My family spent the holidays in New Zealand. I recommend the experience for any of you who like travel, camping and/or sheep. You can read one of several articles inspired by that trip here. But that’s not the point of this post.
I’ve had a tradition for decades about buying a book whenever I travel. What kind of book varies widely. In Alaska last year, I bought something on Alaskan folklore. In Korea last decade, I bought a J.R.R. Tolkien translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight because it was the only book I could find in English.
In New Zealand, I bought a cookbook. I’d enjoyed several dishes I’d not had in the U.S. and figured that would be a good choice. The recipes I’ve tried all succeeded. It’s a great cookbook.
The damn thing is in metric. The recipes call for 200 g of beef, and preheating the oven for 180 degrees. I have a converter on my iPhone now, and write the equivalents in the margins. It’s a very minor pain in my butt, but it’s definitely a pain.
Certainly not the fault of the writer or publisher — the book was written for New Zealanders, by New Zealanders. But it illustrates how easily small details can affect your reader’s experience.
Something to think about.
Thanks for listening.
I wish our country as a whole would kick the clunky, archaic, and all around annoying ASE system to the curb, and embrace the metric system…
I don’t read a lot of books from the U.K., but I do read a handful of news and entertainment articles from there. The big one that always throws me is slang. It’ll sometimes add a couple minutes of reading to an article, having to look up what a particular slang term means.
Agreed. Metric is simply better. We’re just being stubborn. You’re enough younger than me that you might not remember that year (early 80s) where we were supposed to switch, but didn’t.
I like British slang. For me, it’s not as bad because of my time in Japan. Most of my colleagues were from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada. I got pretty used to it…