When consulting a reference book from 1896, we came across an article about imperial measures which provides a timely reminder that, even in its heyday, this ‘system’ was not as straightforward as some would now have us believe.
Preliminary results of the 2011 census for England and Wales indicate that those of the population who were taught metric at school now comfortably outnumber those who were taught Imperial.
In an attempt to bring about some improvement in the sloppy and inconsistent way in which metric units are often written, the UK Metric Association has today (5 July 2012) published a “Measurement Units Style Guide”. Aimed at anybody who uses metric units in their writing, the Guide is available in both hard copy and as a free download from the UKMA website.
In his recent article “Why I …”, Ronnie Cohen looked at the present to explain why he believes the UK should complete the transition to metric units. However, some of those who commented on his article also looked back. In this article, I take another look into the past and then ask if the fading of such memories might prolong the measurement muddle.
Two recent Channel 4 Dispatches programmes entitled “Kids Don’t Count” sought to demonstrate just that. But if you saw the programmes and are a regular reader of Metric Views, you may have wondered if the programmes overlooked the real problem. Continue reading “Kids don’t count”