Newbie question :) be kind...

On Thu, 24 Jan 2008 09:55:45 +1300, I said, "Pick a card, any card"


You can't buy petrol in the USA at all. Sorry. Leave your car in NZ. -- Ray
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Do you really think you're making a point here? By the way, we don't spell it "litre" in the US. We won't look strange at products from forn parts that have it spelled that way, but ask someone to write down the word and (unless they're a transplant which doesn't count), they'll always write "liter". *
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snipped-for-privacy@iexpress.net.au writes:

The US system is never called "Imperial", and differs in some places from Imperial weights and measures. Like our language is defined by what everyone is using, our measurements systems are a standardized version of whatever caught on.

I know a lot of Kiwis and find them very easy to get along with. I don't think Greg is a cranky nitpicking freak because he's from new Zealand. Every place has a few of those. *
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Greg Procter wrote: [...]

[...]
A 2x4 is actually 1.5"x3.5". It used to 1.75"x3.75" when I was younger, and before that it was true 2"x4". Sometime in the 1950s IIRC 2"x4" was redefined as the size of the rough sawn lumber, which made the milled lumber smaller. Etc.
There was real shamozzle when Canada switched to metric. The gummint bureaucrats believed that going metric meant changing standard sizes. They redefined the 4x8 sheet (of plywood, wallboard, etc) as 1200x2400mm, which is of course wrong. That made the sheet material just enough different from the original size that carpenters had a hell of a time using them when renovating, or when building walls with the standard 16" centre to centre spacing of the studs. The gummint changed the standard back to its proper size (1219mm x 2438mm) pretty quick.
But the gummint still uses A4 paper, even though one of the metrically specified standards translates exactly into the 8.5"x11" letter paper which everybody else uses. A4 is no more a "metric" size than any other. Our paper sizes go back to the late middle ages and the introduction of printing.
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Greg Procter wrote:

There's far too much made of the "logic" of the metric system. The thing is, that those who tout the logic of the metric system think of a measuring system as a thing in itself, somehow divorced from human use. Measuring systems were made for human use, and any system that meets human needs is good. The very thing that makes the metric system logical is irrelevant for most human uses. The most common use of measured quantities is in buying and selling. It's significant IMO that the typical quantities of traded goods are pretty much what they've always been, just measured in different units. Eg, a loaf of bread weighs about 1lb, because that's a handy size for handling and slicing.
Does it matter that in the metric system conversion between units is easy? Very, very little. Even the people who find this feature handy (eg, technical people) don't do it all that often. Most of the time you just don't convert between units, because there is no need to do so.
For the vast majority of human uses, standard sizes and dimensions are far more important than the units used to measure them. (Footnote) Consider the standard intermodal shipping containers. These are all specified in feet, because the ultimately successful version was designed in the USA. Does this faze anybody anywhere? Of course not. It doesn't matter where the containers are made, they all fit the latching and lockdown devices on truck frames, railcars, etc. That's all that matters.
It would be nice to have all kinds of other standards, and the ISO is working on it. It's slow going, because no matter what standards are adopted, someone is going to have change their tooling. The cost of doing that may outweigh any supposed advantage of common standards, especially if different markets have different expectations. Also, "proprietary formats" may be held to have an advantage greater than conformance to a common standard.
For the record, I use both imperial and metric units, depending on my needs and desires. I see no reason to be limited to one or the other of these systems. Is this illogical? Of course it is. So what? I'm a human being.
HTH
Footnote: I recently built a new computer. That is, I bought a bunch of parts, and bolted and plugged them together. This was possible because things like the spacing of cooling fan bolts is standard. I don't know whether this spacing is specified in mm or in inches, and I neither care nor need to know which it is. Just so the part fits.
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Some of us Americans understand and use Brittish English, when the need arises. Most of the time I speak American English. or U.S English.     Some of us Americans DO want to improve our grammar and diction. However, the U.S Public school systems failed to properly teach this important subject adaquately. Now, as an adult, I would like to find a school or course where I can learn to speak and write properly. I watch lots of Brittish television (thanks to BBC America) and have been using those programs to help me improve my diction. Sadly I know of no perfect place to go to improve my grammar.     Likewise I embrace the Metric System, however, I contstantly find myself constantly having to handle U.S units.
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Ray Haddad wrote:

I'm slamming impracticality, not "things American".

Can you compare US mpg with UK mpg with international km/100 litres without recourse to a calculator and conversion tables? How do US vs European economy cycles alter those direct comparisons? How about HP per ton/lbs per horsepower/Kw per Tonne?
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Steve Caple wrote:

Here in NZ we went metric around 1974. It took 20 years for almost everything and everyone to change. I have two classic cars with imperial speedometers so I _still_ have to mentally convert speeds when I drive them. My old-time New Zealand Railways prototypes plans don't change to metrics. Things like standard 1 1/4" pipe handrails are easier than 31.75mm pipe handrails come easier when modelling. The model engineers still use BA standard nuts and bolts, but that's largely because their plans, taps and dies etc will last forever and it takes them 40 years to complete a 7 1/2" gauge loco. ;-)
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Guess you haven't been out on the road for a while. Haven't seen one of those in many years.
Paul N.

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On 1/18/2008 10:30 AM Ray Haddad spake thus:

Not true; metrification efforts have repeatedly failed here. There's some, but most commerce, etc., is carried out in our old Imperial, etc., units.
The military and scientific organizations use metric, but everyone else buys quarts of milk, gallons of paint, lumber by the foot and the inch, fabric by the yard, etc., etc. We're very defiantly anti-metric here (with which I agree wholeheartedly).
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On 1/18/2008 8:20 AM Greg Procter spake thus:

I've dealt with Ray's factually-challenged posts here; time now to deal with your usual spew.
First of all, I'm curious; *why* do you give a rat's ass what the US does or doesn't do WRT metric measurements? How is that any skin off your nose, especially seeing as how you have such a low opinion of us (some of which I happen to agree with, but that's neither here nor there)?
Is there something we (the US) manufacture that you're especially craving, if only it came in a measurement that you feel comfortable with? Somehow, I think not.
And surely you're aware of *massive* resistance to metrification in, among other places, the UK itself, right? It is by no means a done deal there (and there, not going along with the politically-correct thing can have real consequences, such as grocers being fined big time for daring to use non-metric measures. Such cases are in the courts now.)
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