Friday, July 13, 2007
The news that an Englishman invented the dastardly metric system 120 years before the French got round to it comes as a bit of a blow. The story has a pleasingly English aspect though: the work which contains this precocious description of the metric system - the Rt Rev John Wilkins' An Essay Towards A Real Character And A Philosophical Language - is so stupefyingly tedious that no one, even at the Royal Society, noticed it was there. Or maybe the idea was just so obviously French that it simply could not register on an honest English mind.
Posted by Nige at 4:35 pm