Metric Views

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Commentary on the measurement muddle in the UK 2017-07-20T18:29:09Z
Updated: 17 hours 33 min ago

Do we sacrifice consistency and clarity for the sake of convention?

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 19:01
We are familiar with size numbers for shoes, hats, dresses and so on. Ronnie Cohen looks at the convention for screen sizes based on inches and asks if this really makes sense. I recently came across an article with the title … Continue reading → 0

Does metric-only labelling require changes to package sizes?

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 00:13
An argument made against metric-only labelling in the US is that manufacturers would need to change packaging to rational metric sizes. Ronnie Cohen looks at the UK’s experience over the past 50 years. The need to change package sizes is sometimes seen … Continue reading → 0

Straight bananas and the metric system – the EU legacy?

Thu, 07/06/2017 - 00:21
With Brexit still dominating the news, Ronnie Cohen looks at one of the biggest obstacles to completing our transition to the metric system: its perceived link to the European Union. Opposition to metrication has become an article of faith among almost all … Continue reading → 0

Metrication timeline for British road signs

Thu, 06/29/2017 - 11:30
In response to one of his enquiries, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) has provided Ronnie Cohen  with an account of recent progress on the introduction of metric signs on UK roads. I recently asked how the DfT how it decides … Continue reading → 0

DfT expects drivers to be familiar with metres and that’s official

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 11:27
Ronnie Cohen reports on his recent correspondence with the UK Department for Transport (DfT). I recently asked the DfT what measurement units they expect drivers on British roads to be familiar with. It responded (ref. GT51/2/2/F0014554), saying “The answer to your … Continue reading → 0

MOTD writes metric but speaks imperial

Thu, 06/08/2017 - 08:26
At last, the General Election campaign is over. And now, as we wait for the results,  Ronnie Cohen looks at something completely different: Match of the Day. Or is it? For those of you not familiar with football, Match of the … Continue reading → 1

Pint-sized beer and cider in British shops

Thu, 06/01/2017 - 13:18
Ronnie Cohen takes a look at the beer and cider on sale in his local shops and supermarket. While the vast majority of beer and cider cans and bottles are sold in rational metric sizes, there are a few that are … Continue reading → 0

New insights into DfT thinking in recent years

Sat, 05/27/2017 - 13:32
In this article, Ronnie Cohen passes on information he has recently received from the Department for Transport (DfT). In April 2017, I received a response to an FOI request that included a document called “170411-Annex A”. This document contains internal … Continue reading → 0

The American Influence on Canada’s Metrication

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 09:17
John Frewen-Lord, a frequent contributor to Metric Views, has just returned from one of his regular trips to Canada. He gives us his thoughts. It is well known that metrication in Canada is in as much of a muddle as … Continue reading → 0

A Dickensian surprise

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 23:59
Charles Dickens is enduringly popular for his memorable characters and his portrayal of the social evils of Victorian England. One of our regular readers, Martin Vlietstra, draws attention to an unexpected contribution he made to Britain’s long-running metrication debate. Charles … Continue reading → 0

Strange ideas about budgets at the DfT

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 12:09
Ronnie Cohen comments on the way the UK Department for Transport (DfT) struggles to maintain a consistent approach to spending. I recently asked the DfT how much money will be diverted from high priority areas and a breakdown of high priority … Continue reading → 0

Positions of main parties and politicians on metrication

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 23:37
At the beginning of the General Election campaign, Ronnie Cohen looks at the current stance of the main political parties and the position taken in the past by some of their MPs. On 18 April, Prime Minister Theresa May called … Continue reading → 0

Odd and inconsistent product descriptions

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 11:10
We highlight an oddity in Waitrose product description and pricing, recently picked up in an article on msn. And no, this is not a belated April fool story. There was recently an article published on msn.com about Waitrose selling empty … Continue reading → 0