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Friday, May 25, 2012

Metric or Imperial?

I was recently watching something about whether Britain should go totally metric for the Olympics. Noooo I thought! The argument was that using both metric and imperial measurements will confuse visitors. Well, fair enough, I guess it is a little odd if you're not used to it, but I love the fact that we use both!

Here's my lovely Kirstie Allsopp tape measure in metric....

It made me wonder what other people think of using both? I grew up learning metric and imperial, although I now have to teach in metric.

I find it really useful to understand both systems. Depending on what I'm talking about, I'll happily use either. For long distances, it's miles, short distances can be either feet or metres! Temperature is celsius, a haircut is inches (although I do think I should have perhaps talked in cm to the young girl who last cut my hair!), measuring paper, or something of similar size, it's either inches or cm. This one's interesting as it depends on what gives me the closest whole number. Photos are always imperial though.

And Kirstie's tape measure in imperial...

Mr W confuses me sometimes though. He does lots of DIY and always talks to me in millimetres. Millimetres are only for very short measurements as far as I'm concerned, not long pieces of wood or whatever!

Anyone else use both systems??


  1. yup- I use both. When I was working as interior designer everything was in mm so I think in that now for most things- except when I'm describing something human scale as I find inches are easier to understand!

  2. Interesting! Talking of human scale, I forgot to mention that people should be measured in feet and inches and weighed in stones and pounds!

  3. I use both! Though I suppose, being 23, I should only know metric?! I know my weight in stones, but say it in kg; anything upto 30cms can be said in mm's; I'm 5 ft 4, and I generally measure fabric in inches....

    1. Ooh, interesting about your weight! I would say at 23 you should only really know metric but then I guess it depends on what others around you use as well. I think I need to speak to people older than I teach but younger than me to further my research!


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