The people of North America (possibly South America and Canada as well, I’m not sure) have it figured out. They use what I’d call imperial measurements: good old pounds and ounces.
Here in Britain, it’s a different matter. There’s some confusion as to what we use.
Here’s a packet of out of date bacon I found festering at the back of the fridge:
There are 385 grams of bacon in here. But I asked for a pound of bacon. The lady behind the counter isn’t supposed to weigh in pounds, but she does her best to weigh it as close to 500kg as she can, which is as near enough to a pound as she can get with the way the bacon is cut. Actually, I got 0.85 pounds of bacon. Still, I’m not fussy when it comes to food.
Shops here aren’t allowed by the law to sell in pounds and ounces any longer, thanks to the the EEC (European Economic Community)
But a lot still do, and they can get fined pretty heavily for it.
Soon we’ll lose our precious pint and have to buy half a litre of beer instead, which is a con. A pint being 0.585 litre, we’ll lose 85 millilitres yet the price will stay the same which is actually increasing it, if you know what I mean.
So, stick to your pounds and ounces if that’s what you use. It’s much easier and probably why we still weigh in imperial when we shouldn’t.
But just one thing: what does this have to do with economy of words?
“My cousin weighs two hundred and eighty pounds.”
“My cousin weighs twenty stones.”
See how better the second quote reads. And the unit of stone works with pounds (lbs) There are four syllables less in that second sentence.
Of course, you could just say, “My cousin weighs two-eighty.” But that confuses us Brits.
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