DON'T LET PART OF OUR HERITAGE GET STEAMROLLERED
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DON'T LET PART OF OUR HERITAGE GET STEAMROLLERED
You should not have to defend your right to keep your heritage
If you are comfortable with miles, feet and inches, tons, pounds and ounces, gallons and quarts, that is enough, you do not have to justify yourself. You use it. You like it you want to keep it. But make your opinion known. Metricators are trying to get rid of our way of measuring.
Where a metric unit exists along with a standard American equivalent, neither one nor the other is more accurate. In 1959, all countries using sharing traditional units such as inches, feet, miles etc. decided that an inch would be defined as 25.4 mm exactly (or 1 cm = 1/2.54 inch). Other traditional units were similar defined (1 pound = 453.59237 g - or 1 kg = 1/0.45359237 pounds exactly). This means that American units are as standardized and as accurate as any metric unit.
As for evidence of this, consider the fact that man was put on the Moon, a task requiring almost unimaginable accuracy and precision, using American units. If you think that that is out of date ... the Space Shuttle Program runs with American units ... as does every Boeing coming off the assembly line today.
Decimals and Fractions
Metricators will sometimes say that decimals are more accurate than fractions. There are a couple of responses to this. One is "So?". If instead of saying half an inch someone wants to say 0.5 inches, fine, let them. Or is someone wants to write a figure down as 0.341 ounces. Decimals and fractions are not mutually exclusive, they are both useful and available for use. There are cases where one is better than the other. If something is 0.197 inches long, many may prefer to write 0.197 than 197/1000. Conversely, many may prefer to write (or say) 1/3 (one third) of an inch (or centimeter!) than 0.3333333... (zero point three three three three repeated). The use of both fractions and decimals is appropriate to either system. Except for two facts...
Given the base ten myth (see next paragraph) the metric system does not enjoy some magical advantage when compared to the American system. The American system is decimal friendly. On the other hand, the fact that 12 and 16 can be more easily divided into convenient fractions does mean that the American system is more fraction friendly than the metric system ... read on ...
The Base 10 Myth
The fact that metric units are base ten in fact has virtually no relevance either to day to day life or to scientific and engineering manipulation. This is because conversion between units of the same dimension (e.g. centimeters to kilometers) is rarely necessary or useful. Just consider practical experience. If you are working in a unit, say miles or kilometers, you stay with that unit. So if a distance is 121.5 miles you do not also think that it is 213,400 yards any more than you think that 121.25 kilometers is also 121,250 m. Also, if you must travel 294 miles from one town to another and then 35 miles onwards to a third town, the fact that the metric system uses base 10 for inter-unit conversions does not make the calculation 294 miles +35 miles=329 miles any easy than if it had been 294 kilometers + 35 kilometers = 329 kilometers.
Even so, ironically enough, if you want to convert between units, we today can do it much more easily than our ancestors because of technology. If American measurements are so complicated how did our parents and grandparents and their ancestors survive when they did not even have calculators. Now, we have far more powerful technical mathematical tools than previous generations had - calculators, computers etc. Interestingly, none of these machines use base 10. Without getting to technical, the reason that these tools are non-decimal is because base 10 is a poor system of calculation. This is because it can be divided by relative few other numbers - 1, 2, 5 and 10 - without giving a fractional/decimal result. Half of ten is 5. Beyond that it gets messy. Half of 5 is 2.5. Half of 2,5 is 1.25 and so on. 12 is better. It can be divided neatly by 1,2,3,4,6 and 12. And dividing by 2 gives us 6 and then 3. 16, found in our weight and volume units, is even better - prime factors 1,2,4,8 and 16 and dividing by 2 gives us 8, 4, 2, 1 etc. This is the binary system used by computers!
This points to advantages of manipulation in many American units since when we work with amounts we often manipulate in terms of halves, quarters and even thirds. To be sure of being objective, think of situations free of American or metric units. Sharing out a cake. Dividing up a document so that it fits on a diskette. Folding a piece of paper. More often than not divisions with which we are comfortable, halves, thirds, quarters come into play. Divisions out of which our customary system of measurement has grown. Half a foot is 6 inches, a quarter is 3 inches a third is 4 inches. Half a meter is 50 centimeters, a quarter is 25 centimeters and a third is 33.3333.... centimeters. Take your pick.
There is a simple piece of empirical evidence that points to the fact that the entire world can handle units that are not in base ten ... Time. Nowhere are there 100 seconds in a minute, 100 minutes in an hour and 10 hours in a day etc. And yet the world manages to tell time and to calculate time-related problems.
Temperature is a particularly interesting case. This is because we do not convert between different scales of units of temperature (i.e. we do not speak in millidegrees of Petadegrees etc.). Thus, base ten enters the Centigrade/Celsius system only in that there are 10 times 10 degrees between the freezing and boiling point of water. This is an utterly arbitrary way of fixing the size of a degree. In fact, under SI, water freezes at 273.16 K. Furthermore, since the size of a degree Fahrenheit is smaller that that of a degree Centigrade, when describing the temperature around us Fahrenheit is more accurate!
Human Scale of American Units
Another factor is that our customary units are simply more human because they are developed in reference to the scale of the human body. An excellent example of this is length where a foot and an inch are directly derived from lengths found on our own bodies. To see how we scale the world, take a look on you desk. Most of the items will be on the scale of inches to a foot. Centimeters - an arbitrarily-defined unit - are too small - meters are too big, and millimeters are far too small. This does not mean that meters are centimeters are bad but simply shows some of the advantages of our customary units. Indeed, these advantages are implicitly acknowledged by the fact that we are talking about the metric system. The accepted standard international system is SI, Système International (see below), in which centimeters are not used, but instead meters or millimeters take their place. But because the centimeter is nearer the convenient and comfortable scale of an inch, it lives on.
Consider Canada. A supposedly metric country )more on this below!). In a country of so much wood and wooden buildings, carpentry plays a vital role. In engineering drawings dimensions are given in millimeters (not centimeters which are considered non-standard, see below). Almost without exception carpenters, including those who have had entirely metric education, that I have spoken to say that the fact that the millimeter is so small means that they are constantly working with very large numbers that I hard to manipulate and hard to visualize. (Remember the fact that the metric system uses base 10 is virtually irrelevant since most calculations are not conversions between units but simply calculations like 1 234 mm + 2 437 mm or 0.2 × 4 351 mm). What do these carpenters do? They ask the draftsmen to supply copies of all drawings in "Imperial", i.e. inches and feet. Easy to visualize, easy to work with.
The fact that our units have different names for different scales of experience - for example we say six feet two inches and two pounds four ounces, reflects the fact that the human brain is better able to manipulate figures that are of a manageable scale. The metric equivalents, 198 centimeters and 1002 grams (or 1.02 kilograms) are numbers that are more difficult to visualize. (Under the metric system, you do not say 1 meter and 98 centimeters or 1 kilogram and 2 grams.)
Forced Change in Perspective
We have had plenty of time to choose the units we want for different applications. We have adapted them the way our minds work. Metric units, which are imposed, often have a conceptually different basis. Take grain from farms for example. We measure this in bushels. A bushel is a unit of capacity. Our unit is based on the amount of space that the grain occupies. However, in metricated countries, the unit is the kilogram a unit of mass (not weight!). Conceptually, and abstractly, in the grain example, this refers to the amount of matter that makes up the grain. Perhaps you thought that a kilogram measured weight? No. The unit of weight in the metric system is the Newton (or sometimes, the dyne). Like I said, the concepts in the metric system are different. Very often they are less practical because the units did not evolve out of human experience (see below).
Awkward Impractical Names
The naming system of the metric system is systematic but repetitive. Humans find words that are distinct easier to store. The metric system does not lend itself to this. In fact, the reason that non-standard names have evolved for metric units is to increase the contrast and thus memorability of different units. For example, kilogram and kilometer are often referred to as kilo and click respectively. The fact that the names for metric units are unremarkable and confusing is simply because they were artificially created; they did not evolve over time from human experience.
In many cases, the abstractness of the names means that any feel of what they actually mean is lost. For example, under the metric system, the unit of pressure is the Pascal. The traditional unit is pound per square inch. Clearly, the traditional unit is clearer to visualize it is more practical.
Traditional recipes use units such as cups, tablespoons and teaspoons. This are units are readily visualized and are based on utensils in our homes. Metric recipes use milliliters and grams. Unfortunately for cooks, these are abstract concepts invented by scientists that are impractical in the kitchen. Let's keep our recipes understandable and practical.
The metric system has been almost wholly created and standardized by male scientists and bureaucrats. At the time, during which women were considerably less liberated than today, woman had virtually no say in the creation and, in many countries, the imposition of these units. Perhaps, if they had, the value of the practical units used in those tasks undertaken by woman at the time would have been recognized.
Practical American Units
These past few points underscore the fact that American units are easier to visualize and that they are more practical in everyday use of everyday people.
Système International/Metric System
Strictly speaking, the international bureaucrats who try to impose measurements on people, do not promote the metric system but the Système International (or "SI"). The difference is that SI excludes many metric units. For example, centimeters are not part of SI. For measurement of distance, millimeters are ok, meters too and also kilometers but not centimeters. The reason centimeters live on is because they are the nearest in size to a convenient length. (No surprise that the inch, which evolved directly from human needs, is a similarly sized unit.)
Interestingly, despite the best efforts of the metric bureaucrats, human nature is not entirely suppressible and the International Committee for Weights and Measures whose toy is the Système Internationale, is constantly revising units. At the same time different countries using metric units show preferences for different, often non-SI units. For example in France, agricultural production is often measure not in kilograms, or grams but in "qx" - metric quintals! In this, our traditional units, standardized by international agreement in 1959 are more stable than metric units.
One World or a World of Traditions
It is often said that the rest of the world uses the metric system so the US must also.
First, taking this point at face value, the following question should be asked: Why? The value of our cultural heritage is vastly more valuable than say putting up signs with bridge heights in meters instead of feet because others do so.
This example comes from some French friends of mine who recently got back from England and told me that they had been disappointed on a recent walk around London to find that various metric direction signs are appearing (including the sign to the restrooms). They said that when they visit England they go for the differences not the similarities with France. They said that they could not understand why the British would lose part of their heritage and way of looking at the world by steamrollering away feet, miles, yards, gallons, pints etc! And they added that if England loses much more of its Englishness, they will not bother going back.
The advantages of our American units is put forward in detail on this site. However, the most fundamental reasons why metrication of the USA (and the UK for that matter) should be stopped in its tracks is because it is an unnecessary destruction of part of our culture and heritage. Moreover, and as the USA is a democracy this point is not unimportant, the vast majority of Americans prefer our American measurements. To unnecessarily change a fundamental aspect of our culture against popular opinion is simply wrong.
The United States Alone? Against Pressure to Conform, Diversity Lives On
It is often said that the United States is the only major country using this system. This is, however, false. Not only are there other countries that still mostly use their traditional units (e.g. United Kingdom - despite propaganda that claims it went metric in 1972), but traditional units live on throughout the World. For example, France, the source of the metric system, uses pouces (inches) for tires In Ecuador, gallons are measured in gallones. In China, distances are often measured in li. And in countries where the Government has attempted to steamroller away traditional units, they live on. Take Canada for example, apartments are measured in square feet, lots in acres, fruit is weighed in pounds, carpentry is done in inches, etc.
Napoleon on Metrication
Some claim that Napoleon deliberately and happily carried the metric system to those parts of Europe that he conquered. In fact, his own feelings on the system were less than complimentary:
The scientists adopted the decimal system on the basis of the metre as unit. Nothing is more contrary to the organization of the mind, memory and imagination. The new system will be a stumbling block and source of difficulties for generations to come. It is just tormenting the people with trivia.
(The French people in fact did not readily take to the matric system. They only seriously began using it when forced to by legislation in the 1840s. Even today certain non-metric units survive in specific applications.)
The Democratic Deficit
It unacceptable that the way we measure, which is fundamental to how we see the world, to our culture and to ourselves, is being attacked without any recourse to the democratic process. It is wrong that there is no public debate, no vote on whether the people want change. If the American people are asked, and a majority say they want the metric system, even though I do not like it, I will have to go with the democratic decision.
But: Who ever asked the American people if they want to have part of their culture erased by metricators?
The Example of the European Union
Popular opinion in the UK is against the metric system, even amongst the young who have had an entirely metric education. This has meant that the UK (and also Ireland) has shown considerable resistance to going metric, something that the European Commission (an unelected, unaccountable bureaucratic body) is pressuring them to do. The European bureaucrats do not appreciate this show of individuality and of disregard for their projects. Thus, the European Union has created a "Directive" that makes it a criminal offense in the UK and Ireland to use traditional units. However, the use of these units is not a criminal offence in any other member of the European Union.
Pressure from the EU to Metricate (or Metrication without Representation)
The European Union is often criticized as being a poor representative of European peoples in that the majority of decisions are taken and enforced by unelected bureacrats and appointees. Incredibly, this same organization is trying to force metrication on the United States!
The European Union is putting pressure on the US to metricate to improve their export edge. We must say no to this metrication without representation. Maybe we should tell them to adopt American units, after all the US economy, per capita, is bigger than the EU's and the US has a greater role in world trade and politics! The paragraph below is taken from a European Parliament report by the German Social Democrat Erika Mann. (The report - and the paragraph - will most likely be adopted).
31. Remarks that the implementation of the Metric Directive 80/181 results in high costs for European businesses exporting to the US; calls, therefore, for an initiative with a view to encouraging the adoption of the metric system by the US. (Eurofaq posting 21/11/98)
You can write Erika Mann and tell her what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(This extract was kindly supplied by David Delaney. It appears in his web site on Eurofollies, in the metrication section http://www.kc3.co.uk/profile/eurofollie.)
The Work of Unelected Metricators
The metric system has spread through the lobbying and implementation efforts of bureaucrats, technocrats and other individuals and bodies not representative of the majority of the population such as AASHTO and the US Metric Association (e-mail them and tell them what you think! AASHTO: email@example.com; US Metric Assoc: Don Hillger, Ph.D. ).
Unless we act now to defend our civil liberties, this bureaucratic unrepresentative machine will remove our freedom to use our own system of weights and measures in our own country. We must act together to stop bureaucrats from treating us in a way that is shows contempt for what we find convenient, what we prefer and of our traditions and heritage.
You will find engineers and scientists who promote the metric system (though I am one and I don't!). If a given engineer or scientist wants to work in metric units, fine, that is his or her prerogative. But they should not impose the metric system and obliterate our way of measuring against the democratic will of the majority of the people.
The Role of Elected Officials and the Importance of Lobbying
Metric system pushers sometimes said that there is no democratic deficit because metrication is embodied in legislation that has been passed by elected officials. Unfortunately, elected officials do not always reflect the will of the majority of voters. This is because of their susceptibility to lobbying. The pro-metric lobby is organized and targeted. The majority of Americans who are pro-American units is mostly often silent and unorganized.
This is, of course, a key reason for the existence of Freedom2Measure - to provide a focal point for the majority of people who do not welcome metrication and to provide advice to these people on where to express their opinion. Through lobbying government, the voice of the majority can be heard and expressed in legislation. Legislators have to be put under the pressure of opinion.
Companies Dropping American Units
Companies that are downgrading and dropping American units from their publications and packaging are in the vanguard of companies destroying part of our heritage and part of our way of life. They are promoting the not only the steamrollering of part of our heritage but also the "harmonizing" away of the wonderful differences between the cultures of our world.
You may be told that Congress has passed laws promoting the metric system. Unfortunately this is true (although the most recent block of legislation was passed by many legislators who did not realize what they were doing). This trend must be stopped. Write to your congressman directly. Also write to companies. Companies listen to consumers for commercial reasons. If they realize that a law is making their customers unhappy they will lobby against that law.
A couple of corporate candidates for letters are Pepsi and Coca Cola. These two companies have begun packaging many of their products in metric sizes (e.g. 2 liter bottles). They are dropping packaging sized with American units. For the moment, American units are still mentioned on the bottles, but they are no longer the principal units. Soon, unless we act now, they will disappear.
In the Press
There is a growing tendency in the press, particularly in the international editions of publications such as Time, Newsweek and the International Herald Tribune to drop American units completely dropped or placed them in a secondary position in brackets. More and more often they are simply dropped totally. Placed in brackets, American units are harder to read. If a US publication wishes to reach an international audience including readers who use metric units, the publication I should always both sets of units, separated by a slash, for example 30 miles/48 km.
Since the readership of most international US publications is majority American, American units should come first. (In survey after survey, clear majorities of all age groups in the US are more comfortable with American units.)
The cost of the extra drops of ink would be worth it to ensure that the majority of readers remain comfortable with the units they read and that many of them are not simply and arrogantly cut off from understanding the measurements in articles because they think in American units. These comments, also cover tables. Maps should include scales in American units.
It is unnecessary and inappropriate to cut words stemming from American units from our language. In publications that have been moving away from American units, more and more expressions such as "miles away", "inch by inch", "to inch", "mileage" etc. are dropped. These words have meanings that have moved beyond the units on which they are based. That they are dropped is a reflection of the obsessiveness of metricators.
State highway departments are under pressure switch to metric measurements. It is critical to let them know that American units are to remain. We do not want to lose feet, miles, mph etc. Beware, the Federal Highway Administration intends to make metrication of all our highways mandatory from 09/30/2000. Did they ask you? Let them know that you want to keep our units. Write:
Federal Highway Administration
400 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590
Metric propaganda would have you believe that Canada is 100% metric and dropped miles, feet, inches etc. no problem. However, even in Canada, officially metric since the mid-1970's, wherever the government has not forced Canada's traditional units (i.e. "Imperial" units) away (as from gas stations, most road signs, much - but not all - packaging in stores and weather forecasts) they continue to exist.
In Canada, lots (of land) are measured in acres and feet, living spaces in square feet, people discuss their weights in pounds and their heights in feet and inches, loose fruit and vegetables are sold in pounds (use of traditional units by retailers was officially sanctioned by a law passed in 1985 which softened slightly the controversial metric legislation introduced a decade earlier), carpentry is in inches and drinks sold in stores and restaurants by the cup and glass are often in fluid ounces. Certain producers keep packaging in Imperial sizes (e.g. some butter blocks are sold in pounds, many crates in bushels). Apples are sized in inches. Even many packages that are only sized in metric are exact multiples of ounces. Ask someone in the street how far it is to the bus stop and more often than not they will say "100 feet". Etc., etc! Thus, even in a supposedly metric country, most people are more comfortable with traditional units for any application where the government did not steamroller them. Oh, and in Canada there was no recourse to the democratic process. Metrication was imposed. At the time that the metric system was compulsorily forced on Canadians, even engineers were opposed.
As for me, I am 35 year-old engineer who has lived in various countries around the World. Unsurprisingly, I am fully capable of working with the metric system. In fact, I am probably more at home with a wider variety of metric units than most people who have used the metric system since birth. I am not against voluntary use of the metric system. I accept that in certain scientific and engineering realms it is widely used. However, I am not comfortable with it, least of all in my day-to-day life.
The metric system is not part of my heritage.
Our Measuring System
The American (and British) system of measurement was derived from the ancient Greeks and Romans. The metric system is the standard measurement system in most other countries. However, traditional measurements exist in other countries. Certain US bureaucrats have made some attempts to force the metric system into our society, but the vast majority Americans prefer inches, pounds and gallons, than centimeters, grams, and milliliters.
Our system of measures is sometimes referred to as the English system of measurement. In fact, this is a misleading term not least because there are significant differences between the American and English systems. In fact, if we are going to start labeling a system by who else used variations of it, maybe ours should be called the Roman system! We have taken our inheritance and made it ours just like with law (which is based on the system inherited during Colonial times).
The ancient systems used body measurements for linear measurements. Weight units were determined by how much a human or animal could carry. In ancient Egypt, about 3000 BC, the cubit was defined. It was calculated from the length from the extended fingertips to the tip of the elbow and was used as a standard of linear measurements. In the first millennium BC the Greek unit of measurement for length was the width of a finger, 16 fingers equaled one foot. Also at that time the Romans divided the foot into 12 unicae. Unicae means twelfth part and is the origin of the word inch.
The Roman system used the libra, or pound, as its unit of weight and the mile as its unit of distance. Liquid weight was based on the pint and dry measure on the quart. That a "pound" is abbreviated to "lb" today reflects its origins ("lb" is a contraction of the word "libra"). Much more recently, in 1830, the US Senate ordered an inspection in the customhouses and uncovered quite a variety of "standard" pounds. In the following years, a new standard pound was dispatched to the customhouses and to the governor of each state and adopted in 1828 as the official Mint reference. In 1959, all countries sharing traditional units adopt a standard pound (see below). (There was actually very little change required.)
The first attempts to standardize the measures in England can be traced to the Magna Carta (1215). At about this time, the "Iron Yard of our Lord the King" was prescribed, subdivided into 3 feet, each 12 inches long. Our yard itself is descended from the derivation of a unit of length based on the human arm.
Sets of standards for length and weight, generally in bronze, were sent from the capital - Winchester originally - to the main cities. In 1496, discrepancies had crept in and, following a Parliamentary inquiry, new standards were made. The same happened again in 1588, under Elizabeth I, and again in 1758. The last one, the Imperial Standard Yard in bronze was manufactured in 1845 after the previous standard had been destroyed in the fire that burned down the House of Parliament in 1834. Copies of this yard were sent to the US.
In England, the mile - derived from the Roman "mille passus" or 1000 double steps - was originally 5000 feet long as in the Roman definition (1 "passus" = 5 feet). Later, it was stretched to 5280 feet to accommodate exactly 8 furlongs, the most popular measure of the time. Furlong comes from the Greek and Roman stadion, which they themselves inherited from even more ancient times. It seems to be the optimal length for the traditional plough. The 1 mile = 5280 feet definition was voted in England by Parliament in 1595.
An early definition of an acre was defined by how much land an oxen could plow in a day.
In the US, in 1830 formal standardization began under the auspices of the Office of Standard Weights and Measures. In 1959, all countries using sharing traditional units such as inches, feet, miles etc. decided that an inch would be defined as 25.4 mm exactly (or 1 cm = 1/2.54 inch). This is why an inch is the same length worldwide. Other traditional units were similar defined (1 pound = 453.59237 g - or 1 kg = 1/0.45359237 pounds exactly). This means that they are as standardized and as accurate as any metric unit. Indeed, they could even be considered as "non-decimal" metric units!
This century, the definitions of these units are every bit as accurate as definitions of metric units. Indeed, this high level of standardization and definition of the units not only mean that they continue to be used to this day but that men were placed on the system was able to get man to the Moon. Indeed, in metricated countries like Canada, the system is still used wherever government bureaucrats have not been able to force it away because it has wide acceptance, is accurate and people are comfortable with it.
The United States legalized the metric system in 1857 (and in 1897 in the UK). Those industries choosing to go metric have done so (and any others wishing to do so in the future may). Clearly, the general public and many professions did not want to and will only be forced to do so by bureaucrats and under legal threats. However, despite the obvious choice of most industries and the vast majority of people to stay with American units, in 1975, the United States Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act to begin a process of "voluntary change". A law calling for voluntary change is a curious thing since laws are meant to be followed. Since then, bureaucrats and government have continued to push to getting rid of American units. The people have never been asked for their opinion.
Definitions American Measurements
There are three basic parts of the American measurement system. These three types of measurements are length, weight, and liquid capacity.
The standard measures of length, their abbreviations, and their equivalents are:
• Inch (in.)
• Foot (ft.) = 12 inches
• Yard (yd.) = 3 feet or 36 inches
• Mile (mi.) = 1,760 yards or 5,280 feet
For Nautical Depth
• Fathom = 6 feet
(Historical note: Mark Twain, the writer, took his name from the unit Mark Twain which is 2 fathoms or the minimum safe clearance for steam wheelers).
Volume and Capacity
• 2 cups = 1 pint
• 2 pints = 1 quart
• 4 quarts = 1 gallon
• 8 gallons = 1 bushel
• Also, 1 quart = 32 fluid ounces
•128 cubic feet = 1 cord
• board foot - 1 foot by 1 foot by 1 inch
• acre-foot : 1 acre by 1 foot deep
• 40 cubic feet = 1 marine ton
The US and Imperial gallons have the same origin. However, the US retained a gallon that dated from an older definition than that defined by the UK.
In the US, the gallon is differently defined for dry and for liquid measures. In the UK, the gallon is the same.
• 1 US liquid gallon = 231 cubic inches
• 1 US dry gallon = 268.8025 cubic inches (this is derived from an old gallon, the
The UK system differs from the American system for volumes. In fact, the American system remains true to binary measurements, i.e. based on 2:4:8:16:32 since 1 quart=32 fluid ounces. Under the UK system, however, 1 quart=40 fluid ounces.
• 16 dram = 1 ounce
• 16 ounces = 1 pound
• 100 pounds = 1 hundredweight
• 2000 pounds = 1 ton
Again the UK system drifts from the 2:4:8:16:32 relationships. Weights of people are often measure in stone, 1 stone = 14 pounds. Also, although the US or "short" ton is recognized in the UK, the preferred traditional ton is the "long" ton which = 2240 pounds.
There are traditional units that are no longer in use or that have very limited currency.