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Thread: Why the US still uses an archaic system of weights and measures

  1. #41
    RNG
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlGuy View Post
    Speaking of cars, tires come with pressure markings in Pascals now, so about 30 psi is 206842.7184 Pascals,or 206 KP, I think, don't quote me. Don't want to confuse the two when inflating though.
    It's kPa, if you want to get picky.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    You're right it would be 454 grams of flour. And you would get better accuracy.
    And yet every time I watch a cooking show on TV (which is what my Dr's office always has on, in spite of my constant smart-assed remarks) the chefs seem to ignore measurement quite often.

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    Master political analyst Dittohead not!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo2 View Post
    I must say that it has always puzzled me that the USA - a modern, advanced society, has chosen at all to use the outmoded, 18th century Imperial systems of measurement. It is only my grandad, who lives in Edinburgh, who has ever used that system (as a boy). What is doubly puzzling, is the fact that the citizens of the newly emerged United States of America chose -after a long and bloody conflict with the mother country - to use the systems extant in, and peculiar to, Great Britain and her colonies. Ignoring the much simpler, and more universal, metric systems developed by their allies and saviours - the French. US citizens seem to have willingly adopted the metric system of currency (presumably abandoning the more cumbersome pounds, shillings, and pence,) so why the adherence to the even more cumbersome quarts and gallons; inches, feet, yards and miles? Measurements such as 3/16ths and 7/8ths are sheer lunacy. I understand that most of the Commonwealth (including the UK) went metric with a minimum of fuss.

    Can any sensible American explain the appeal (other than familiarity and laziness)?
    Pirates. Clearly, the explanation is pirates.

    Oh, and familiarity and laziness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Interesting. There were other chances. John Quincy Adams was pretty much obsessed with this topic and tried to get the US to switch to metric when he was Secretary of State in 1816-17 also.

    John Quincy Adams? Report Upon Weights and Measures | Shannon Selin
    Yes, and so did Jimmy Carter, but we Americans love our archaic system. Maybe it has the same appeal as antiques seem to have for some people.
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    Master political analyst Dittohead not!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    It's funny that our measurements for tires involve BOTH systems. In "P215/65 R15," 215 is the width measured in millimeters and the 15 is the diameter of the wheel in inches.
    Interesting. I didn't know that. I wonder how such a hybrid system even evolved?

  6. #46
    Junior Member Slartibartfast's Avatar
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    I work in both and and chop and change between imperial and metric even on the same task. I use whichever is easiest.

    I quantity surveyor in metric and set roofs out inches. I only know the widths of doors by feet and inches but they're 1981mm in height!

    Both have their uses. Whichever one you use, you'll get used to it. The only trouble with metric is that you can end up dealing with big numbers, say in mm's and then errors happen when you start to convert to cm's or m's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo2 View Post
    I must say that it has always puzzled me that the USA - a modern, advanced society, has chosen at all to use the outmoded, 18th century Imperial systems of measurement. It is only my grandad, who lives in Edinburgh, who has ever used that system (as a boy). What is doubly puzzling, is the fact that the citizens of the newly emerged United States of America chose -after a long and bloody conflict with the mother country - to use the systems extant in, and peculiar to, Great Britain and her colonies. Ignoring the much simpler, and more universal, metric systems developed by their allies and saviours - the French. US citizens seem to have willingly adopted the metric system of currency (presumably abandoning the more cumbersome pounds, shillings, and pence,) so why the adherence to the even more cumbersome quarts and gallons; inches, feet, yards and miles? Measurements such as 3/16ths and 7/8ths are sheer lunacy. I understand that most of the Commonwealth (including the UK) went metric with a minimum of fuss.

    Can any sensible American explain the appeal (other than familiarity and laziness)?
    We aren't a bunch of wimps, kissing scientists' asses.

    You think Gary Cooper ever rode a few kilometers of fence on a cattle ranch? Did Tennessee Ernie Ford sing about a 100 grams of coal?

    Fuck no!

    We're EXCEPTIONAL!

    Lol.
    Last edited by Madeline; 7th July 2018 at 11:57 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slartibartfast View Post
    I work in both and and chop and change between imperial and metric even on the same task. I use whichever is easiest.

    I quantity surveyor in metric and set roofs out inches. I only know the widths of doors by feet and inches but they're 1981mm in height!

    Both have their uses. Whichever one you use, you'll get used to it. The only trouble with metric is that you can end up dealing with big numbers, say in mm's and then errors happen when you start to convert to cm's or m's.
    It's easier to change in factors of 10 than it is to go from inches to feet to yards to miles to nautical miles to fathoms to furlongs.
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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNG View Post
    It's easier to change in factors of 10 than it is to go from inches to feet to yards to miles to nautical miles to fathoms to furlongs.
    No doubt, but how many limericks have been written about kilometers?

    Our system has romance!
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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNG View Post
    It's easier to change in factors of 10 than it is to go from inches to feet to yards to miles to nautical miles to fathoms to furlongs.
    Not always. If you measure a window opening and it's 62" or 1575mm and you need to find the centre, which number was easier to divide by 2?

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