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Thread: Imperial vs Metric

  1. #1

    Default Imperial vs Metric

    I have t work in both the United Kingdom, and Europe, and have to swtich back between imperial units and measuremnts, and the metric system.

    In your opinion, which is better? Metric or Imperial?

    Personally, the Metric system makes more sense to me and it's easier to use.

    Does anyone prefer the Imperial system?

    What exactly do you use in the US?

  2. #2

    Default

    We use our own bastardized system of units. We use a lot of imperial units like miles and feet for distance and temperature. We use our own U.S. version of gallons and other units for volume. There are very few instances of metric in use at all, although a few get snuck in here and there (bottles of pop come to mind, since bigger bottles are sold in one- and two-liter bottles, and wine is sold in metric sizes like 750 ml). We use pounds for weight, as well.

    Americans are pretty much universally opposed to metric (they claim it makes no sense and it's hard to learn), and attempts to convert our highway signage to metric were rendered illegal by the Clinton administration passing a law prohibiting any federal funds from being spent on metric signage.

    Personally, I hate it! I love the metric system and it's simplicity. A few years ago when I was planning to move to Canada (I had actually begun the process), I decided to learn metric by setting the units on all of my electronics to metric. It was super easy. I can't convert between the two worth a damn, but I know what 30 C means and 90 kg means and 100 km means and 1 L means. I find metric to be super simple, whereas I still don't know how many quarts are in a pint or how many feet are in a mile (I think it's 5820 or some ridiculous stupid thing). If I had my way, the U.S. would fully convert to metric and never look back.

    Oh, to add to that, we also use a mixture of metric and "SAE" (English) for bolts and things of that nature. Auto mechanics have to literally keep two sets of tools because some cars use metric sizes for fasteners, some use SAE (society of automotive engineers), and occasionally you'll find a really stupid horrible POS that has both types on the same car! (Chrysler was especially bad about this in my experience).
    Last edited by Trevor; 22-Jun-2012 at 15:47. Reason: merging posts.

  3. #3

    Default

    I agree with the bolt size. Drives me up the wall having to lug out both metric & "standard" sockets & wrenches to do a job. My pops just got me a set of universal sockets so I'll have to see how good they wind up being. As for converting over totally. Not going to happen any time soon. All the old timers, including myself, refuse to convert just because we have enough crap to deal with in life & learning grammar school stuff all over again is not on our list of to do's. One of my trades was carpenter so once you get good at estimating inches, feet, yards, & so on the last thing you want to be doing is trying to convert all that. Let the schools keep teaching both & get the next generation used to converting & eventually they will come up with a standard. For now I'm happy with the free on line conversion programs :P




    Quote Originally Posted by xbabyx View Post
    Oh, to add to that, we also use a mixture of metric and "SAE" (English) for bolts and things of that nature. Auto mechanics have to literally keep two sets of tools because some cars use metric sizes for fasteners, some use SAE (society of automotive engineers), and occasionally you'll find a really stupid horrible POS that has both types on the same car! (Chrysler was especially bad about this in my experience).

  4. #4

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    I'm ambivalent. Counting by tens is certainly easier than the mishmash we use here but they are both arbitrary and some of our arbitrary measurements are based on human scales, which I think makes them easier to estimate in the everyday world. That personal convenience doesn't stand up too well to the savings and efficiency of going along with a system the rest of the world has adopted (aside from Libya and Burma). I'd miss pints and inches and such but I'd adjust. We should change but I'd have to say it's not important enough to me personally to push for it. I'd reluctantly vote in favor of it if it came to that but it would certainly lose.

  5. #5
    Supersam1223

    Default

    I use the metric system, obviously, being from the UK, and I know some of the imperial system (we had to learn it in maths), and compared to the metric system the imperial looks like a complete mess. I cannot fathom why anyone would prefer the imperial over the metric. But, then again, I grew up using metric.

    That said, we still use miles, have pints of milk and beer, and almost all rulers and tape measures have inches on them, so we aren't completely converted.

  6. #6

    Default

    [QUOTE=xbabyx;899462]


    Americans are pretty much universally opposed to metric (they claim it makes no sense and it's hard to learn), and attempts to convert our highway signage to metric were rendered illegal by the Clinton administration passing a law prohibiting any federal funds from being spent on metric signage.
    I wouldn't say that. I don't really care either way, just pick one ferchrissakes!!! I'm more accustomed to the Imperial for weights, measures and distance, but I'm sure I'd get over it in short order if we made the switch. It sure makes a hell of a lot more sense to go metric than it does to have all the signs in Spanish!



    Oh, to add to that, we also use a mixture of metric and "SAE" (English) for bolts and things of that nature. Auto mechanics have to literally keep two sets of tools because some cars use metric sizes for fasteners, some use SAE (society of automotive engineers), and occasionally you'll find a really stupid horrible POS that has both types on the same car! (Chrysler was especially bad about this in my experience).
    Don't even get me started! I've got a Ford and a Chrysler that use both!

  7. #7

    Default

    [QUOTE=Maxx;899488]

    Quote Originally Posted by xbabyx View Post
    I wouldn't say that. I don't really care either way, just pick one ferchrissakes!!! I'm more accustomed to the Imperial for weights, measures and distance, but I'm sure I'd get over it in short order if we made the switch. It sure makes a hell of a lot more sense to go metric than it does to have all the signs in Spanish!

    Don't even get me started! I've got a Ford and a Chrysler that use both!
    As a question, when were those cars made? Ive encountered GMs made in the late '90s that used a mix. The couple of Chryslers I encountered were Chrysler Corporation era stuff (late '80s). My '78 Lincoln is all English and our '97 Town Car is all Metric. I'm wondering if there was a period in the '80s where no one had figured it out yet.

  8. #8

    Default

    Being in a science field, metric is awesome and imperial units are evil. Imperial units are hell when you have to do any kind of calculation including unit conversions, whereas metric, in its elegant base-10 design, is simple. Since science work is overwhelmingly about making technical quantitative measurements, this is kind of a big deal.

    You will have a hard time finding a scientist anywhere who doesn't prefer metric; anyone who is heavily exposed to both in their day-to-day lives quickly grows to prefer metric.

  9. #9

    Default

    [QUOTE=xbabyx;899490]

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post

    As a question, when were those cars made? Ive encountered GMs made in the late '90s that used a mix. The couple of Chryslers I encountered were Chrysler Corporation era stuff (late '80s). My '78 Lincoln is all English and our '97 Town Car is all Metric. I'm wondering if there was a period in the '80s where no one had figured it out yet.
    '96 Neon and a 2000 Focus

  10. #10

    Default

    Metric make so much more sense that imperial. 1000 meters is 1kilometer where as 1 mile is 5280 feet.

    Metric is based around 10 where imperial is based around numbers some guy pulled out of his arse.

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