RE: Measurements in the UK

Subject: RE: Measurements in the UK
From: Kim Roper <kim -dot- roper -at- vitana -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 12:49:10 -0400


Chris Gooch summarized the measurement units used in Britain. Here are the
same things for Canada, listed under Chris's notes:

>
> Here's a quick guide for foreigners to our quirky ways:
>
> * road distances, speeds: everyone uses miles

kilometres (km) here

> * beer in pubs: pints only

If not sold by the bottle, then usually in pints but sometimes ounces
(pitchers are typically specified in ounces)

> * soft drinks: litres or ml

Same here.

> * petrol: has been priced in litres for 15 yrs or so,

Same here.

> but this doesn't stop people quoting
> miles per gallon on car adverts

Haven't seen this much lately. With the current popularity of vans and
SUVs, people don't seem to view fuel consumption as much of a selling point
anymore.

> * milk: pints (but the label has to say how many ml that is)

Litres/mL

> * fruit, veg, meat, cheese, etc.: supermarkets now
> pack in kg or g, so you get 125g of cheese rather
> than 1/4 pound. But if you ask for a 1/4 pound at a
> deli you'll get 120 odd g (ie. a 1/4 pound). And if
> you ask for 100g of bananas you'll get 3 bananas :-)

Pretty much the same here.

> * temperatures: centigrade for most people, but some
> people still use fahrenheit. I have to mentally convert
> f into c myself (I'm 33)....

We use Celcius (centigrade). Perhaps some of the 40+ set are still more
comfortable with Fahrenheit.

> * builders, plumbers, etc. All tools are metric, so they
> do measure in metric _usually_. Pipes and fittings are all
> metric and so on.

I don't have much breadth of experience, but from what I see, we're all over
the map on this one.

> * weight (of people): for some reason people say "stone"
> in general
> conversation. We do not understand when americans
> say someone weighs 150 pounds. If you say 75 kg
> then we'd have an idea how much that was in relation
> to bags of sugar, but not whether it was more or less
> than 12 stone.

We do not use "stone". Typically, we use pounds, but some of the younger
set are more accustomed to kilograms.

> * height (of people). This is a good one. I'm 5 foot 11, but
> my 7 yr old son is 125cm ('cos that's how kids clothes
> are sold now).

Yeah, that's what I was getting at in the previous entry :> It's like that
here. I'm 5'2"; my 8 yr old son is 132 cm.

>
> Of course, if you are speaking to engineers or scientists, metric
> (actually SI) should _always_ be used.

Erk. Like I said, I think we're all over the map. I'm accustomed to
metric--as are my pure-science friends--but engineers tend to be pragmatic
on this one. We have to be; our neighbours to the south ship us stuff in
imperial :> I buy standard blank labels as measured in inches. I order
custom labels in mil thicknesses but I specify their heights and widths in
millimetres. My document margins are in inches, as are my page sizes.

>
> In summary, when your doctor asks how much you weight and
> your height, you'll say 12 stone 5 foot 11 and she'll change that
> to 75 kg and 180cm for your medical records.

My doctor weighs me and measures my height (and they're noted in kg and cm)
:>

Cheers ... Kim

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