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US going metric?



 
 
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  #22  
Old January 5th, 2004, 10:07 AM
Mike O'sullivan
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Default US going metric?


"Me" wrote in message
...
In article ,
"jj" wrote:

I'm curious, has there ever been an attempt at going metric in the US?

e.g.
using Celsius? How do people feel about it?


I believe there was a half-hearted attempt to go metric in the '70's.
Other than for scientific purposes, I don't ever expect the United
States to officially adopt the metric system, although it would
definitely benefit from doing so.


Except for the currency of course. US was one of the first.


  #23  
Old January 5th, 2004, 10:43 AM
Mark Hewitt
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Default US going metric?


"Henry" wrote in message
...
jj wrote:

I'm curious, has there ever been an attempt at going metric in the US?

e.g.
using Celsius? How do people feel about it?


In the early '70s, there were some Joint Resolutions which said,
basically, that the US should begin thinking about getting ready to
prepare for the possibility of considering a change to the metric
system. In the mid '70s I worked a job in a place that had international
sales and in light of the supposed atmosphere of metrification that was
spreading across the land I made a remark one day about the firm's units
of measurement. The foreman just about jumped down my throat. 'Why
should WE change?!?' he demanded. 'We're number one! Let the rest of
those countries [sic] change to OUR way!'


And why not, I suppose! Americans can do their thing, just as long as they
don't expect everyone else to follow. On the whole they haven't. America has
different standards to the rest of the world for many things, measurments,
mobile phones etc.

Personally, living in the UK they've been trying to introduce metric here
for decades, and it's largely suceeded. However there are still many shops
selling fruit etc by the pound, even though it's actually illegal, they get
away with it. My view is that it isn't because of what customers want,
rather than if they price in KG their prices would look a lot higher!

The best situation, IMO is to have one system or another. In the US they
seem to have decided on imperial measurments, which is good. Unlike here
were we have a mishmash of both.


  #24  
Old January 5th, 2004, 10:51 AM
Mark Hewitt
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Default US going metric?


"Bill" wrote in message
...


Back in the 70's they took some early steps with some highway signs in

KM's.
That didn't last. Basically Americans like what's familiar.


With all the drive to metricate in the UK. It has always been said that the
roads would never change. Distance will always be in miles and speeds in
mph.

Perhaps they didn't like the Irish example where distances are now all in km
but speed limit signs are in mph!

To me it would make sense for weights and distances. But, sorry, but for
air temperature, Fahrenheit makes so much more sense, with zero to 100

being
about the range of temps we see in a the northern US. Yeah, some places

go
below zero, and some go above 100. But it is so much more informative

than
the much more limited range on the Celsius scale. Celsius makes more

sense
for scientific work though.

Scientists in the US do use only metric.


Each to their own, I guess it's what you are used to. But I find the
fahrenheit scale makes no sense at all! Zero for freezing, one hundred for
boiling point. Makes much more sense than 32 for the freezing point!

And another point not related to your post. I usually see Americans calling
the system of measurment English, as opposed to Metric. Well we mostly don't
use that system so much so it's not 'English' any more, the correct term is
Imperial.



  #25  
Old January 5th, 2004, 02:24 PM
jj
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Default US going metric?

what about high school math/science? would kids be taught in Metric
measurements? Would most young people know how big a metre, or a kilogram
is?



"Me" wrote in message
...
In article ,
"jj" wrote:

I'm curious, has there ever been an attempt at going metric in the US?

e.g.
using Celsius? How do people feel about it?


I believe there was a half-hearted attempt to go metric in the '70's.
Other than for scientific purposes, I don't ever expect the United
States to officially adopt the metric system, although it would
definitely benefit from doing so.



  #26  
Old January 5th, 2004, 02:35 PM
Miles
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Default US going metric?



jj wrote:
what about high school math/science? would kids be taught in Metric
measurements? Would most young people know how big a metre, or a kilogram
is?


I was taught the metric system in the USA in the 70's. I believe they
still teach both. Consumer markets still use the old system but I work
in engineering and use both about equally.

  #27  
Old January 5th, 2004, 02:38 PM
B Vaughan
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Default US going metric?

On Sun, 4 Jan 2004 23:04:25 -0000, "jj" wrote:

I'm curious, has there ever been an attempt at going metric in the US? e.g.
using Celsius? How do people feel about it?


When my kids were in elementary school, about 20 years ago, they were
given intensive education in the metric system, with the thought that
the US might be going metric by the time they were grown. It kind of
fizzled out. It's really difficult to motivate such a large country to
change anything as major as this. You know, the bigger the mass, the
greater the inertia.
--------
Barbara Vaughan

My email address is my first initial followed by my last name at libero dot it.
  #28  
Old January 5th, 2004, 02:39 PM
fishman
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Default US going metric?


"jj" wrote in message
...
what about high school math/science? would kids be taught in Metric
measurements? Would most young people know how big a metre, or a kilogram
is?





Of course they are exposed to it - a meter is a little more than a yard, a
kilometer is about half a mile and a liter is about a quart. That's about
all they remember unless they got into a science that required it or had a
teacher who loved to instill metric.

Chris


  #29  
Old January 5th, 2004, 02:44 PM
Dan Foster
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Default US going metric?

In article , jj wrote:
what about high school math/science? would kids be taught in Metric
measurements? Would most young people know how big a metre, or a kilogram
is?


In physics, it was. Even for general science in the 7th grade, the metric
system was taught as units of measurement and was practised consistently
throughout the entire year. It is possible it is taught in earlier grades
elsewhere. (Note: I am speaking of a public school education; it _may_ be
different or better with private schools.)

I don't recall any math courses up to the early 1990s having ever used the
metric system -- and I've been to at least 10+ different schools -- which
is likely a reflection on the curriculum standards adopted by the local
board of education with an eye toward usability in one's immediate
surroundings (city, state, country).

With the more advanced math courses, things tend to become
unit-independent in explaining the theory and derivation, such as calculus.
Specific application of that for locally used units is left as an exercise
for the reader, so to speak.

If you asked the average metric-familiar person on the street for specific
dimensions in metres (or other forms of measurements in the metric system),
they might have to think for a few moments or find conversion factors, but
they would likely eventually come to an answer within the general vicinty,
or even exactly right.

Of course, I should mention that I don't really have a good idea of how
many people are familiar or comfortable with the metric system in the U.S.
So I only speak of these who *do* know something about the metric system.

I could certainly give you reasonably acceptable answers if it involves
meters, kilometers, kph, litres, degrees celsius (centigrade), kilograms,
or some such... it's just the really small units that I can roughly guess
the magnitude of but need a little more time to make a more accurate guess
on the conversion. Given a little time to look up the conversion factors, I
can give you a perfect answer every single time :-)

-Dan
  #30  
Old January 5th, 2004, 02:58 PM
[email protected]
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Default US going metric?

Mark Hewitt wrote:

"Henry" wrote in message
...
jj wrote:

I'm curious, has there ever been an attempt at going metric in the US?

e.g.
using Celsius? How do people feel about it?


In the early '70s, there were some Joint Resolutions which said,
basically, that the US should begin thinking about getting ready to
prepare for the possibility of considering a change to the metric
system. In the mid '70s I worked a job in a place that had international
sales and in light of the supposed atmosphere of metrification that was
spreading across the land I made a remark one day about the firm's units
of measurement. The foreman just about jumped down my throat. 'Why
should WE change?!?' he demanded. 'We're number one! Let the rest of
those countries [sic] change to OUR way!'


And why not, I suppose! Americans can do their thing, just as long as they
don't expect everyone else to follow. On the whole they haven't. America has
different standards to the rest of the world for many things, measurments,
mobile phones etc.


Personally, living in the UK they've been trying to introduce metric here
for decades, and it's largely suceeded. However there are still many shops
selling fruit etc by the pound, even though it's actually illegal, they get
away with it. My view is that it isn't because of what customers want,
rather than if they price in KG their prices would look a lot higher!


The best situation, IMO is to have one system or another. In the US they
seem to have decided on imperial measurments, which is good. Unlike here
were we have a mishmash of both.


That confused the heck out of me when I was in England. I can do metric
and I can do imperial, but both was very confusing. Between that and money
conversion, the whole trip was one constant math problem.

Manda

 




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