That's amazing! I knew that there was a disconnect between imperial dividing measures and the 1penny = 1/100th pound that Britain uses now, but I never imagined they had a whole ad campaign relatively recently about it. Hah!
OMFG THAT IS SO CONFUSING!!! HOLY CRAP MY BRAIN!! The first dude just rattled everything off at a million mph. The second one talked slower but added a whole bunch of needless words so you're still left sitting there like "??????". Thank God American money is made for us simple minded dumbasses it's straight up 1,5, 10, 25 add that shit together to make what total you want-then BAM you've bought something. There aren't like 6 different names for each thing, it's cents (as a round about name for them all) and penny ($.1), nickel($.5), dime ($.10), and quarter($.25). We dont say something is 6 dimes or four nickels or whathaveyou. If it's $.15 you just throw in a nickel and a dime.... Maybe British money is that easy. Im sure it is, is just that Im not used to the terms as Ive never had to use is (yet....I really really want to go over there someday. I HOPE that I would need to learn and use it someday), but for the time being-OMG MY BRAIN!!!
I really wouldn't worry about it, it's been 39 years - if you come to the UK, no one's going to give you the price in old money anymore :D In fact, forget most of the stuff in the videos, seeing as there's now no 1/2 penny, or £1 note, while there are now 20p, £1 and £2 coins.
*replying to both* Aha...That make s a bit more sense. ;) One you guys word it that way..they are literally bombarding you with too much info in too short of time..and having dyscalculia makes it even
Yes, it was.

Prior to decimalisation, the old system of £.s.d. (pounds, shillings, and pence) meant that the pound was divided into 20 shillings and each shilling into 12 pence. Each penny was made up of two half-pennies. Until the late 1950s there was an even lower denomination coin, the farthing, worth a quarter of a penny. There were a few of those still around when I was a boy, though they'd been taken out of circulation when I was about three. Prices were denominated down to half-pence (as in say two-pence halfpenny) for some cheap items) down to the late 1960s, before the inflation of the 1970s.

For those interested, the pre-decimal coins were:



Threepence (a manysided coin)

(The above were all "copper" coins.)



Two Shilling (commonly called a "Florin")

Two Shillings and Sixpence (commonly called "Half a Crown)

Edited at 2010-09-10 10:20 pm (UTC)
I'm sure it made sense at one point.

*i know, i know. it just seems so complicated. though i do love the names. farthing! florin!!*
It wasn't that complicated, but it did take time to learn.

People sold "ready reckoners" to make it easy to figure out change.

There were other units of currency, such as the guinea (21 shillings -- one pound, one shilling) to make things more complicated. Expensive items, such as suits would be denominated in guineas, even though there were no guinea notes, and guinea coins were last minted in the early nineteenth century.
Well, if you take inflation into account our current penny has 1/5th the value of the 1971 British half-penny.

So the real question is, why are we keeping the penny around?