Re: Internationalization--Standard Conventions

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Sun May 30 1999 - 08:35:20 EDT

Ar 08:32 -0700 1999-05-29, scríobh Markus Kuhn:

>SI units are now universally used with the exception of the USA.
>Britain is now predominately metric with very few exceptions (pints
>in pubs, miles on street signs, some older people still think of
>body weight in stones).

That's "in stone", and although Ireland became fully metric in the 1960s,
still young people think of body weight in stone, so I'd be surprised if it
were otherwise in the U.K. Temperature in Ireland is given in C°, but isn't
F° more common in the U.K.?

Some other things in Ireland are also still not metric. Legacy roadsigns
tell how far to the next town in miles (the ones in km are a different
colour!), and my local butchers still sell meat in pounds. I'm not sure
whether their scales (digital) are set up to switch between kg and lbs or

And a pint is a pint. Absolutely.

>One of the few areas where the metric
>system still has to find its way in is typography, where doing
>everything in millimeters would be a significant simplification
>but the stubbornness of US software vendors prevents this currently.

Well, I don't detect an abiding outcry from European typographers to
abandon the point (or the Didot point) putting pressure on the US software
vendors, who are often very practical when it comes to bowing to market
pressure. :-) I do think that an international standard for metric
typography should be _available_ however.

Michael Everson, Everson Gunn Teoranta **
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Guthán: +353 1 478-2597 ** Facsa: +353 1 478-2597 (by arrangement)
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn;  Baile an Bhóthair;  Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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