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We'll need new imperial units for the digital age

It takes 1/3 royale (or 1/2 Apex) to reheat a cuppa in the microwave

To distract from the ongoing dire consequences of leaving the European Union with all the grace and finesse of a child uninviting someone from their seventh birthday party, the UK government plan to revive imperial units. You know: 66 gallons to a hogshead, 6 hogsheads to a rod, 22 ounces to a watt, 9 Rodneys to a Del Boy, that sort of nostalgic masturbation. But a lot has changed since the dark days of the British Empire. If the obtuse unit system is to return (lol), we need new units for modern technologies. I have ideas.

While the metric system is pure wizardry (did you know that 1 millilitre of water weighs 1 gram, and the amount of energy needed to heat 1ml of water by 1 degree Celcius is one calorie? magic), Britain/England cannot resist hoary nostalgia and confusing calculations. So, here a few new units we might see over the next few years:

royale - 100 people dwindling to 1. Ideal for battle royale games and reality shows, but slang could repurpose it for microwave timers. It takes ⅓ royale (or ½ Apex) to reheat a cup of tea.

enough - 640kB. The supposed Bill Gates quote of "640K ought to be enough for anybody" may well be apocryphal but it's a useful measurement. With many in the UK still suffering slow Internet connections, it's considered impolite to send pals photos or screenshots larger than 1 enough.

one more turn - 4⅝ hours.

keyboard - the volume of dead skin you'd get if you shook the Duke of Edinburgh's keyboard out upside-down. 1 keyboard will see you through about 1 week's witchcraft.

Baird - 240 vertical screen lines. All 4K televisions and monitors sold in the UK will be relabelled as 9 Baird. A government source tells me, "The Baird demonstrates our committment to Sssscotland? He was Scotch, right?"

soon - 1 soon is 6⅘ hours.

Soon - 1 Soon is 13 weeks, or 321⅕ soons.

SOON™ - 1 SOON™ is 23 months, or 7 86125 Soons, or 2469 soons.

n.b. do not confuse soons, Soons, or SOON™s with the US imperial soon - 1 US imperial soon is 8⅚ months.

Steam backlog - any overwhelming quantity of unfinished tasks. Literally no one with more than 15 years of life left even remembers what all these imperial units mean so it's fine to have a flexible unit. Yeah man, 1 Steam backlog, whatever.

Humble Indie Bundle - 6 video games. While 1 Steam backlog consists of tasks in no fixed quantity, 3 Humble Indie Bundles do make 1 Steam backlog. Figure it out, Rachel Riley.

Itch Racial Justice And Equality Bundle - 1741 items of software. You get 290⅙ Humble Indie Bundles to 1 Itch Racial Justice And Equality Bundle, yet somehow 1 Itch Racial Justice And Equality Bundle comes out to only 1½ Steam backlog. Hang on, sorry, the government insider tells me they deem this unit unacceptable and schools will not be allowed to teach it.

MX Blue - 1 MX Blue is the volume of someone typing a complaint e-mail to Points Of View on a gamer keyboard. 2 MX Blues is loud enough to call in a council noise complaint.

3090 - 1 3090 is 2kg. I wouldn't want to subvert official government messaging, but I might casually observe that you could just divide 3090s by 2 to get weights in kilograms. Though like the graphics card, good luck getting a 3090 of fresh veg these days.

Don't worry, you'll only need to learn these new units for about three video games shops, all of which still have yellowed copies of Fifa 08 for Wii on sale for £60.

Care to contribute any new unit suggestions of your own, reader dear?

About the Author

Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

News Editor

When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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