(I am now familiar with many things that were a surprise to me when I first came to England, so much so that I hardly notice them anymore. When people ask me what is different, I usually can’t think of anything immediately. It is time for me to begin recording differences when I recognize them to slow the Britishization process.)
England only partially uses metric system.
Don’t be fooled by the Scientific Unit thought police propaganda that they made you recite in school–non-metric measurements are alive and well outside of the US. Notable examples:
- Snow is measured in inches.
- Road signs are in miles/hour and miles to destination.
- Human weights are given in stone. Stone?! My scale shows that I am roughly 13 stone.
- Beer and cider are served by the pint and half-pint.
- In a single recipe you will need to deal with both systems. Sticky Toffee Pudding (yum!) requires 75 grams of dates and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
- And of course football is a popular sport.
The real question is why the English are unit-schizophrenics. Why did they switch some units but not all? My English coworker had the answer: “Because this is England, and we measure in metric except when we don’t.”