LETTERS: Oodles prevail

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From Mr Stephen Pollard

Sir: Being required to work in grams and centimetres for formal processes need not stop us using whatever quantities we find most convenient for daily life - or calling them what we want.

In France, une douzaine remains a handy way of saying "quite a few" (and is much commoner than dizaine); in your local brasserie you do not order your beer by the centilitre, still less by the millilitre, but instead ask for un demi (originally half a litre, now often 25cl or about half a pint); and if you ask for une livre of meat in the butcher's, you will get half a kilo - or just over a pound.

Moreover, not only does the legislation allow us to go on using the pint of beer and the imperial mile, it leaves unscathed the traditional British units of quantity - the pot, the lashing and the oodle.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Pollard

Tunbridge Wells,


5 October