise apparently designed to appease imperial die-hards, the metre will be dropped in favour of the foot as the base unit of the UK’s official measurement system. The metric system’s decimal prefixes will be retained and new subunits will be introduced. Thus, a thousandth of a foot will be known as a “millifoot”, and one thousand feet will be known as a “kilofoot”.
Commenting on the outcome of the consultation, a Government spokesperson said, “We are following through, to the logical outcome, both the desire for a single easy-to-use decimal-based measurement system, and the reluctance of successive governments to fully adopt the metre for all official purposes. The new decimal-foot system will bring an end to the difficulties of doing even simple calculations in imperial units”. The spokesperson went on to say, “Current road signs are also a mess, with no apparent logic as to when a short distance should be expressed in yards or when it should be expressed as a fraction of a mile – neither of which corresponds to the decimal miles shown on car odometers”.
To help the public adjust as quickly as possible to the new measurement system, the Government will commence an immediate conversion programme for all UK road signs. All short distances will be shown in feet, with longer distances shown in kilofeet. Height and width restrictions will be shown in decimal feet to the nearest 0.1 feet. Speed limits will be set in feet per second, with the new motorway speed limit set at 100 ft/s. Tape measures with decifeet (10ths of a foot) and centifeet (100ths of a foot) units will also be made available from 1 April 2008. All tape measures with inches or centimetres will then be withdrawn from general sale during the following 12 months; thus ending the UK’s odd stance of using two systems of measurement on its ‘standard’ tape measures.”