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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 07 Apr 2017, 21:08 
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That's even worse than me never being able to figure out what language I am supposed to be speaking when in Brussels. Normally end up mumbling in Italian.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 07 Apr 2017, 21:49 
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Does EBD ever mention time differences? It's only an hour between the UK and Austria and Switzerland, but I've known even an hour's difference to cause confusion (especially if people are getting connecting flights and get confused over whether the times on their tickets are in UK time or CET). You'd think there'd have been at least one girl whose watch was still on UK time and thought she had an extra hour to spend getting bread rolls with black cherry jam and "washing her hands" in the station facilities :D.

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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 07 Apr 2017, 22:27 
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Alison H wrote:
Does EBD ever mention time differences? It's only an hour between the UK and Austria and Switzerland, but I've known even an hour's difference to cause confusion (especially if people are getting connecting flights and get confused over whether the times on their tickets are in UK time or CET). You'd think there'd have been at least one girl whose watch was still on UK time and thought she had an extra hour to spend getting bread rolls with black cherry jam and "washing her hands" in the station facilities :D.

No, I can't recall any instances which is a bit surprising when you consider that she must have experienced it personally on her visit to the Achensee.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 08 Apr 2017, 15:33 
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thefrau46 wrote:
Alison H wrote:
Does EBD ever mention time differences? It's only an hour between the UK and Austria and Switzerland, but I've known even an hour's difference to cause confusion (especially if people are getting connecting flights and get confused over whether the times on their tickets are in UK time or CET). You'd think there'd have been at least one girl whose watch was still on UK time and thought she had an extra hour to spend getting bread rolls with black cherry jam and "washing her hands" in the station facilities :D.

No, I can't recall any instances which is a bit surprising when you consider that she must have experienced it personally on her visit to the Achensee.

But she's writing for young girls. Would they have been interested in the mechanics of summer/winter time?

I must say, though, she could have exploited the different time zones for some interesting, funny, even disastrous mishaps.

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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 11 Apr 2017, 12:27 
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There's a cookery class in Ruey where the flour measurement is given as 'two hectogrammes.' (A hectogram/me =100 grams/grammes)

Firstly, would it have been spelled as -grams or -grammes? Secondly, wouldn't it have been easier to say '200 grams', especially when some of the students would be working in an unfamiliar system?

I studied engineering in Australia (which 'went metric' in the early 1970s), and as a lot of equipment and textbooks come from the USA where the Imperial system reigns supreme, I quickly learned how to do the conversions from Imperial to SI.

Edit: I've checked Ruey (GGBP p. 139) and the cookery class was on a Wednesday, so they should have been speaking English.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 11 Apr 2017, 14:26 
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bythebrook wrote:
There's a cookery class in Ruey where the flour measurement is given as 'two hectogrammes.' (A hectogram/me =100 grams/grammes)

Firstly, would it have been spelled as -grams or -grammes? Secondly, wouldn't it have been easier to say '200 grams', especially when some of the students would be working in an unfamiliar system?



They were "grammes" and "kilogrammes" when I started using them. I feel (sniffily) that "gram" is an Americanisation along with "program" for "programme"...


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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 11 Apr 2017, 15:10 
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I quite agree :lol: . I am constantly changing "program" to "programme"!

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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 11 Apr 2017, 21:55 
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Alison H wrote:
I quite agree :lol: . I am constantly changing "program" to "programme"!


Try living in Canada, Alison H, or anyone else who does battle with this and similar differences between US English and UK English spellings! When we first moved here, most people still used UK English, but over the last 10-15 years, US English spellings have gained more and more ascendancy, until even people I know who come from the UK have given up trying to insist on UK spellings. :( I personally think it's a shame, but I suspect I'm in a minority.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 11 Apr 2017, 22:02 
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When I am in the butchers, I would not dream of asking for something as part of a kilo. I still use lbs.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 11 Apr 2017, 23:33 
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Most of our customers ask in metric, but we do get some (mostly older people) who ask in imperial. Our scales will do both so provided you know roughly what the ratio for converting is you're fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2017, 07:58 
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I assume metric measurements are being taught in schools now, because Number One Nephew helpfully informed me yesterday how much he weighs in kilos, and looked at me like I was mad when I had to work out how much that was in stones and pounds.

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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2017, 11:57 
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I was taught both at school, like most of my generation and having lived in Spain for 11 years, I am comfortable using either.

When I go to get weighed, the scales are in kilos, but the leader uses a chart to convert it to stones/pounds for most people. From observation of a small group (around 12, though its consituency has changed over time), most people seem prefer to have the answer in imperial. The age group is roughly 20s to early 60s - I'm probably one of the oldest in the group.

She offered to convert my weight for me, but I said I didn't need it.

Slightly OTT, but I've just remembered something that happened whilst I was living in Spain. In 1992, Spain, along with many EU countries, adopted the Euro. I remember that the first time I used an ATM after the changeover, I drew out about twice as much as I intended, because I calculated the exchange rate wrongly. Fortunately, I had enough money in my account to cover it!

It may not have helped that I'd just been to the UK for Christmas and the Euro was introduced on January 1st.

I wonder how the girls/school coped with the different currencies and exchange rates in the Tyrol and Swiss years, although generally speaking it would affect the school more than the individual pupils, apart from travelling and excursions.

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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2017, 12:13 
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Austria replaced kroner with schillings in (thank you, Wikipedia!) March 1925. Madge pays Rufus's original owners with kroner notes in Jo of (which was published later than 1925, but presumably EBD wasn't aware of the change of currency), and then I think the first mention of schillings is in Eustacia, when Robin talks about donating schillings to help fund one of the free beds at the San. And then the schilling was replaced by the German mark after the Anschluss. So the locals must all have been horrendously confused, and the non-Austrians, trying to convert from pounds/dollars/francs/lire to Austrian currency and then finding the Austrian currency being changed, even more so :roll:!

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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2017, 12:23 
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I find metric far easier to cope with than imperial. The one area in which this is not true is that of dolls houses and miniatures where working in twelfth scale means that one inch equals one foot. Wonderfully easy to deal with - a six foot man becomes six inches in the miniature world.

As opposed to 1.82 metres turning into 15.2cm :shock:

I remember the first time a present-day teenager joined our miniatures group and was totally unable to deal with inches. The rest of us stared at her in horror.

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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2017, 14:08 
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I'm 33 and most people in my age group seem to work in a mixture of inches and centimeters depending on what is most convenient. Personally I would cheerfully go to a builder's merchant and ask for a piece of wood a foot wide and a meter long. But with weights we all work on metric.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2017, 19:05 
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I went to live in France six months after decimal currency was introduced here, and had serious trouble when I came back for visits reacquainting myself with the "new" coins! I also learned to cook and think in metric, which I still do, by choice; plus we visit the EU so frequently that I don't ever lose it. My phone and our satnav automatically change units to the most appropriate ones. And I think I'm even managing to cope with the tinier cent coins that come with the euro!

I do wish that foreign card-readers would read contactless cards from other countries, though - such a bore having to remember, although it is, of course, cheaper to pay using cash when possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2017, 23:29 
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We're completely metric here in Australia and that was one of the more harder things is how much both the US and UK deal with the old system. The only thing I think the old way has persisted is birth weight; everyone still announces or says what it is in pounds and ounces. The hospital even gives both weights to you i.e. small son was 2.75kg and 6lbs and 1 oz. Height was only given in cm. It's much more common for height to given in feet and inches than in cm when people are older, mainly if they're 6ft or more

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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 18 Apr 2017, 19:27 
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Like exile, I'm in my late 20s and will happily skip between the two systems (although I'm pretty sure I only learned Metric at school). As a scientist who works with a lot of Europeans I tend to lean towards metric for most things anyway, except height and (body) weight. I used to live in America and the most confusing thing I found is that the 'English system' used in the States is not completely identical to the Imperial system used in the UK!

Of course American scientists will still use metric. I could not imagine doing scientific calculations in imperial. That said, my grandmother, who qualified as a pharmacist in the late 1940s, must have had to deal with that.

In the CS, if a Maths lesson was on a German day would they have done the lesson in Metric? It must have been very confusing for both European and American girls.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 18 Apr 2017, 19:47 
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PigRescuer wrote:
In the CS, if a Maths lesson was on a German day would they have done the lesson in Metric? It must have been very confusing for both European and American girls.
I'm not sure that's ever specified. I do remember that at some point in one of the Swiss books someone asks what the French word for an inch is, and Len says "Un pouce".


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 Post subject: Re: Use of imperial and metric measures?
PostPosted: 19 Apr 2017, 16:44 
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PigRescuer wrote:
Of course American scientists will still use metric. I could not imagine doing scientific calculations in imperial. That said, my grandmother, who qualified as a pharmacist in the late 1940s, must have had to deal with that.


When I studied chemical engineering, we had to work in both Imperial and metric, and e.g. know the differences between UK and US gallons, even though I lived in a metric country. The USA definitely used Imperial measures, not metric. It would have been much easier if the whole world had standardised on one system.

I did learn how to do accurate conversions, though!

One oddity of the Imperial system that l have used is to ask people "What weighs more, a pound of gold or a pound of feathers?" followed by "What weighs more, an ounce of gold or a ounce of feathers?"

Answers: A pound of feathers weighs more than a pound of gold, because feathers are measured in avoirdupois pounds (454g) and gold in troy pounds (373g).

A troy ounce of gold (31.1g) weighs more than an avoirdupois ounce of feathers (28.3g).


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