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Biscuit Epsiode

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AlmondFacialBar
1018338.  Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:27 am Reply with quote

May I start sticking straws into my hair now?

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
CharliesDragon
1018353.  Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:14 am Reply with quote

Chris, after that lesson all I can think about is the very first episode of Doctor Who when the Doctor's granddaughter doesn't know how many pennies there is in a pound or something. I can't say I blame here.

 
chrisboote
1018355.  Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:28 am Reply with quote

Yes, Susan thought Britain had converted to the decimal system - not a bad prediction, almost eight years in advance 8-)

 
Jenny
1018359.  Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:15 am Reply with quote

When I was a child at primary school in the fifties, our arithmetic lessons involved calculations using pre-decimal currency. It's surprising how natural it became to convert from one number base to another as you moved from one column to another. I'm fairly convinced it made us better at mental arithmetic.

 
PDR
1018360.  Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:31 am Reply with quote

retrogirl64 wrote:
Like when Stephen said that Americans refer to quarters as "2 bits" or something of that sort. I have NEVER said that. I don't know anyone who refers to quarters in that manner. When he said that I thought "what?" I still think Stephen Fry is a wonderful host though.


Pretty well every western movie made from the 50s, 60s & 70s has a scene where someone goes intoi a saloon and gets a shot of rye, for which he is charged "two bits", so I think it definitely has provenance as historical slang that was understood in US culture in relatively modern times.

PDR

 
suze
1018372.  Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:51 am Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
May I start sticking straws into my hair now?


Oh, absolutely!

After all, a currency system where 12 Pfennige made 1 Groschen, 30 Groschen made 1 Thaler, and 14 Thäler made 1 Mark was so much more obvious ...

 
CharliesDragon
1018404.  Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:45 pm Reply with quote

chrisboote wrote:
Yes, Susan thought Britain had converted to the decimal system - not a bad prediction, almost eight years in advance 8-)


I've always thought so, too, and since there's no like button I have to clog up things with another comment.

I do have a question, though. For how long was the possibility of decimal system discussed before it was taken into use? Because if it was a fairly certain thing they would convert within at least a decade or two, despite some people surely being against it, it's not such a jump for the writers to include it. If there was no talk about it until say five years before it happened, then it's more impressive.

 
suze
1018405.  Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:22 pm Reply with quote

Parliament was first asked to vote on the idea as early as 1824, but on that occasion rejected the notion completely. Three times more over the next century the idea was raised, but never came anywhere very close to being adopted.

Then in 1961, the Conservative government of Harold McMillan commissioned some further research into the question. The report recommended decimalization, but this wasn't the answer that McMillan wanted and so he did nothing about it. But after a change of government in 1964, Labour PM Harold Wilson declared that it was going to happen.

It was two years before a Bill was introduced and that Bill took three years to get through Parliament because the Conservatives opposed it, but it was finally passed in 1969 and decimal currency became a reality two years later.

 
nitwit02
1018418.  Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:15 pm Reply with quote

Lots of wallowing in nostalgia for me, thanks to chrisboote.
By the way, 10 bob was known as 'half a knicker'. Also, half a crown was often called, half a dollar, as at one time, it had the same value as 50 cents.

 
chrisboote
1018423.  Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:13 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
But after a change of government in 1964, Labour PM Harold Wilson declared that it was going to happen.

Almost a year after An Unearthly Child ... 8-)

 
dr.bob
1018436.  Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:32 am Reply with quote

chrisboote wrote:
2 bits = 25c is odd to most minds


Type "two bits" into google and you get "About 95,000,000 results"

Clearly not that unknown :)

The first result, by the way, is this wikipedia page

 
chrisboote
1018438.  Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:45 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
chrisboote wrote:
2 bits = 25c is odd to most minds


Type "two bits" into google and you get "About 95,000,000 results"

Clearly not that unknown :)

The first result, by the way, is this wikipedia page


Oh, I agree that many (if not most) USians know it, as do a large number of non-USians, I just think that having (2 of something = an odd number) is odd to most people who do know it

 
suze
1018458.  Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:57 am Reply with quote

nitwit02 wrote:
By the way, 10 bob was known as 'half a knicker'.


And no one knows why.

The use of (k)nicker for a pound dates back to about 1900, but the best that the usual sources can do is to suggest that it may be horse racing slang.

Very speculatively, it's been noted that at this time USians sometimes referred to a $5 bill as a nickel (by analogy with the 5c coin, which is rather more often referred to as a nickel). And at the time of which we're speaking, $5 was approximately equivalent to one pound. This isn't a very satisfactory explanation though, and seems unlikely to be correct.

Some sources on slang allege that the £2 coin is commonly known as a pair of knickers. A small prize for anyone who's ever actually heard this.

 
PDR
1018460.  Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:01 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:

Some sources on slang allege that the £2 coin is commonly known as a pair of knickers. A small prize for anyone who's ever actually heard this.


I could believe that this usage originated in Britains northern cities in the late 80s, where £2 was a reasonable estimate of the cost of getting access to the contents of a pair of knickers...

PDR

 
Bondee
1018531.  Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:46 pm Reply with quote

I once managed to convince a workmate that she could pop the middle bit out of a £2 coin and use each separate piece as a £1 coin.

 

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