Friday, July 13, 2007

The Metric System - We Are All Guilty

The news that an Englishman invented the dastardly metric system 120 years before the French got round to it comes as a bit of a blow. The story has a pleasingly English aspect though: the work which contains this precocious description of the metric system - the Rt Rev John Wilkins' An Essay Towards A Real Character And A Philosophical Language - is so stupefyingly tedious that no one, even at the Royal Society, noticed it was there. Or maybe the idea was just so obviously French that it simply could not register on an honest English mind.


  1. Stone the crows! An Englishman invented the metric system? Hard to fathom. Impossible. Not an ounce of truth in it. Pound to a pinch there's a Frenchman behind this preposterous rumour.

  2. Well quite, and at least Wilkins didn't take it into his head to suggest his crazy system had any conceivable practical application.

  3. Yea What he said!!!