Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The legacy of Empire

Imperial [im-peer-ee-uhl] : Of, like, or pertaining to an empire. Of or belonging to the British Imperial System of weights and measures.

I was disappointed to watch Mr Obama's inaugural speech yesterday to see he had missed something that would be high on my agenda, up there with the world financial crisis (which has its own logo on BBC news) and the war in Iraq (which thankfully doesn't).

I'm calling for the immediate abolishment of Imperial measurements. They are clunky, ugly, unintuitive, awkward, cumbersome and antiquated. Only a few weeks ago I was an opinionated bystander on this subject, but having recently prepared our first set of Imperial models for our Revit test I feel a little more qualified. All I can say is three cheers to France and Europe for the metric system, who dragged us Brits into the modern world by the scruffs of our necks in the 70's and 80's prior to the advent of mass computerisation.

But perhaps it's too late for America? Is it now so ingrained that 'going metric' is near-impossible? May be, but perhaps the White House should consider the origin of Imperial measurements, as implied by the name.

They were established by the British Empire in 1824, a full nine years before the abolition of slavery, and 48 years after American independence. Surely Mr Obama would like to shake off this legacy?

By the way, here's a smiley face in case you think I'm serious :)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why not know both forms of measurement?

I've worked with a Developer who used Imperial for domestic projects and metric for international. Using microstation and autocad.

Gregory USA