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Posted by Lotg on October 13, 2004

In Reply to: Victims of conversion posted by Lotg on October 13, 2004

: As I child I grew up using Pounds Sterling as currency (errr.... well no as a child, I was more likely to have threepence - pronounced throopence with a short 'oo' - I never had more than 2 shillings on me at any one time - and if I did, I was filthy rich), and I had to learn Imperial measurements at school.

: In 1966 (when I was 9), our currency was converted to decimal. And much later, in the early 70's I think (not sure about the date), our Imperial measurements were converted to metric.

: But there were many sayings and slang terms that evolved based on the old currency and measurements. Some have lingered and some haven't.

: eg. Yesterday it was really hot. It reached 38deg Celsius (thank goodness I live in the Mountains, only 28C here). Hottest day on record for that date in Spring. My 11 year-old stepdaughter phoned for a chat and I said to her "it reached the ton in Sydney today" and she had no idea what I was talking about. Because in the 'old speak', 38C was 100F. We also used to say things like, "the Holden can do 0 to the ton in 60 seconds" (highly unlikely probably) - which meant 0 to 100 mph. But now because we're metric, it would be no achievement to reach 100kph.

: Use of the word 'ton' like that seems to have dropped away here, because for a start we don't have 'tons' any more, we have 'tonnes' and secondly most metric measurements do seem to end that tidily. We also used to say, if we had 2 shillings, that we had 2 bob. Some of us older people still say that when we're holding a 20c coin, because the coins are pretty much the same size and feel the same. But again, my stepdaughter has no idea what a Bob is. She'd probably say it was Bob the Builder.

: But other sayings like "the penny dropped", still linger.

: I was wondering if anyone can offer any other legacies like these of bygone currencies, measurement standards and eras?

: And what other countries have undergone such currency conversions within the last 50 years?

In a previous paragraph I said "most metric measurements do seem to end that tidily". That was an early morning - pre coffee typo. It should have read "most metric measurements do NOT seem to end that tidily"