Yes, I’ve heard the Brits use the word stone to describe their weight before (a coworker wants to loose 2 stone) and i even know what is means (1 stone = 14 lbs, by the way).
But today, I’m flipping through the channels on TV (skipping by Friends and Big Brother, yes they really are ALWAYS on!) and I pass a show about weight loss makeovers. I happen to pause at the exact moment that the rather large woman is getting onto a bathroom scale. And what do I see? A screen shot with her weight … in Stone!
Here I was thinking that the use of stone was simply a colloquialism, something leftover in British speak, and now I’ve learned it’s so much a part of their vocabulary that bathroom scales are made to report this bizarre form of measurement.
What’s next? Cubits, furlongs? quarts? Shillings? Fortnights (damn.. they still use that)
I shouldn’t be too surprised. A quick snoop on wikipedia and I learn that the UK decided to go metric only 43 years ago, and is still in transition to the metric system! 1995 was the first year all packaged goods sold in Britain required to be labelled in metric units. 1995? Christ, Algeria has been metric since December 1842 but 153 years later I can only just get a bottle of corn syrup in liters. Bravo England.
And if you have time … look at this: