A storm in a measuring cup


In all my years on Twitter, I have never been involved in such a storm. Yes, I have had spats over politics, who hasn’t? Most of the time these have been short yet intense, usually resulting in people getting abusive and giving up. 

I try never to be abusive or rude on Twitter. In my opinion this just inflames the argument and when I see people getting abusive at me then I feel that they have lost their ability to argue. There is just no need for it.

My latest Twitter storm had nothing to do with politics, though deep down it may well have, but rather to do with metrication, a subject I never knew there was so much vitriol about. 

It all started following a tweet from the UK Metric Association saying ‘Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their baby boy. Thank you @BBCNews for reporting the birth weight of the #royalbaby in modern measurement units #metricsystem.’

Someone then added that ‘Trouble with @BBCNews doing that. @UKmetric, is that millions of people can’t work out (from metric weights)whether the baby is the size of a small elephant or a large tomato. That’s why market traders, scared off using customary measures, often sell fruit and veg in ‘bowls’.’

And I innocently (at least I thought at the time) responded with ‘It’s so easy. A cubic centimetre of water weighs 1 gram, a litre of water is 10cm x 10cm x 10cm and weighs a kilo, a cubic metre of water weighs a tonne.’

Well it all blew up from there. I was accused of being improperly educated, deranged and a zealot. I was reminded of the Babylonians, Hindus, the numbers of digits and knuckles we have and all other sorts of useful but irrelevant information. 

It’s so easy to get sucked into these kinds of meaningless arguments on Twitter.

I go back to my point though, it is not the measurement that I like about the metric system but rather the relationship between the measurements. It is so much easier to remember and calculate.

I am sorry if this offends you.

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