Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Cultural Perspectives #9: FOOTBALL

I think American Football deserves the term "football" because those other punks all converted to the metric system.

They can call their shit meterball or something.


Mel said...


dogimo said...

I tried it that way first Mel, I really did, but it didn't look right.

VEG said...

That's clever!

Although...I'm from the UK originally and we learn metric in school, sure, but in the real world only certain things are metric. We use feet as well as metres. We use pints and miles and STONE for fuck's sake. So...I don't know what my point is but hey. I'm making it.

hi Mel!!!

dogimo said...

Well whatever your point is I'm glad you made it, because I didn't realize metrics hadn't completely displaced...whatever our system's called. And that's a great spot of news, for me! It's depressing to me to think of all these other English-speaking countries in the grip of metrics. So, would you'd still say a person is five feet eleven inches tall, for instance?

For me it's really only the personal measurements that I'd hate to go metric on.

Mel, do you use metrics for everything down there in Aus?

It's an Axis of English Speakers up here in the comment section.

Mel said...

We're pretty much bilingual here, moving between metric and imperial pre-metric depending on the topic, although I speak for anyone in their thirties and older, I'm not sure what they teach kids these days, I know the commonly accepted unit of measurement for my niece and her fellow teens is "likes".

But basically when a child is born here his or her weight is still announced in pounds and ounces with perhaps a gram/kilogram conversion supplied as well, but conversely their length is given in centremetres, ha! I mean centimetres, shit, now I'm confusing myself.

But if someone was to ask me my weight I would say 52 kilograms, If someone was to ask me my height I would punch them in the chest, nah, joking, I would say 5 foot, which is a lie but close enough, but on my license it says 150cm which is, again, close enough. I tend to think of these metrics as more aspirational goals, or at least I used to. In hospital for purposes such as making sure you get the correct anaesthetic/medication/what-have-you weight is recorded in kilos. I don't think stones is used much at all.

In a pub we have pints and schooners, but in the shops all containers are in millilitres. I love buying milk from the grocery store in the UK because it comes in little pint bottles! Which is actually a lot of milk to drink in one go it turns out but that's okay because I like milk. If it rains the weather report would announce how many inches were recorded, but the surf report gives the swell in metres.

On our roads distances are given in kilometres and speed limits are as well. I have no idea what a mile even is but it sounds like forever, which made driving in the UK quite an adventure. And I still think it's bizarre yet adorable that your road signs, Joe, have fractions on them for distance. That just seems so strangely unnecessarily mathematical. But then, I find all maths to be unnecessary.

Temperature is recorded in celsius but for practical purposes Australian weather is described accurately either as "fuckin freezin" or "hot as balls".

Although right now is lovely!

Hi Veg!

dogimo said...

Mel, I am bookmarking this. A fantastic, generous and comprehensive answer. Thank you!

I'm glad you think my road signs are adorable. I think so too, and it was totes worth all the effort putting them up!

dogimo said...

Also, the degree to which you work the old-school measurements into things down there is heartening. I hate to think of those going away. I don't know why. Probably irrational.

Also, I buy the 5 feet although you come off taller than that - mental height, perhaps. But you're 52 kilos with bricks in your pockets and a carry-on. No way.

I wonder what I am? Hmm.

Ok, it looks like I'm 88 kilos, and unless I'm doing it wrong, I'm 0.00113636 miles tall. I have a cubic volume of approximately 21 gallons. I'm a little less that than 14 stone as well.

We don't use stone here, by the way. The only place stone occurs in my upbringing is within the lyrics to AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie."

Mel said...

You're welcome! It's the least I could do after being introduced to the "American Pour" unstandard unit of measurement. I realise now I neglected to address the issue of acres and hectares, which is probably for the best as I have no idea what they are, but I know they are common parlance here. I guess never having had a plot of my own has meant I've never needed any real knowledge of how much they actually take up.

The terms "acres" and "hectares" sound very landed gentry and ye olde to me. They make me think of peasants tilling land and shepherds.

I'm glad you are heartened by our continued use of old school measurements. It's not surprising really when I think about it. Our national anthem still contains the line "our home is girt by sea" despite the fact that no one really knows what girt means and the last recorded use of it in every day speech was forever ago.

dogimo said...

I know what girt by sea means! I'm from New Jersey.

There's a town there called Sea Girt.

dogimo said...

What do you mean by the American pour? They gave you as good a pint of Boont Amber as mine.

Mel said...

You introduced me to the term American pour! I assumed it meant the very generous shots the US is known for, and for which the rest of us are very grateful.

Oh wow, Sea Girt is beautiful. That boardwalk is my jam.

dogimo said...

Ah! Ok, I recall the moment I believe - it was your rum and Coke at the Stockton Bridge Grill overlooking the river and beach in Capitola Village? And they'd done you surprisingly proud as I recall, and it seems to me I made an observation to the effect of "Ah yes, the 'American pour.'"

Seems like something I'd extemporize. At any rate, I'm not aware of it as a specific term describing a national tendency to a generous pour. However, I'd say that most of the places I know will either give you an establishment-standard measureful or they'll go generous. I don't see (or taste) too many underpours. I think the tendency is rather to err towards the generous if to err at all, but I may have given a mistaken impression that this was a cultural "thing" known and referred to.

I didn't say it was, I don't think? I hope I didn't! I don't think I would have. I'm not very keen on making up fake things and then not disabusing the person right then and there, if swallowed.

I think I just said it off the cuff and it came out sounding like a recognized term. I keep forgetting how "with authority" it sounds when I speak. I must watch that.

I admit I kind of love the term now. My heart swells with pride!