I’ve always been fond of the old line that “There are two kinds of countries in the world: those that use the metric system, and those that have been to the moon.” Heh. The American disdain for the metric system is one of those little tics that cosmopolite liberals like to point to as just one of many reasons for their contempt for America and its citizens. (They never seem to have the imagination to exploit the cognitive dissonance that might be had from gunowners’ acceptance of 9 mm ammunition.)
I like to embrace the fact that the comparison of Canada and the United States back in the 1970s is a perfect example of American exceptionalism in action. Canada, an Anglo-Commonwealth country, settled originally at the same time and by the same people who colonized what became the United States, acquired some of its historic character at the time of the American revolution, when many Tory loyalists moved there. When the world decided to move to the metric system in the 1970s, Canada followed Britain in easily making the change. Because that’s what Canadians are like. But we stubborn Americans rejected the idea, despite Jimmy Carter’s support for it. I can still recall some metric/imperial unit distance signs appearing on some interstate highways in the mid-1970s. They didn’t last long.
Well guess what? The American disdain for the metric system may be spreading overseas. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning:
English Vigilantes Use Ladders, Sticky Letters to Exterminate the Metric System: Members of The Active Resistance to Metrication launch ‘raids,’ brave arrest to convert signs to imperial measures
. . . Mr. Bennett is a member of Active Resistance to Metrication, a tiny group that has for years been pushing England to go back to its old weights and measures. . . . In a YouGov PLC poll after the Brexit vote, 45% preferred produce sold in pounds and ounces while 39% wanted it in kilos. Most over 50 wanted imperial measurements; those between 18 and 24 preferred metric. . .
The group said it has changed about 3,000 signs since it formed in 2001—most still in place, it said—and writes to local officials where signs are metric. Members use imperial-inspired code names including “Yardstick” and “Wun Tun.”
They sometimes distribute leaflets at markets reminding traders they can label produce in imperial units alongside metric and have written clothing companies urging them to use imperial units only in catalogs.
Movement toward metrication threatens to erode British culture, said Stephen Dixon, 56, a supporter of the Active Resistance to Metrication and a member of a sister group, the British Weights and Measures Association, which opposes compulsory metric-system use.
Looks like more #winning for the Brexiteers and global Trumpism.