Yesterday, our Spanish teacher alluded to the quirkiness of the British. Initially, he was talking about the way that Britain cannot decide whether it wants to be part of Europe or not. As he pointed out, successive governments seem to change their minds about this important issue.
It is not just belonging or not to Europe though that sets Britain apart from the rest of the continent. In many other ways, Britain stands on its own; Brits drive on the wrong side of the road, the electricity plugs and light bulbs are different to the rest of Europe and most important, the country still uses a strange mixture of imperial and metric units. Oh yes and let’s not forget the currency! Stubborn refusal to adopt the Euro costs British business a fortune.
Having both systems of measurement in use has caused a lot of problems for schools who moved to teaching metric units a good few years ago. Now they are told that they must improve children’s understanding of the old imperial units because they are still used widely on roads, to measure height and for basic goods like milk. That means that children will have the daunting task of learning complicated conversions between e.g. miles and kilometres. Why - just to be different for difference sake?