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Thursday September 1st 2011    Tim Candler

    Too easy to say that decimalization reduces nuance and subtlety by simplifying day to day arithmetic, and should therefore be appreciated for doing so.  However once a standard is set, it becomes almost impossible to get away from it without an intensity of thinking and perhaps loss of temper.

    If I am told I  need sixteen grams of chat masala, my first reaction is irritation, and my second reaction is to go elsewhere for a recipe. It's just not that easy to make the conversion, nor through the years have I been able to retain an idea of gram that might suggest a teaspoon, or half a cup, or a pinch.

     And this is a situation made more passionate when a person contends that much confusion of thinking stems from the Latin language and its ignoble idea of a straight line, which was to get from A to B as simply as possible and damn the consequence. 

    From the detention room I once envied those minds which took to Latin.  "It's so obvious," they'd say and proceed to rabbit on with enthusiasm enough to fill a table, or a "he, she or it".  But  I do find it soothing to think that I am more able with a tangled hose pipe than many I could mention, which suggests that in some things I am able to take a reasonable approach and therefore should not runaway in disgust whenever I see the word gram or kilogram or milligram.

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