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Words, Dec. 13

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When the pubs can't serve pints, the apes will leave Gibraltar, or something like that:

The Associated Press reports from Brussels — “The European Parliament voted Thursday to allow Britain and Ireland to keep some of their old imperial measurements so pubs can still serve pints and road signs can show miles instead of kilometers.”

Good for the European Parliament. The British and Irish need their pints. And changing “miles” to “kilometers” on the road signs would be a catastrophic complication for motorists, who're already required to drive on the wrong side of the road.

The USA doesn't belong to the European Parliament, or any other organization that could force the metric system on free Americans. The big international corporations tried it back in the '70s and were quickly and forcefully rebuffed. A miss is still as good as a mile in this country, and an ounce of prevention still worth a pound of cure. We still use yardsticks, and we still buy milk by the quart and tomatoes by the pound. One major-league baseball team, misjudging public resistance to the metric system, actually posted metric distances on its outfield walls, in addition to the usual notices of “340 feet” or whatever the appropriate distance was. I think the team was Cincinnati, and the ballpark with the metric distances on the fences has since been torn down.

Woo pie, sooie:

“A new compendium of cliches got plenty of press coverage last week, with many papers reporting its claim that the famous football chant “Who Ate All The Pies” surprisingly dates back to 1894. ‘The Cat's Pajamas: The Penguin Book of Cliches' puts forward the case that the chant, to the tune of Knees Up Mother Brown, was first aimed at Sheffield United goalkeeper William ‘Fatty' Foulke by his own supporters in the days of Queen Victoria. The 6ft 7in, 24-stone behemoth was a famous sporting figure at the turn of the century, also playing for Chelsea and England as well as cricket for Derbyshire.” — The Scotsman, Nov. 18, 2007

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