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Losing pounds

Peter Hitchens makes an interesting point in the Mail on Sunday (scroll down),

It’s one thing to lose pounds. It’s another not to know what their replacements mean. As Hitchens observes, “a gram is a meaningless thing. . .We buy gas “by the pound (sterling) because most of us haven't a clue what a litre is. It's such a useless measure for anything. One litre of petrol would barely get you home. No decent wine, as I often point out, is sold by the litre.”

Is there some reason why this system should be adopted when British weights and measures have worked brilliantly for centuries?