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
* PV something like badgers--something like lizards--and something
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. *
* PV something like badgers--something like lizards--and something
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
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
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
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.
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.
From the Desk of the Sysop of:
Planet Maca's Opus, a Free open BBS system. telnet://pinkrose.dhis.org
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?
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
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. ;-)
Not true; metrification efforts have repeatedly failed here. There's
some, but most commerce, etc., is carried out in our old Imperial, etc.,
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).
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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