Sunday, 15 February 2009

BBC Metric Explanation (of sorts)

I've been banging on recently about how the BBC use metric instead of imperial when they know damned well that just about no-one in this country (British people that is) really understands metric.
Well they've come up with the explanation that for example, when they use metric during sports commentaries that they do it because these sports programmes are shown all over the world and the rest of the world uses metric (sod us then?).
I can sort of accept that argument BUT we the British people pay the BBC license fee and it is after all the British Broadcasting Corporation.
But that is at least a half decent (but badly flawed) argument when it comes to sports coverage, but what about the weather forecasts (ie: 12cm of snow)?

Are our weather forecasts shown all over the world and if so WHY!?


MetricBrit said...

I have to take exception with your blog. I'm 41 and British. I learned metric exclusively at school in the `70s and `80s and to this day still cannot remember how many lb in a st or ft in a mile, nor do I care to learn. I am 1.75m in height and weigh 79kg. If I go to the gym or the doctor those are the weights they use... so why should I use different units? It only increases the possibility of errors!

Just to add to the confusion, my car is 1999mm wide but the sign at the end of the street says 6' 6" (according to my science teacher that's 6 minutes and 6 seconds... what's all that about???) and the weather forcasters on TV keep banging on about temperatures with some funny German name of "Fahrenheit". Oh... and I don't think I've ever brought petrol or diesel in anything other than litres in Britain so have no idea why it is that people think a gallon is nearly 5 litres... it's nearer 4 when I have to buy them in the US!!!

Almost the entire planet uses metric but we cling on because a few Brits are too stubborn to realise that it would be in our collective benefit to change for some silly reason like "Europe" or "The French". It's little wonder that this country is in the state it is!!!

JPT said...

You state that you are 1.75m in height and weigh 79kg.
How many people do you hear in Britain (which is where we are of course)stating their height and weigth in these measures?
I have to admit however that I do prefer celsius to farenheit, that probably makes me a hypocrite!

Thud said...

Amazingly America seems to get by without the metric opposed to our apparently more cultured european do they manage?

Political Poet said...

I'm afraid, as a Briton, I'm half way between the two forms. I use metric for distance and temperature but imperial for weight and smaller measurements.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Like Political Poet, I have my feet in both camps. I am temperature-bilingual; don't care if distance is miles or kilometre; prefer gas, milk and soda pop to be sold in litres; but lumber, flooring, nails, paint, windows and doors had better be expressed in imperial measurements. Likewise chicken and beef at the supermarket, but I'm okay with breakfast cereal boxes showing me their weight in grams.

Oh, and I'm 6'2", and weigh 178 pounds.

Jeannine said...

Arthur loves the metric system since that's what he grew up with. We often debate the virtues of our preferred systems and he always wins. Unfortunately (for my side of the debate) the metric system is more logical.

I make sure he adds the English equivalents on the website, and I've been doing the same as I edit his books. Since I'm the editor, I've banished the metric equivalents to the parentheses. :-)

As an American I found the stone thing rather difficult initially but I'm catching on.