So the European Commission has decided not to make Britain get rid of pints and miles and selling in pounds. It's a victory for common sense. Well, I'm pretty sure about "It's" and "for" but not so certain about "victory" and "common sense".
It is a victory for those who want the decision to keep or get rid of miles and pints to lie with the British government, not the European Commission - although the commission has gone on the attack saying it was the Brits who wanted to go metric all along.
But shops will still have to display metric measurements even if they sell in pounds. So only half a victory perhaps.
But the government could now scrap the rule that makes them use metric (introduced in 2001 by the British government) and go back to pounds and ounces... as far as I can gather they wouldn't face opposition from the EU, at least not on the face of it.
Would you want them to do that? Would the supermarkets? Would the market traders?
And common sense? Certainly a victory of dogged British sentimental attachment to our system rather than one dreamed up by the pesky French. A priest Gabriel Mouton first put forward the ideas behind the metric system and it was adopted in the French revolution. It never caught on for clocks, but did for just about everything else.
But of course the history of weights and measures is a history of standardisation.
First of all, if you measure weights in stones (invented by the Babylonians) and I use the Greek Karob, we'll quarrel about how many aubergines I get in my shipment.
Worse, if we mean different things by "a yard", confusion reigns. Hence the "yardstick".
I love my pint, confuse my children when I talk of feet (although they still know "six foot" means "pretty tall"), get muddled when American authors describe characters in pounds (having to work out from context whether they're built like a bear or a butterfly). And living on the continent, they think in kilometres quite naturally.
But surely business would rather go metric?
And what about those Eurosceptics, who insist Britain's future and present and past lie with trading with the whole world, not just Europe, and rules should be based on what is good for business not political allegiance? Some things I have read suggest the USA, which made the metric system legal in 1866, will in two years' time get rid of imperial measurements, apart from miles. If so, we will stand alongside Burma and Liberia?
Quirky, loveable… but common sense?