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The United States is exceptional: it is the only fully industrial country in the world which has not adopted the metric system. In fact, the United States and Liberia (which was created by the United States) are the only two countries in the world which do not use the metric system. A short explanation of the American system follows.

1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons

1 cup = 16 tablespoons

1 pint = 2 cups

1 quart = 2 pints

1 gallon = 4 quarts

1 foot = 12 inches

1 yard = 3 feet

1 mile = 1,760 yards

1 pound = 16 ounces

1 ton = 2,000 pounds

This is not a complete list of the measurements used in the United States, but is simply a sampling.

Our question for the day is: how do you feel about the metric system?

This is an open thread. Feel free to rant about whatever is on your mind. As usual, feel free to talk about dinner or to offer food porn photographs or art work.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Use Both Systems in My Artisan Biz (9+ / 0-)

    Some of the standardized materials I have to buy are manufactured on a precise inch basis so there's that. But there are numerous steps that I do in cutting, shaping and building where metric is far more convenient.

    Any more, most of the fasteners and tools that come with my shop machinery are metric.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 01:14:17 PM PDT

  •  Yet another way we're primitive (4+ / 0-)

    I wonder if anyone who insists on American Exceptionalism understands that different doesn't mean better. I've been in enough chat rooms with English speakers from other countries to have learned how to translate Fahrenheit to Celsius, but I'm still sketchy about on-the-fly conversations of meters to feet and pounds to kilograms.

    We really need to get with the rest of the world's programs on this.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 02:15:13 PM PDT

    •  Actually, (4+ / 0-)

      I find the on the fly conversions into meters and feet, and kilos into pounds fairly easy, mostly because I do them all the time in my classes.

      On the other hand, the temperature conversions are still baffling.

      •  You need a different approach (0+ / 0-)

        Converting is tricky to do. Even if you can remember the formula doing it your head isn't easy. If you want an accurate conversion you can use google on your phone/computer

        A better approach, if your talking about weather, is to get an innate sense of what each temperature is by building points of reference. Instead of A=B it should be that A and B both equal C. For example, rather than converting 21c into Fahrenheit remember it as a comfortable temperature just as you'd think of something in the low 70's as a comfortable temperature.

        It's even easier when it's cold because 0 is literally freezing (it's the freezing point of water). 10c would be about halfway between.

  •  I hadn't given it a dram of thought. (4+ / 0-)

    But really, everyone in any form of science, whether 'pure' or 'applied' has to use both already anyway.  It would be far simpler if we could simply go metric, but no doubt that would be prima facie evidence of a UN plot against Amurrican sovereignty.

  •  Prefer metric (4+ / 0-)

    It's much simpler.
    Learned metric and used it when I worked as an automotive engineer/draftsman for ten years and then when I moved to Arizona, had to switch to English and I never did grasp the terminology.
    I talked in decimal points whereas colleagues talked in inches - they'd say 8 tenths, I'd say .8 of an inch!
    It wasn't a problem and with outsourcing so rampant to Mexico, all blueprints were dual dimensioned.

    Both Mr.AzBlue and I are not feeling quite right today.
    Not sure if we're getting sick or not.
    Been having chills and then sweats and headaches and achey and tired.
    Just got up from a nap and have been drinking lots of juice.
    We've been having to go to numerous doctor appointments recently, so might've picked something up or it could be stress or both.

    Don't think we'll be having dinner but if we do, it'll be canned chicken noodle soup.

    Hope everyone is having a good Saturday!

  •  Dad (4+ / 0-)

    My Dad was Chairman of the California Metric Committee. I attended several lectures he gave around the country. I wish we would go on the metric system. That way I wouldn't have to take all my recipes and convert them to metric so I can sell the cookbook overseas where I have people who want it.

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 03:05:32 PM PDT

  •  The powers of 10 used in the metric system (4+ / 0-)

    aren't tied to objects found in nature, but to the somewhat arbitrary use of powers of 10 in our numbering system. On the other hand, the US system is pretty removed from anything intuitive. At least the metric system has simple, consistent rules.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 03:35:01 PM PDT

  •  Sewing measurements (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, arizonablue, FloridaSNMOM

    Drive me crazy. Metric would be so much easier.

    Common Yardage Measurements
    1/8",1/4",1/2",3/4",7/8" & 1full yard

    Yard = 36 inches, 3ft of fabric

    Quilt Measurements

  •  I understand the metric system (3+ / 0-)

    and if we used it, it would be a lot easier for me to keep track of. But the conversions back and forth have always baffled me (math / my best subject). So, I've had to focus primarily on the system we use, since it's the one I run into the most. I understand the prefixes, so I can work out the metric when I need to, so long as I don't have to convert back and forth.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 04:05:02 PM PDT

  •  Dang it! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, Pam from Calif

    that was supposed to be a not equals sign not just a /

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 04:05:33 PM PDT

  •  It's worse than you think (0+ / 0-)
    In fact, the United States and Liberia (which was created by the United States) are the only two countries in the world which do not use the metric system.
    While this might be true, there are other countries that still use the imperial system but perhaps also use some metric units. Britain, much to my chagrin, still use imperial measurements 90% of the time despite the metric being taught exclusively in schools since the 70's.

    Everything driving related is given in miles (MPH, MPG), people talk about height and weight in imperial measure. People even talk about the temperature in Fahrenheit.

    I believe Canada also has some imperial hangover with heights and weights given in imperial and oddly oven temperatures given in Fahrenheit.

    What makes this doubly annoying is that the US uses a unique form of imperial measurement so that a gallon isn't even the same in the US as it is in the UK.

  •  U.S. metrication is mainstream (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for the opportunity to discuss U.S. changeover to the metric system of measurement as the Nation's primary system.

    It grieves me that the subject has taken on the moniker of "street prophet" material and is misbranded as a part of American exceptionalism.

     In 1988, the Congress declared that the metric system is the preferred system of measurement for trade and commerce in the United States.  This means that U.S. metrication is not the spray can of intellectual vandals, nor the object of extreme politics. It is mainstream, and has been mainstream since 1866, when its use in the U.S. was legalized. Learning about the metric system is as much a civics lesson as it is a science lesson.

     There is no political bar to U.S. metrication. However, there is a cultural prejudice we must overcome if we are to make the switch.  As is often true of unmet goals, this public bias has its roots in public ignorance. Our country does not actively pursue a policy of mass education in the metric system.  If it did, opposition to metrication in this country would be surmountable.

    On a recent trip to England, I had an English friend remark, concerning U.S. metrication, "You'd be giving up your identity."  I would hope that American identity not only encompasses much more than measurement, but that the hallmark of that identity would be a continuation of the innovation that made the country a magnet for the peoples of the world.

    On the last page of the current version of the United States passport,  the late "Challenger" NASA pilot Ellison S. Onizuka is quoted: "Every generation has the obligation to free men's minds for a look at new look out from a higher plateau than the last generation."  It is with these words that each traveling U.S. citizen presents herself or himself to other countries. Thus based, we do have an American exceptionalism, of which metrication must be a part.

    Paul R. Trusten, R.Ph.
    Vice President and Public Relations Director
    U.S. Metric Association, Inc.

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