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monsoon

Metric System of Measures

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Why is the USA still using imperial measurements instead of converting to the metric system? Should we finally bite the bullet and change to the same system the rest of the world is using?

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I think we should. Our system makes no sense what so ever. It would be a hard switch though, and would probably take a couple of generations before most people accepted it.

We could do like the British and have some kind of hybrid system. They started their phase-out of the imperial measurement system in the 70s when we originally started ours, but unlike us, they kept on with it. Today they still retain elements of both. Here is a list of the imperial measurements that are still used in Britain:

  • miles, yards, feet and inches for road traffic signs and related measurements of speed and distance

  • pints for dispensing draught beer and cider, and for milk in RETURNABLE containers

  • acres for land registration purposes

  • troy ounces for transactions in precious metals.

I think that this system is what would most likely happen here, or something similar- though I think we should go 100% metric. My question is- what was the force behind the previous push, and what will it take to make that happen again and stay?

Here is a link to some basic information about theWeights and Measures Act in the United Kingdom.

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I think we should. Our system makes no sense what so ever. It would be a hard switch though, and would probably take a couple of generations before most people accepted it.

We could do like the British and have some kind of hybrid system. They started their phase-out of the imperial measurement system in the 70s when we originally started ours, but unlike us, they kept on with it. Today they still retain elements of both. Here is a list of the imperial measurements that are still used in Britain:

  • miles, yards, feet and inches for road traffic signs and related measurements of speed and distance

  • pints for dispensing draught beer and cider, and for milk in RETURNABLE containers

  • acres for land registration purposes

  • troy ounces for transactions in precious metals.

I think that this system is what would most likely happen here, or something similar- though I think we should go 100% metric. My question is- what was the force behind the previous push, and what will it take to make that happen again and stay?

Here is a link to some basic information about theWeights and Measures Act in the United Kingdom.

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In my humble opinion, the States' stubborn hanging on to the current archaic system is almost embarrassing.

The rest of the world, save the UK and us, have used the metric system for years.

A very strong movement to introduce the metric system in the US in the early 1980s was crushed by the Reagan administration. What a misguided decision that was!

In my coorespondances with friends around the world, our communications can be severely impaired by the two different ways of measuring things. I don't know metric, and my friends don't know our backward system.

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Yes that is correct. There was a big movement in the 70s to move us to the metric system and for a short while, dual measurments would show up on places like speed limit signs. They predicted then the USA would be fully metric by the 1990s. Federal money to make this happen disappeared in the early 80s so the movement died.

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Yes that is correct. There was a big movement in the 70s to move us to the metric system and for a short while, dual measurments would show up on places like speed limit signs. They predicted then the USA would be fully metric by the 1990s. Federal money to make this happen disappeared in the early 80s so the movement died.

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I'm honestly split on this. While I do think America should step in line with the rest of the world, I kind of like pounds, feet, et al. I think 50 mile per hour sounds cooler than 75 kilometers or whatever. In short, I like our present system. Is the Metric System superior? If so, then let's change our system to it. (Sorry, I was a liberal arts major in college).

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I'm honestly split on this. While I do think America should step in line with the rest of the world, I kind of like pounds, feet, et al. I think 50 mile per hour sounds cooler than 75 kilometers or whatever. In short, I like our present system. Is the Metric System superior? If so, then let's change our system to it. (Sorry, I was a liberal arts major in college).

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I'm not sure how much it has hindered our economic growth, but there is a lot of waste and miscommunication due to have two systems of measurement. I can think of at least one big screw up I had as an engineer converting imperial to metric units. It sounds simple, but you do it a few thousand times, you will mess it up. Every machine shop in the country has to have two sets of tools, one of imperial and one for metric. Every auto-repair shop needs two sets. Software companies have to have conversions built in to their code. It can be argued that this is a economic spur since more parts need to be produced and purchased and jobs are created; however, it is still wasteful and inefficient.

I never do calculations in imperial units, there are way too many chances to mess up a conversion becauses the conversions are completely illogical. Metric units are much more logical, based on a powers of 10 system. I'd like to see a unified system of meaurement because it is more efficient.

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I dont know if we sould convert. It would be a lot of trouble to go through, but it would be easier for certain things. I like using pounds and miles though. Maybe a system like the UK has would work.

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NASA recently crashed the Mars Climate Explorer into Mars because of screwups related to converting Metric to Imperial. It's a big problem in that most of the world uses metric fastenings (nuts, bolts, etc) and we still use the imperial ones. It means many times that our exports, what is left of them, are not that competitive because people overseas don't like to work on them. (they don't have the correct tools)

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I think miles, feet, inches, and yards should stay. Driving in miles per hour makes more sense because we travel usually around 60mph, which equates to 1 mile per minute, rather than 1.6 kilometers. It also sounds ridiculous to say 36mm of rain fell last night or 35cm. of snow fell.

I can understand weights and liquid measures converting to metric, but leave distance alone.

I also think we should keep fahrenheit. I think celsius is a poor system for measuring air temperature. The scale is shrunken nearly by half, so the entire eastern half of the country could be in the 20s*C while that would mean 60s, 70s, and 80s fahrenheit. It just makes more sense from a weather standpoint. And how hard is it really to learn that 32 is freezing and 212 is boiling.. i'd rather have that than have decimals just to get the right temp.

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So 1 km/minute is equal 60Km/hour. 2km/minute = about 75mph which is more realistic for highway driving or 120 km/hour.

The Fahrenheit system makes no sense at all. Boiling water is 212, freezing is 32, and 0 or 100 degrees are just arbitrary amounts. I would argue there really isn't much difference in saying it is 82 degrees outside versus saying that it is 86 degrees outside. The difference it meaningless to most people.

Placing 0 at freezing and 100 at boiling makes much more sense and the scale is more meaningful for day to day activities.

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I think it makes more sense to have a temperature scale that better suits what we use temperature measures for: Outdoor air temperature.

Sure, 0 and 100 are arbitrary numbers, but it would never be anywhere near 100*C outside, so really, the upper limits of the celsius scale is about 55*C, with the lower being around -50*C.. that's a 105 degree spread compared with 180 degree spread for Fahrenheit which is better for having a more exact temperature reading.

I just think it would be stupid to have to invest all this money to change all the signs and educate an entire country because metric has rounder numbers.

I like to cook, and I like cooking with teaspoons and tablespoons and cups and ounces ... I don't want to measure everything to the gram on a scale... cooking then becomes a science and the art is taken completely away.

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I wouldn't be against it. I was put through a German-funded elementary and middle school, where we were immersed in the Metric system, and it really does make much more sense. It's also interesting how modular the system is.

However, having lived in America, I am also quite used to the current system, and it bothers me not at all to use it and keep using it.

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Ah c'mon folks.....everyone knows how damn irritating it is to have to stop what you're doing to compute imperial/metric differences! It's a pain in the butt for sure.

Let's go ahead and bite the bullet on this. Within 10-20 years, the imperial system would be but a memory.

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We should absolutely convert to the metric system. Sure it'd take some getting used to but the whole system makes so much more sense as a whole. Everything goes by tens, how hard could that be? It won't happen though, because we are way to stubborn and set in our ways as a country.

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As an engineer, I prefer the metric system in my work, but for distances, capacities, etc in everyday life use the English system. I really don't care either way.

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It is not that hard to learn both systems. I learned both systems in school. Almost all rulers have both metric and imperial.. measuring cups have liters and ounces.. you can click a button on weather.com to switch to metric...

It's pretty simple math. Do we have to simplify everything to 10s in order to be competitive with the rest of the world? I mean, come on... I am set in my ways because I hear almost every day from Canadians how superior their system is.. it hardens a person up.

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Well yes, I think it is hugely more simple to deal with the metric system.

Lets see. 3 teaspoons = tablespoon = how many ounces?

How many cups make a gallon?

How many pounds make a ton? How many oz in a pound?

How many inches in a yard?

How big is an acre in sq ft?

It's stuff like that which doesn't make any sense which requires people to go look it up.

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It is not that hard to learn both systems. I learned both systems in school. Almost all rulers have both metric and imperial.. measuring cups have liters and ounces.. you can click a button on weather.com to switch to metric...

It's pretty simple math. Do we have to simplify everything to 10s in order to be competitive with the rest of the world? I mean, come on... I am set in my ways because I hear almost every day from Canadians how superior their system is.. it hardens a person up.

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Well yes, I think it is hugely more simple to deal with the metric system.

Lets see. 3 teaspoons = tablespoon = how many ounces?

How many cups make a gallon?

How many pounds make a ton? How many oz in a pound?

How many inches in a yard?

How big is an acre in sq ft?

It's stuff like that which doesn't make any sense which requires people to go look it up.

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I can do both since I have a lot of engineer training, but it doesn't really matter to me.

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I don't know why it has to be an all or nothing deal. Couldn't we start with weights and volumes, move to distances after?

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