After all, diversity has always been part of England’s undeniable allure: driving to the left, kept the pound and defended, while everyone else yielded the euro, up to the more common daily ritual of tea instead of coffee. And now Brexit has provided a major restoration to Boris Johnson’s government: a farewell to the metric system imposed by the European Union two decades ago, and a return to imperial measures, that is, the pound (pound) and ounce (ounce). In markets, fruits and vegetables would no longer weigh in kilograms, or hectograms, to which so many old-guarded shoppers were reluctantly accustomed. We will return to the past that no one in these parts has ever forgotten, because it has never really been abandoned.
In recent decades the imperial system has run parallel to the decimal system. Introduced by the British Weights and Measures Act of 1824, it was used throughout the British Empire until the late 19th century. And the United Kingdom continued to use it despite European regulations, thanks to an ad-hoc exception for Queen Elizabeth’s subjects: goods could, along with decimal measures, report to the imperial system.
The restoration of royal measures is a promise made by Boris Johnson in the days of his settlement in Downing Street, and some even see it as a posthumous victory for Steve Thoburn, who went down in history as the “Martyr of the Matrix”. was gone. which six were condemned Sentenced months in prison for selling a bunch of bananas for pounds instead of gram. Johnson, who was then editor of the conservative weekly, Spectator, spoke out against the “monstrous” approach of “forcing the British to use Napoleonic measures”. Now the revenge has come.
In road distance, the metric system never made its way into Anglo-Saxon culture. The length of roads has always been expressed in miles (one mile: 1,609 metres) and not in kilometers. A mutual imprecision: in most of Europe and certainly in Italy almost everyone has to resort to tables – now Google is helping – to convert inches (25.4 millimeters) and feet (304.8 millimeters). But in the imperial system, when it comes to length, there are also arm (101.6 mm), span (228.6 mm), elbow or arm (457.2 mm), then yard or yard (equivalent to three feet). 914 mm), arm (two yards), bar (5 m), chain (20 m) furlong (201 m). And what about the mass measurement system: the fixed point ounce (28.3 grams) and the pound, equal 16 ounces (453 grams). Before and after wheat (1/7000 of a pound, or 64 milligrams), drachma (an eighth of an ounce), stone (14 pounds), quarter (2 stone), hundred weight (4 quart, about 51 peppers) and Tall ton, almost a ton.
And the royal crown emblem on beer mugs would also date back to English pubs, a system introduced in 1699 to establish how far a glass must be filled in order to reach a pint (in 2006 it was introduced by European was replaced by the less poetic CE mark of conformity). The pint is used to measure capacity, and corresponds to 568 milliliters. Of course, when it comes to beer, the pint is also used in the rest of the world and in Italy, where glasses are usually filled with up to 400ml. The classic “Zeroquaranta” has always been improperly stated – at this point it must be said – pint, when it was in fact missing 168ml for this to happen.
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