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The Metric System vs. The Imperial System. Change?

Thu 4 Sep, 2003 01:20 pm
Ok, this topic can either be one of deepseated convictions and hotly debated or a "no duh, that's a no-brainer" type discussion.

I'm curious so let's try this again. Do you think the U.S. and other nations who are still using the Imperial system should convert to the metric system?

My answer is that the metric system should be adopted. I use both. For most measurements I can easily understand both systems. For some I have difficulty.

For e.g. I know meters, centimeters etc well but a person's height in centimeters makes little sense to me.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 29,585 • Replies: 88

cavfancier

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 01:26 pm
In everyday life, I use both, and need to convert when necessary. However, I am Canadian, and grew up with the metric system, so I voted yes. Plus, if America adopted the metric system, everyone would weigh approximately half what they do now. Good all around
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Vivien

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 01:29 pm
both

England went metric but i still think of peoples heights in feet and inches and their weight in stones and pounds.

We still use miles and not kilometres but when in France i find it quite easy to adapt.

Money went metric many years ago and weights for food several years ago - i have to admit that I still ask for a 'quarter' of things (4ozs) and not grams!

The money is a LOT easier - 12 pennies to a shilling, twenty shillings to the pound and amounts like 19/11d - nineteen shillings and elevenpence (the equivalent of 99p now, trying to pretend it isn't as much as a pound) led to horrible horrible sums as a child [size=7](dammm - age is showing!)[/size]

I have to admit i have photoshop set up in inches rather than cms.

So i use a hotch potch mix of the 2 systems.

oh and temperatures are in centigrade - not quite as fine tuned as fahrenheit as it has bigger jumps between degrees
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fbaezer

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 01:38 pm
I use metric.
I think the imperial system is nonsensical: 12 inches make a foot, but only three feet make a yard, and a strange, but huge, number of yards make a mile.
Also, this extensive use of fractions: a jump of "25 feet 3/4ths of an inch" boggles my mind.

I can understand inches, feet, yards, miles, pounds, gallon, pints.
I don't understand acres, fluid ounces, stones.
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lab rat

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 01:47 pm
As a scientist, I'm pretty accustomed to the metric system by now. It makes things a lot easier. I would much rather follow a recipe that gives things in ml, g, etc. than have to remember the random conversions between Tbsp - pint - oz - cup etc.
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Vivien

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 01:48 pm
they aren't so bad when you grew up with them! Metric is MUCH easier though. What about furlongs, rods, poles and perches too? :wink:

I remember there are 8 furlongs in a mile but can't remember what the others do. Horseracing still works in furlongs.

Furlong came from furrow long - it was to do with home much a man and horse could plough in a day but again i forget the fine details.
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jespah

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 01:53 pm
I can see the metric system for pretty much everything except for temperatures. There's just something more satisfying (and precise) about the difference between 68 and 70 degrees, versus 20 and 20.9 degrees. Using the freezing and boiling points of water for 0 and 100 degrees is really only useful for experiments and (maybe) cooking. It's not useful for human comfort.
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Butrflynet

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:04 pm
The government has been talking about converting us to the metric system for at least as far back as when I was in grade school. In high school, emphasis was placed on teaching us the metric system because it would soon replace the imperial system.

It is just extremely slow in happening.

By the way, did y'all know that National Metric Week is 2003 October 5-11 ?

U.S. Metric Association

Wonder what all we could do here on the boards to support and emphasize the education effort during that week. Any ideas? Maybe associate it with Halloween somehow.
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cavfancier

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:05 pm
As for temperatures, I generally just go outside and figure it out for myself. I am always warm, Mrs. cav is always cold (no, not in THAT way) so our perception of temperature is completely different. The measurement itself is useless there.
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ehBeth

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:10 pm
0 is cold
10 is cool
20 is warm
30 is hot
40 is too hot without air-conditioning

it can't get easier than that :wink:

i started school in imperial - switched to metric partway through

i prefer metric for most things. it just makes more sense to me.
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husker

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:15 pm
sorry - I'm a hardcore - like my numbers the way they are with US Dollars, Miles, feet, inches, gallons, and that sort of thing. Selfish maybe.
But the beancounter side likes our money system alot. Dealing with the Euro is a pain and likewise for the pacific rim.
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Lightwizard

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:16 pm
Working in the aircraft industry, I used nothing but metric. In general lighting, the foot is cool (well, I do have them emmersed in a bucket of cold water right now). Not.
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roger

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:16 pm
Metric for sure, and the longer ago we did it, the better. I did two semesters of chemistry back when calculators were still novelties and I fell in love with the system at first sight. Pity the poor mechanic having to buy virtually two sets of tools. My Dodge Spririt is a hybred - about 3/4 metric fasteners, but you can't be sure of a wrench size till you try it.
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Walter Hinteler

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:30 pm
Quite interesting, btw, that in 1875, most of the leading industrialized countries (including the United States, but not Britain) signed the Treaty of the Meter.

I use the metric system - we changed to it here in Germany in 1872.
I used to be quite fit in old Bristish money system, know from my naval time some other non.metric units.

I'm just wondering, if the original question is that correct: the Bristish IMPERIAL and the American STANDARD system aren't the very same in all units, isn't it?
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Craven de Kere

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:34 pm
Nah, but they are related.

Hmm, when I was 5 I saw a documentary about how to preserve the nonsensical English measurments that bars that were exactly one yard were kept and measured daily for differences, and other such objects were kept in regulated conditions to preserve the 'official' measurements. This got me thinking. What I wonder is how far off from whomever's nose to fingertip we are today.
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margo

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:40 pm
husker wrote:
sorry - I'm a hardcore - like my numbers the way they are with US Dollars, Miles, feet, inches, gallons, and that sort of thing. Selfish maybe.
But the beancounter side likes our money system alot. Dealing with the Euro is a pain and likewise for the pacific rim.

But, Husker - your US dollar money system is metric. (or have I missed something?). The Euro is metric. The Oz dollar is metric. The Japan yen is metric. What's the problem?

We use metric system here - and have done for quite some time. Us old-timers often have to do a bit of a re-calc! It's good for adding up and the like. The good Lord has given (most of) us metric fingers and toes
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husker

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:45 pm
margo wrote:
husker wrote:
sorry - I'm a hardcore - like my numbers the way they are with US Dollars, Miles, feet, inches, gallons, and that sort of thing. Selfish maybe.
But the beancounter side likes our money system alot. Dealing with the Euro is a pain and likewise for the pacific rim.

But, Husker - your US dollar money system is metric. (or have I missed something?). The Euro is metric. The Oz dollar is metric. The Japan yen is metric. What's the problem?

We use metric system here - and have done for quite some time. Us old-timers often have to do a bit of a re-calc! It's good for adding up and the like. The good Lord has given (most of) us metric fingers and toes

All the major money houses and banks here like US dollars - so that's what I'm telling the folks worldwide - send yer money here in
\$ USD Thanks
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au1929

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:47 pm
Converting from our present system to metric has been under discussion for many years. Some years back it was attempted and prints were issued with metric dimensions. It created so much confusion that it had to be disgarded. The metric system may be easier but not for someone brought up on the imperial numbering one. The only way is to teach the young and have them grow up in it. Than and only than can the conversion happen.
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ehBeth

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:49 pm
so start teaching the young. that's what was done here in the late 1960's. as i said, i started learning imperial, and then they switched us to metric. i only have a smallish twitch remaining :wink:
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roger

1
Thu 4 Sep, 2003 02:52 pm
Not so, au. With some years experience as a machinist, I can tell you that you don't do conversions. You get a metric micrometer and read it just like any other. Miles? My old car is calibrated in both.
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