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Why doesn’t the U.S. adopt the metric system?

33 Comments

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33 Comments
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Why should they?

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

To quote James Randy : "Because it was made by atheists of the worst kind : french atheists !"

5 ( +7 / -2 )

7 ( +7 / -0 )

To quote James Randy : "Because it was made by atheists of the worst kind : french atheists !"

Har!

I like pints.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The answer is blowin' in the wind.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I often use a mixture of metric & imperial i.e. 6'4" & 110kgs. Never been a fan of pounds & stones though (& fahrenheit, gallons etc).

I like pints.

So do I. Cultural treasure!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The greatest legacy of British colonialism!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Sheer bloody mindedness.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

No way! No concessions! Give ‘em a centimeter and they’ll take kilometer. (Doesn’t quite make it...)

I heard once that the cost of retooling in factories would be enormous. Not really interested enough to pursue this.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Lack of intelligence.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Toasted HereticToday  01:17 pm JST

“The answer is blowin' in the wind.”

But is the wind blowing in miles per hour or kilometers per hour? Oh this is so confusing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I like pints.

US pints or proper Imperial pints?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Probably because there is a slight chance that the government of the U.S. think it's the center of the world, i think.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Can't drive on the correct side of the road either.

Possibly because they are "exceptional" :)

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's all a matter of what they're taught in school. I'm a 64-year old Canadian, and when I was born, all our measurements wear Imperial. Then, in grade school, we were taught the world's most popular measurement system was metric, so we learned both. I have no problem with either because it's really simple math. Grade three math, as a matter of fact. If a kilo is 2.2 pounds, it's pretty easy to multiply or divide a number to get its corresponding amount. An 8oz steak, for instance, is about 550 grams (and that's off the top of my head). Same thing with distance. I run 5km every morning. That's 3 miles. It really is elementary, in all ways.

And as for pints, here in Canada our pubs still pour the Imperial measurement, and I certainly like that!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

US pints or proper Imperial pints?

What you get if you divide a proper gallon by 8.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I thought there was a question: why doesn't the USA switch to the metric system? Not: please take a moment to find something trivial with which to couch and showcase your anti-Americanism.

In this day and age, when I can just speak into my smartphone and get instant conversations; when switching the USA to the metric system today means disrupting the worlds biggest economy tomorrow; what other reason could justify a stupid move except anti-Americanism?

Their argument: it's not about convenience. It's about antagonizing the USA because it's the top dog; i.e., collective European passive aggression.

Can't drive on the correct side of the road either.

No such thing as the "correct" side of the road. It's all relative. This is tired platitude used by POMS. The Germans, who blow the rest of Europe away in automotive technology, also drive on the same side as the USA. Snooty Londoners also wonder why the rest of the world doesn't switch to their type of English.

Probably because there is a slight chance that the government of the U.S. think it's the center of the world, i think.

Maybe not the world, but definitely the center of global bodies such as the UN, NATO, etc. USA decisions have world altering consequences.

I guess ignorance and frustration are at the center of others' worlds.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

what other reason could justify a stupid move except anti-Americanism?

https://www.wired.com/2010/11/1110mars-climate-observer-report/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@strangerland

You're trying to bend your argument into exotic shapes. Most of the public aren't astronauts. Besides, all courses related to sciences in the USA are taught in the metric system. Thesr guys just bungled their math. You cant blame the systrn here.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You're trying to bend your argument into exotic shapes.

I didn’t even make an argument. I simply posted an example to show what the problem is

Most of the public aren't astronauts. Besides, all courses related to sciences in the USA are taught in the metric system. Thesr guys just bungled their math. You cant blame the systrn here.

I can actually. I used to be a programmer, and one of my companies is entirely IT. One of the golden rules is to adhere to standards, and to create them when they don’t exist, exactly to remove the possibility of mistakes from mistaken conversions.

This is no different. The US is one of like three countries in the world that uses the metric system (it’s in good company with Liberia), and this leads to problems exactly like the one in the article I posted.

And besides, Imperial is an inferior system of measurement, which is why the scientists in the US use metric. And if you ask a lot of them, they think it’s silly that their country uses Imperial.

The US has the right to use any system it wants. But don’t try to pretend it’s as good as metric. It’s not.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Don’t need it and by the way, we invented the car, most of the world drives on the normal side with the steering on the left. :)

RHT is used in 163 countries and territories, with the remaining 78 countries and territories using LHT.

Seriously, more globalization and the thought process that, if the world does something and the US doesn’t play along then we are the ignorant Barbarians and you know what, I take that with pride gladly. Keep the metric system. If the US really wanted it, it would have been adopted a long time ago. I grew up half of my life in Europe, so I know the metric system, I can do both, doesn’t matter to me either way, I remember in the late 70’s in the US they tried implementing it into the school system, but it didn’t catch on, oh, well...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Superiority complex.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Excellent question, JT. (10/10)

or should that be 100%, or uh, 120%?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The cost of replacing / altering every road sign in the country would be very expensive for starters. Scales, tools, measuring devices of all sorts would need to be replaced. There are lot of anti-American comments here but I bet when your country needs something you come knocking on my country's door for help.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Because getting Americans to actually agree on anything is almost impossible. There'll always be a minority group who screams blue murder against it, whatever it is.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Because the US is convinced it is right about everything even if the rest of the world disagrees.

Because tarriffs on imports is a better way to reduce the trade imbalance than producing what other countries want. That includes nuts and bolts that match a local mechanics toolkit.

Why does the US choose to use a standard that is neither metric nor 100% imperial? Because that is what the US government specified in contracts. To change the system the government has to change the specifications on its orders to metric and manufacturers will oblige.

Metric countries manage perfectly well with things like 2x4 wood, which is not actually 2 inches by 4 but slightly smaller.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Because getting Americans to actually agree on anything is almost impossible. There'll always be a minority group who screams blue murder against it, whatever it is.

We’re not lemmings, but apparently, the majority of Americans don’t want or need it. We’ve survived this long without it., we will be ok. But if it makes the rest of the world feel better. The military and the science department uses the metric system.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The military and the science department uses the metric system.

In other words, those with any intelligence.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

... exactly to remove the possibility of mistakes from mistaken conversions.

Possibility or probability?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In other words, those with any intelligence.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building were all built without using the metric system so I guess there are a lot more intelligent people out there.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Probably because there is a slight chance that the government of the U.S. think it's the center of the world, i think.

Sorry, Imperial China beat the US to that title many hundreds of years ago.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The US does already use the metric system where it makes sense to (science, international trade etc). Customary units are used for everyday things, they are of a more useful size for everyday things and sound better.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Because they are miles away to change every inches of pounds.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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