Skip to comments.European Union abolishes the British acre
Posted on 07/20/2008 9:15:56 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
The acre, one of Britain's historic imperial measurements, is to be banned from use under a new European directive.
The measurement, which will officially be replaced by the hectare, will no longer be allowed when land is being registered.
After being agreed last week, the new ruling will come into force in January 2010.
The Tories are angry that unlike some other EU countries, who sent Cabinet-level ministers to the meeting on 15 July, the Government only sent Jonathan Shaw, a junior minister at the Department for Environment Farming and Rural Affairs, to represent Britain's interests.
Mark Francois, the Shadow Europe Minister said: "It is this kind of pointless interference into the nooks and crannies of our national life that frustrates people about the EU. Whether we use hectares or acres should be a matter for Britain to decide, not the EU.
"Once again this weak Labour Government has meekly given up yet another of Britain's rights to Brussels. They need to think again and insist that we must keep our right to use our ancient traditional measure of land if we wish."
A hectare is the equivalent of 2.471 acres; the acre, one of Britain's most ancient units, measures 4,840 square yards.
The first law setting out the exact statutory size for the acre was passed in the early 14th century under Edward I. It is derived from an even older English word, related to the Latin "ager", from which words such as agriculture are derived.
Britain had, until now, an opt-out from the European Union's use of metric measurements which allowed the use of acres to continue.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
This will bring the British Empire to its knees. /s
Absolutely right. Those countries gave up a lot of soveriegnty. Personally, I wish we in the US would switch over to meters, kilograms, and liters. Much easier to work with and you don't have to have nearly as many wrenches.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
At least they're not sending a racist, Marxist junior Senator to the Presidency, unlike some others on this planet.
One by one, centimeter by centimeter, the nations of New Europe surrender their distinctive identities.
They have preserved only one tradition.
They all hate American Conservatives.
Does anyone remember, “Metric Mike?”
Big deal... Calculators are cheap nowadays -- and conversion factors are readily available on the internet.
Remember back roughly twenty years ago when the metric craze was brought on in this country by the metric crazies. Politician bought onto the craze. Highway signs were in both English and metric.
Thank God! It was stupid and cost a lot of money and no one liked it or paid any attention to it.
Furthermore, as has been previously posted, conversion calculators are readily available on the net and are very easy to use.
They should have just switched to arpents.
And, for those who aren’t familiar with land measurements, an arpent is about .85 acre (and apparently the FR spell checker hasn’t ever looked at Louisiana land records).
Ping to some notorious wisehectares.
Every time I look at a Canadian road sign I have to multiply 8/5ths. What will they do with the PLSS all built on miles and acres?
Yeah, then the speed limit would be 105.
And how long befor e some idiot with a mph speedometer tried to go at that speed?
UK and USA should switch to the metric system to be honest, but I do agree that it should be up to the ppl in thsoe country to decide
I resemble that.
“Canada has been metric since 1975.”
And, we’ve learned if you give them 2.54 centimeters; they’ll take 1.6 kilometers.
The error goes both ways. See my post at #19.
Semi-metric. Acres are still in use. For example:
What about all the plumbing pipes and fixtures? should they all be converted too? Should we have to put in conversion fittings just so we can all use metric pipes? What about light bulbs? Should all the new lights be required to only fit metric threaded sockets? Should all light fixitures be required to be updated with new metric sockets? What about drill pipe? Should the oil and gas industry abolish the use of API standard pipes that are dimensioned in inches regardless of whether the pipe is made in the US, Japan, or China? Are you willing to pay $10 per gallon for gasoline in order to pay for a conversion to metric? Or should that be $2.64 per liter? Also, shouldn't the commodity markets abolish the barrel as the unit of measure for oil?
Is that wrong?!? Heck, it only felt like 85...
I'd be curious if Canadians build frame houses today using the Metric system.
BTW: My shoe measures 31 centimetersor exactly one foot!
Depends on what you are doing, FRiend. It is certainly much more unwieldy for carpentry.
I don’t want to sound like a loon here, but Metric System have always seemed to me to be the perfect example of senseless government-knows-best meddling. It was developed by a bunch of eggheads and imposed on the people for no reason at all. It should be resisted for this reason alone.
As I remember from my days of education it all depends on what you are doing. If you are a scientist because metric units of weight and mass are the same and everything is decimal it is easier to use. If you are not a scientist and everything in your environment is inches and pounds it is a pain in the a$$.
Just try calculating a rafter angle with it some time!
The other difficulty with metrics is that feet and inches, being a sort of base 12, are easily divided in multiple ways. And the half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, 32nd, 64th progression is logical and easy to carry in your head. The decimals are too unwieldy for practical measurements.
- just a "rough carpenter" - as my dad says, "Good on rough work, and rough on good work!"
Ask a three-year-old to mark the middle of a line, and they will get it right to within 5% or so. Ask a thirty-year-old to mark 0.3 of a line, and he will be off by 10% or more.
The human mind naturally divides things into halves, quarters, eighths, etc. It also divides things into thirds fairly well. Thus the Base 12 system, not surprisingly, makes a lot of sense. I say “not surprisingly” because organically-derived systems often make a lot of sense.
Our numbering system is Base 10 because we happen, by evolutionary accident, to have five fingers on each hand. But 10 is a very unweildy number, factoring into 2 and the prime 5. Splitting it up quickly yields either indecipherable strings of digits, or meaningless decimal fractions. It just doesn’t match the way the human mind works.
Well said, wastoute. If the scientists want metric, let ‘em have it. Let THEM do all the recalculations.
Leave the rest of us alone.
PS: Anyone remember back — geeze — to the mid-70s, I guess, when they went so far as to put metric measurements on the outfield walls of a lot of US baseball parks? THAT was the height of the metric craze.
The boffins and bureaucrats in the EU have probably never soiled their soft, white hands with a hammer and a bag of nails.
OK, but what do the little diamonds at 19 7/32” and 38 7/16”, etc on your tape measure mean? I have never been able to figure that one out.
I always work metric. I abandoned inches/feet several years ago. The guys in my shop resisted but once the began to use it, liked it.
When I sold them the shop, they reverted to anglo dimensions however.
That’s your off-center spacing for standard wall studs. It will give you five studs for every 8 feet (useful for plywood, sheetrock, etc.
Stop. You're making Madonna drool.
Guy gives a big grin and says, "I wanna be a stud!"
. . . so now he's a 2 by 4 in Kansas City . . . .
If I measure from the outside of one stud to the outside of the next stud, if they are 16” OC, it is 17 3/4” or so, not 19 7/32”.
(don't ask me how it works - I just know it does!)
I got ya. Five to eight instead of 6 to eight. Nice. If you are trying to go light on construction, but don’t want to go all the way up to 24” OC, you go to the diamonds and put the 8’ sheetrock sideways.
We're going to be building again soon, and I am totally spooked by the engineered-wood floor trusses. Are they stable? Do they work? Do they squeak?
Engineered wood is great stuff, as long as you are absolutely, positively sure it will never be in a wet location. Once it is in a wet location, all bets are off.
So if you are doing interior work and you have a fair amount of confidence that the roof won’t have a chronic leak and you will not have any long-term plumbing problems, it is great stuff. Solid and stable and better than lumber, IMHO. But I had a 12x24 glue-lam beam that wound up under a small leak where I work, and the entire thing delaminated over time. By the time we detected the leak because of the deformation, it was too late, and the entire beam had to be replaced, which was a tricky process, to say the least.
I always assume that EVERYTHING leaks! That way I'm never disappointed, only pleasantly surprised.
One of the big plusses of designing our own place (we did it once before) is that we can put our heads together with the architect and do sensible planning for HVAC and plumbing. E.g., our old house had one wet wall, the kitchen and the bath were back-to-back, and we left the sheetrock off that wall in the laundry room down in the basement.
This was very handy when the contractor left the water on during a hard freeze before we moved in . . . . very easy to fix!
I always assume that I am building for 100 years, and for at least 20 of those years, the building will be owned by a complete moron who never fixes anything. I think this pretty much sums up the situation of every old building I have ever had the "pleasure" of working with.
If you are building for 20 years, engineered wood is a safe bet. If you are building for 100 years, less so.
We are moving back to a small house because the last kid is about to leave the nest. So we'll build it small but build it right.
And have a pole barn to keep all our junk . . . . :-D
The metric system has a more rational basis, rather than a guesstimate of the length of some ruler’s thumb several centuries ago or the packaging habits of mediaeval farmers.
Multiplying and dividing by powers of two and three made sense when almost all measuring was done by eyeball, but it’s not well-suited for precise measurements or large numbers. We have a decimal numbering system, so a decimal system of measurement is a no-brainer.
It also makes all sorts of calculations easier. For example: How many gallons in a cubic foot of water? Time to bust out the calculator (for the record, 7.4805195). How many liters in a cubic meter? 1 million cc = 1000 liters. Top-of-the-head math. It’s not just a coincidence that physics, medicine and chemistry settled on SI units a long time ago.
I believe that the metric system is superior, and that there’s not much debate about it. That leaves two other questions: 1) Whether it should be imposed on commerce by the government, and 2) whether it should be imposed by treaty on one country by an international body.
The answer to 1 is yes, to at least some degree. The government has to maintain standard weights and measures if it is going to even attempt to prohibit unfair trade. You can’t have each seller defining “ounce” his own way.
The answer to 2 is a little bit trickier. International trade requires standard measures, just as domestic trade does. But since acreage is neither imported nor exported, is its measurement really a matter of the EU’s concern?
4,840 square yards
IOW 10 square chains
Carpentry has its own set of measures, at least for lumber dimensions. It would seem logical that if you stack two 2x4s you'd have a 4x4. No.
Of course, my carpentry experience is from working on old (for these purposes, 40 years and up) houses, where nothing is square, nothing is plumb, nothing is level, and all figures to the right-hand side of the decimal are not to be trusted.
So, which makes more sense to you, the length of some ruler’s thumb (which is probably pretty close to the length of the thumb located at the end of your arm), or 1/10,000,000 the distance from the pole to the equator, as it passes through Paris, France? Having never walked from the pole to the equator, I have no idea how far that is, much less 1/10,000,000th of that distance. But as the possessor of two M1/A1 Mod0 thumbs, I know pretty much how big they are.
For some things, SI is better, and it already predominates in these areas. Ask a chemist to do something in ounces or cups, and you will be greeted with a blank stare. But for the majority of things for the majority of people every day, it has no great advantage.
I take a modified libertarian view. Measures must be standardized, but people should be allowed to use whatever standardized measure they want. In the US, this will mean that English measures will continue to be used for a long time to come for most things, while certain technical trades will go their own way.
Yeah, what's the cost of wood per board centimeter?
That has to tell you something.