What Distance/Speed Measurement do you officially use in the UK? Imperial or Metric?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Maserati7200, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Maserati7200 macrumors 6502a

    Maserati7200

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    11230, Midwood, Brooklyn, NY, USA, North America
    #1
    It's mainly the United States that uses the imperial system (miles, inches feet, etc) and some people in the UK, even though the imperial system was invented by the british. I first thought that all of the world besides the USA uses the metric system, until I started watching Top Gear (a show from the United Kingdom, a great show, watch it) when I noticed that they used the imperial system on that show. It seemed like that was the native usage. But other people I talk to say that they use the metric system in the UK, and some youtube video I watched with British reporting used the metric system. So I want to ask the British/Irish first hand (and I know we have a lot of people from the UK on this forum): what do you use, what is more common in your country. KTHXLOVEUALLBYE
     
  2. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #2
    I use both, but I always say miles. None of my friends or family use kilometres. Inches, miles, ounces, centimetres, pounds, Sterling, Euros, yey long, so big, furlong, over thuuur.
     
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #3
    I mix them as I was raised in the transition period here in Canada but lived in the UK for years. My children tend to use metric and my wife imperial since she's British.
     
  4. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #4
    We drink and drive in Imperial…
    You forgot stone.
    ;)
     
  5. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #5
    The speed limits and road signs are all imperial, so that's what we use. :)

    It would cost a bloody fortune to change everything over so it's best left as it is.
     
  6. davidjearly macrumors 68020

    davidjearly

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #6
    For roads at least:

    Great Britain (Scotland, England, Wales & N. Ireland) = Imperial
    Republic of Ireland = Metric
     
  7. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #7
    But the Republic of Ireland isn't in the UK. Perhaps Scotland can go metric on it's roads when you get your independence. ;)
     
  8. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    An octopus's garden
    #8
    Officially for speed it's miles per hour, but defying all logic you buy petrol in litres, salami in grams (or kilos should you be so inclined), temperature in centigrade... There was a transition period in the 90s between imperial and metric but for whatever reason speed and distance did not join the club.
     
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #9
    I thought we were confused in Canada (Imperial/Metric) - but it sounds like the UK is even more so.... When we were imperial we had the added confusion of needing to specify an imperial or American gallon (about a 20% difference, so sometimes it was important to know).

    I would have thought the UK was more metricized being so close to the EU, oh well.
     
  10. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #10
    Unofficially, we use imperial for just about everything. Miles, feet, inches, pounds. Officially, it's miles for the roads, then a mixture of imperial and metric for other stuff (loose goods that need weighing for example, you can ask for it in pounds or kilos). But no one uses metric, we all hate Europe (seriously).
     
  11. macdim macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    Canada has it right in this area. Metric just makes more sense. Younger Canadians don't even know imperial units anymore besides the yard (for golfers). Height and weight continue to be imperial in everyday conversation, but in official documents, everything is metric.
     
  12. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #12
    Fortunately, we have embraced the metric system for engineering since the early 1980's.

    Shudders at the distant memories of working in 64ths of an inch. :eek:
     
  13. Pixellated macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #13
    We use a mixture, really. We use miles commonly, but then we also use metres, litres in petrol stations and drinks are in ml too.
     
  14. philbeeney macrumors 6502

    philbeeney

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2004
    Location:
    Brampton, ON
    #14
    So you order a .57 litre of beer at the pub. I just stick with a pint. :D
     
  15. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #15
    No, it's still pints in the pub but canned beer is metric.

    Fizzy pop comes in 2 litre bottles. Milk is sold in pints and litres. Eggs are still sold by the dozen (or half dozen).

    It's totally mixed up but seems to make sense. :D
     
  16. remmy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #16
    What measure do they use in the rest of Europe when ordering beer?
     
  17. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #17
    In Ireland they still use the pint for beer but in mainland Europe it's metric.

    You usually get beer served in a half litre (500ml) glass, which is smaller than a UK pint but larger than a US pint. Unless you are in Germany where they serve it by the litre.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #18
    And as evidenced by the photo, you can fill about 140 litre glasses from a 100 litre barrel :mad:
     
  19. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    An octopus's garden
    #19
    If only your neighbors to the south could try making sense. :D
     
  20. StruckANerve macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Rio Rancho, NM
    #20
    I've never heard the term "Imperial" before. I always thought it was referred to as "Standard". Maybe that's just a car thing. I have to say I hate the imperial system with a passion. It's idiotic and ridiculously over complicated. It also annoys me that I have to have 2 sets of tools.
     
  21. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #21
    Imperial came about from the British Weights and Measures Act of 1824. Since the US had already split from the Empire since then, they stayed with the older "Standard". One of the biggest differences is in the measure of a gallon which is 4.546 liters in the imperial system but only 3.785 in the standard system.
     
  22. afd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #22
    It is really confusing over here. I'd rather we went one way or the other. Drinks in pubs are pints for beer and ml for wine/spirits. On the roads we have miles and we still have miles per gallon but we buy fuel in litres. Wood and other materials are sold in feet/inches but converted to mm, I.e. A four x eight sheet of ply is sold as 2440 x 1220…
    The schools only teach metric units, and have done so for as long as I can remember, and I'm 42 so the people that know imperial as their first units of measurement must be in the minority by now, so why we still persist imperial I don't know.
     
  23. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #23
    When I was in the US a few months ago I was dumbfounded by liquids apparently being sold in ounces until they hit a litre, at which point they switch to litres :rolleyes:
     
  24. Maserati7200 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Maserati7200

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    11230, Midwood, Brooklyn, NY, USA, North America
    #24
    I've never understood that. Only Milk and orange juice cartons are sold in quarts, half gallons, and gallons. Water is also sold in 1, 3, and 5 gallon bottles.
     
  25. StruckANerve macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Rio Rancho, NM
    #25
    Lol, It has to be some conspiracy.
     

Share This Page