How do you feel about the metric system?

I’m watching an episode of Aircrash Investigation, and I find it strange that a program produced in Canada about a crash in Canada is narrated with Fahrenheit and miles, even though the military in the reenactments talk about “kliks”.

We could go over why the US is sticking to its traditional measurements once again, but to me, a more interesting question is: how do Americans feel about the metric system? You guys are exposed to it pretty regularly: medicine, certain packaging sizes, the military uses it… So I guess you must have an opinion.

I don’t have the inherent comfort with it that I have with traditional measures, but I don’t exactly feel UNcomfortable using it when it’s necessary. I expect to use it for things scientific or medical, and for products that use it routinely, like beverages.

The metric system is a tool of the devil! My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that’s the way I likes it!

But seriously, I don’t have a problem with it, but I’m going to keep using the pounds, miles, acres, and gallons I’ve known and used my entire life as long as it’s still convenient to do so (and probably still long after it’s not, were it to occur in my lifetime, which I don’t believe it will).

The idea is great. But the fucking French made it so as just to piss off the damn British, and it shows.

And, note that Celsius is no more "metric’ than Fahrenheit. But Fahrenheit was a German and his temperature system was used by the British, so it had to go.

The US is only one of only three countries in the world that still uses the English measurements. This is stupid. It cost us billions and makes life very difficult. But until the country goes cold turkey to metric (NO SOFT CONVERSION) it will continue to cost our economy and allow other countries to get deadhead of us. And the we wait the more it will cost.

I like it for weighing and measure small things. I like English for larger things.

Classic example for me: I have a 2.25 mm set of knitting needles and I have 490 yds of yarn.

How does this cost us anything? I understand mechanics need two sets of wrenches, what else is there to it?

I’m a machinist and I hate the idea because I can’t bear the thought of having to buy all new measuring tools. We do work with metric prints occasionally, and convert the dimensions to standard in order to do so, but if the US were to go completely metric it would take thousands of dollars to buy all new tools.

It takes more gas to drive a mile than a kilometer. Do the math!


Yesterday I drove to the Forest preserve where I skied a six-mile loop in twenty degree weather. On the way home I picked up a half gallon of milk and a pound of ground beef.

I have nothing against the metric system, but like most Americans I have very little need or use for it in my daily life.

Two other observations: first, Celsius is not really superior to Fahrenheit from a mathematical perspective (30 degrees is not double 15 degrees in any meaningful way), and meat here is typically sold in pounds and tenths of pounds rather than pounds and ounces. Don’t know if that’s metric influence, but it’s a good idea.

Also, what we REALLY need is metric units for time.

I was in elementary school when they tried to convert us to the metric system in the 70’s. I remember they were trying to teach us how to convert between the two systems. In my opinion that was the mistake. Just stop using feet and inches and start using meters and centimeters. I think we would have adopted the system if they hadn’t freaked everybody out with the conversion math. Even today I have no problem going to Canada and driving KPH or measuring temps in celsius. Just don’t make me have to convert between them and I’m fine.

Big time. The cost of machine tools is enormous. That is the biggest cost. Education and retraining might be next. Using existing standards and mixing with metric will change many building standards. Like others have said right now we need two sets of auto tools. Mistakes crop up all the time due to conversion from English to metric. Just go metric and you won’t have a problem. Metric is easier to use but not if everyone goes to it at once. There is the infamous space probe that was ruined and cost millions due to an English measurement not being converted to metric.

The point being its going to cost more and more the longer we wait. Just think if we converted say when Canada did the cost would’ve been small by comparison and we would all be on the same page.

True, very true. But Celsius wasnt German, so…

crappy idea then, too.

I’m down with it. Centimeters and stuff aren’t that hard, and I like that it’s 10-based.

I agree that trying to convert is the hard part, and there’s no reason to. Like, I have a ruler on my desk right now. I could just measure stuff in centimeters now instead of inches. No need to convert.

The only place I can see Joe American being rightfully confused is trying to figure out pricing by weight in the grocery store. Yes, you still figure out dollars-per-kilo the same way you do dollars-per-pound, but it would be hard to figure out on the spot if you were getting less or more for your dollar compared to what you paid per pound before.

So, what you’re saying it that it’ll cost a lot if we convert… so simple- we wont convert.:stuck_out_tongue:

It’s like our currency system. Imagine what it would be like if our dollar were not based on a decimal system. ie…$1.00 might be equal to 120 pennies. WHAT? What’s a quarter worth then? Or 75%. OMG what a headache.
It’s the same thing with the English measuring system. It’s just they we don’t know it! For cry’n out loud even the British moved on. That has to mean something.

Exactly. Bury our heads in the sand. Let the rest of the world go ahead. Ignorance is bliss. Why bother looking for better methods? Why bother with progress?

I use Metric when I’m measuring something that I’m going to end up breaking down into smaller parts. Like measuring a wall to have pictures evenly spaced on. But for the rest of the time, I use English. It causes me no problems and it’s more intuitive to me. Yeah, it’s great to easily convert kilometers to meters, but I can’t think of the last time I had to know how many feet were in a mile.

See here’s the strange thing. If water is used as a starting point. Why the hell would you pick an arbitrary point of 32 and not zero?. Same goes for the yard (the length of some crazy kings arm and some time in history). Of course all arms are the same length. So everything is the same no matter where you go. Yea right.

Again you prove my point. You don’t. Not unless you need to survey a piece of land or sell property or build buildings and need to conform to codes or buy material from other countries.