Letter: Blowing hot and cold on Celsius

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The Independent Online
Sir: I feel your item on the Fahrenheit v Celsius debate ("Whatever happened to Fahrenheit?", 30 November) may have underestimated the guile of the British public in subverting attempts at standardisation.

Rather than reject Celsius outright, we have merged it with our beloved Fahrenheit scale, for greater conversational effect. Thus, in summer we use Fahrenheit because the numbers are higher ("90 in the shade yesterday, old boy"), and in the winter we use Celsius because the numbers are lower ("Do you know it went down to minus 10 last night?").

Since the numbers in the middle refer to perfectly ordinary weather which no one wants to talk about, we can pull off this trick with ease, and defy anyone who tries to change it.


Denby Dale, West Yorkshire