Go decimal, at last (John Scholtz)

It strikes me as rather silly, some would call it the height of craziness, that a small country like Britain still pours its milk into little plastic containers with sizes belonging to two different systems.

Some milk, like milk everywhere else in the developed world, awaits the customer in a one-litre bottle (which equals 1,000cc), while other milk seems to prefer a visually similar bottle containing 1,136cc, no less. Two pints, you see. If you go for the half-size bottles, the difference dwindles to 68cc.

The madness culminates when one and the same dairy, for instance the one at Gremista, persists in turning out both pint-system and litre-system bottles. What is the point? A history lesson? The oil companies, although perhaps adept at fiddling in other ways, have given up fiddling with pints and gallons in the distant past.

Forty years ago the guinea, the crown and the sixpence were thrown out. The pint might well have been dealt with in a similar way, or just kept in name, for a half litre of bitter.

Come to think of it, how many feet go into a mile again? Sorry, into a statute mile.

John Scholtz
Bridge of Walls.


Add Your Comment
  • Andy Holt

    • June 16th, 2011 11:01

    In answer to John Scholtz, 1760 feet to the mile. Every red blooded Englishman, Irishman and Scot understands “lets go for a pint”. I have yet to hear lets go for a half litre! Long may the memory of measurements imperial persist, because when the euro finally crashes and burns as it surely will, we can return to the relative sanity of the d-mark, drachma, franc and so forth and the euro project will be just a nightmare memory.

  • Ron Stronach

    • June 23rd, 2011 12:17

    Here here,

  • Colin Hunter

    • June 23rd, 2011 16:56

    Nearly there Andy! It’s 1760 YARDS in a mile (5280 feet), and a nautical mile is eqivalent to one minute of longitude at the equator, approximately 2025 yards (6067 feet). There are other definitions of this as the earth isn’t exactly spherical, being a bit “squashed” at the poles.
    The whole system of weights and measures, Both Imperial and SI, appears to be based on the weight of water. A gallon of water weighs 10lb, making a pint “a pound and a quarter” or 20 Floz. 1 Litre of water weighs 1 Kg, a metric Tonne being 1 cubic metre (1000ltres) of (Fresh) water.
    The Americans, on the other hand, deem a pint to be 16 Floz, making their “gallon” only 6.4 of our pints. So when you hear about them paying so much less than us per “gallon” of “gas” take heart in the fact they’re not getting as much! Still a lot cheaper than ours though! I can’t remember who said that the war was won in lbs & ozs, feet & inches, but if it was good enough for Churchill, it’s good enough for me! We can always celebrate the demise of the Euro with a 1/2 litre! I mean PINT!


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.