Top 10 Reasons the United States Should Use the Metric System (or SI)

Few people know that Thomas Jefferson gave us our decimal money (10 dimes and 100 pennies)

Few people know that Thomas Jefferson gave us our decimal money (10 dimes and 100 pennies)

If you care about metric system adoption, you really want to check out my post (10-12-22…National Metric Week) which includes my request to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Science, Space, & Technology for a hearing on the subject. You can see the 10-page report I submitted to Congress:

(Check out this Vox podcast on the new kilogram standard. I’m interviewed during the second half of the segment.)

1) It’s the system 95 percent of the world uses
(It’s not standard in the U.S.,  Burma, and Liberia)
2) It’s easier to make conversions
(You just move the decimal point right and left)
3) Teaching two measurement systems to children is confusing
4) It’s the language of science
5) It’s the language of medicine
6) Human conversion errors are inevitable
(We lost a Mars orbiter that way and pharmacy mistakes are common)
7) It’s the language of international commerce
8) Many hobbies and sports use the metric system
9) Its use is necessary for travel outside of the United States
10) So we look less foolish and ignorant to the rest of the world
And a few more for good “measure..”

11) Less clutter since you don’t need liquid and dry measuring cups and teaspoons and tablespoons
(Just a scale and liquid measuring cups)
12)  It’s much easier to conceptualize 1 gram verses 1/28th of an ounce or 1 milliliter verses 1/29 of a liquid ounce (rounded measures)
13) There are fewer measures to learn. Most people will use meters, liters, and grams verses more than 10 for liquid and dry measures alone
14) It was designed to be easy to learn and use
(In 1790s Europe the literacy rate was around 60 percent)

115 thoughts on “Top 10 Reasons the United States Should Use the Metric System (or SI)

    • My understanding is that every country, including the United States, has “officially” adopted the metric system. The problem comes with “adopting” verses “using.” According to a presentation I have from the National Institute for Standards and Technology, that three countries haven’t adopted is a metric myth: every country has.

      The link you included links to another source that says:

      “At a meeting on the development of wholesale centres held in Magwe last month, participants agreed in principle to the government’s proposal to adopt the kilogram as the basic unit for commodities trade in all townships.” and

      “Despite agreeing to consider the proposal, traders who participated in the meeting told The Myanmar Times afterwards they thought there was little chance of it being implemented in the near future.”

      That’s kind of where the United States has been for the past 200+ years and look where we are today.

      Still, I’ll do some checking around in case something has changed.

      Thanks for wanting to keep me honest.

      • Thank you! I had to give good reasons why the U.S.A should change from the standard to the metric and you were the person who gave amazing reasons

      • As a European used to SI who recently moved to the US, I find it so funny the way Americans use/do not use units of measurement in the most basic of circumstances e.g.
        1. Distance is almost always given in time units, Walmart is only 15 minutes away, its about 4 hours from LA to Las Vegas; the train crash occurred an hour north of Washington
        2. The size or scale of something is given by reference to some physical object rather than using units of measurement at all — it was the size of three football fields, the bridge was as long as six Queen Marys, the water main leaked enough to fill 400 swimming pools.
        3. Ton is most commonly used to refer to a large amount of something e.g a ton of work, tons of money, a ton of respect. I rarely hear ton used to describe a large weight, pounds is invariably used even if the number is in thousands or millions.

        I hear this type of thing every day on the evening news. Are Americans really that dumb even with their customary units?

      • Don’t kid yourself. We’re no more metric in the US than we are Swahili speaking. I can’t even express distances or measures in km’s or litres on a job application. I can’t mail a package using grams/kg else the web server kicks it back and says “wrong-o”. I can’t order something in a butcher shop or deli counter using grams. It’s infuriating. American manufacturing HAD to change – it was literally do or die for them. As for the common folk, they’re as terrified of SI as they are satan himself and will defend English “dark ages” measures they their last drop of blood.

  1. Maybe you can add some of these reasons to your list.

    Why is the metric system easier than USC? The most frequently given answers include:
    1…Because Metric is simple and consistent. There is only one meter and one kilometer and one liter..Unlike the mile (3 miles, international mile, US Survey mile, nautical mile.) and two gallons (Imperial gallon and US gallon) Metric is simple and less confusing, fewer errors, less cost.
    2…Because it dramatically reduces conversion factors in calculations. Less time doing calculations, fewer errors, less wastage in material and time, less cost.
    3…Because Metric prefix’s enable whole numbers only. Avoiding decimal fractions and missinteruptation and errors.
    4…Because Metric offers units from very large to very small.
    5…Because Metric dimensions are easier to divide by three.
    6…Because it has links between related measurements.
    7…Because it uses logical symbols.
    8..Because it is the only properly maintained system.
    9..Because practically everyone uses it. For more than 95% of the world population, the Metric system is the customary system of units, and for more than half of the industrialized world, it has been for at least a century.

    Regards from ..wjong..

  2. We just don’t have the time or interest in converting everything over to an entirely new set of measurements just because the cool kids are doing it. Inches, feet, miles, etc, those are the measurements we use, and it’s always worked just fine for us 300+ million people. Like the term “soccer”, the rest of the world just has to accept that we don’t simply cave into everything just because of “Well, that’s how WE do it over here”. We’re happy with our method of measurements, just like I’m sure you’re happy with yours, thanks you for all of your concerns but we respectfully decline it’s use. We may have supposedly “officially” adopted the metric system, but that’s just window dressing. Not one person here uses it and probably never will.

    • Thank you for taking time to express your opinions. I appreciate that we don’t agree and won’t try to convince you otherwise. However, I think it’s interesting that you use “we” so much in your comments. If by “we” you mean Americans, then I am part of that “we” (was born here and have never lived anywhere else) and I don’t agree with your assertions. I would also propose that if you research a little more you may realize that your statement that no one uses the metric system in this country is incorrect. It is the language of science, medicine and international trade everywhere, including in the U.S. I agree that if we use “football” instead of “soccer” no real harm is done. However, if we lose a multi-million dollar spacecraft and people are poisoned due to medicine and other conversion errors, that makes it more than a problem of semantics. I could go on but I’ll leave it at that. Having responded, I defend your right to disagree with me.

    • “If ignorance is bliss.. then why aren’t more people happy?”
      I’m guessing you don’t use calculations much or else you would know how easier it is to use the metric system. (If you even know the metric system, or the Imperial honestly). Also, by worked fine, you mean managed to get along with it? It has been a problem and still has been with regulations to other countries. Science is major, and U.S. will convert. I just hope soon.

      • Guys, this is why we didn’t go metric in the 70s, We had focused on CONVERT, CONVERT, CONVERT. You just gotta use it, not convert it. I’m 16 and American, I find the Metric System WAY easier to USE. We got to stop CONVERTING and start USING.

      • Another point i forgot to mention about 10 seconds ago. No one knows what 1 tablespoon looks like (exaggerated), when people cook they look at the tablespoon and fill the thing and level it off. We don’t have to CONVERT, if a box calls for 500 miliLiters of something we just fill the thing up and level it off, Most of us don’t care what it looks like!!!

    • Don’t speak for me. Due to drought here in California, I’ve been trying to see how much water we’ve been using and what solutions there are. I’ve been taught to think of water volume in terms of ounces or gallons, but our water meter is in cubic feet. I investigate how much it costs my town to get water and everything is in acre-feet. This is ridiculous! I’m *not* happy with our method of measurements.

      • What? No we don’t! If we did people would know it and not be known as ignorant. Plus I don’t want the “old system” to die. It encourages people to do more math if you think about it.

    • You your attitude is VERY backwards and old fashioned, outright outdated. If your logic (there sadly is no logic in your argument) would be true, and the USA would follow that maxim in everything, be it science or commerce, it would be a third world banana nation that had no power or money or say around the world. it would not be building robots, create Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple and all the others. Being old fashioned and sticking to what clearly does not work well (the incident of crashing a million dollar mars lander just because you can’t do proper conversions (which are very hard to do and unscientific in imperial measure and will fail in time critical conversions (go convert 25 3/4 tons into ounces, and do it really quick. In metric, you don’t even need a calculator, you can do that so easily) is really not smart. The metric system is superior in EVERY aspect, it was designed to be. Well, in everything but one: It probably does not have the glow of tradition and oldfasionedness, of being an exception, special, different around all the other nations of the world. And the warm glow of not having to use your brain and learn something new, but as I said, the rest of the US is leading the world in technology and it has not done that by having your attitude and shunning the new and favoring the old. I would think that eventually they will switch to metric, but the current generation in power probably has to give over the torch to a newer fresh thinking generation.

      • Why would switching to the metric system make us a third world banana nation? after all, we would be using the same metric system as the entire world making us similar to other states. We can easily just switch over to metric by not teaching U.S customary in schools.

        Honestly, with your logic I cant tell if you’re for or against us switching to the metric system.

    • Sorry, I’m as American as apple pie, born in Illinois but see the huge advantages to the metric system and because of the conspiracy against it in the US, struggle to learn it. I’d rather have 10mm than 3/8, 21/64, blah blah blah. Way easier to conceptualize.

    • So, if “our” system works so well, why isn’t the rest of global humanity following our lead? Also, if you’re applying for a job for say, a machinist or even an assembler technician and you’re required to be comfortable with international weights and measures, would you get the job? My point is – We are living in a metric world and we are only rejecting it because we have the economic might to do so. No one can argue the kings foot and barleycorn is a better way of quantifying the world around you. You’re just used to it so you argue for it. Our “system” is nothing more than a hodge-podge of random, archaic references and cannot be used as a tool like SI. How big is an acre? How many teaspoons in a quart? How many ft/lbs of thrust can you achieve by igniting 1 sq inch of gasoline? If an American manufacturer wishes to make things for a global market, SI is ESSENTIAL to know and we simply don’t know it. It’s time, America.

  3. OMG, just trying to convert my recipe for 7200′ again today. So hard to figure out 9% of 1/4 (2 liquid oz?) cup to reduce the amount of oil in the banana bread. Can we not just use ml?!
    The math is not just more tedious for conversions, just the manipulating of the units themselves is a major math headache that would disappear.
    Switching to metric would not solve all my baking-at-altitude problems, I still have to increase the eggs by 15%…. (my current solution is to use extra large eggs)

    • One cup of flour is 250 grams. If I use 90 grams and you have to convert it in cups and measure it, good luck with that. If I get a recipe that asks for 1/4 cups, it will take me 10 seconds to figure out how many grams that is and my scale can measure the exact number of grams. Conversion is only a problem for people that use non-metric systems.

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  5. I believe that everybody in the world should adopt whatever system the Americans have. It would be easier for everybody else to just change than to try to reason with them. They are retarded and stubborn and will fight it every step of the way. I don’t mind using pounds. If they mind using grams, fine, I will change, but let’s just make it the same everywhere because I am so tired of every single recipe page to have a comment like “how many cups is 100 grams, why can’t you use normal English”.

    • To be fair, it’s the Americans’ fault for being so damn stubborn and stupidly nationalistic that they won’t give up the standard system, just for the sake of being the hipster of units in the world.
      There’s so many reasons to use metric instead of standard as explained in the post, but people like you disagree for no good reason, proudly declaring that every country in the world should be like America with all its flaws as well.

      And this is coming from an American too, mind you.

  6. The fundamental issue is that it’s easier to calculate in decimals vs. fractions. Can you do 13 1/4″ + 6 13/16″ – 9 5/8″ faster than 12.4mm + 56.9 mm – 22.6 mmm? Not only that can you tell me how many cubic feet are in 73 cubic yard without a calculator?

      • I have some question that I don’t know.
        1.Why should we convert units within the metric system ?
        Can anybody answer this please.???

    • No, that’s not the fundamental issue. You can express your distances with either fractions or decimals and you can do so with the English or Metric systems. The fundamental issue is that in the English system units of measurement change totally when scaled up or down (inch, feet, yard, mile) whereas in the decimal system distance is measured in some kind of meters.

  7. I think some things should be switched to the metric system, but other simpler measurements can always be left alone.

    For example, these should be switched to metric in my opinion:
    distance (vehicles)
    volume (2L versus half-gallon)
    temperature (C)
    and scientific and medial should always use metric.

    But other things I would like to leave alone, mostly when measuring dimensions with items I use or clothing. For example,
    measuring in fractions when working with furnature or wood
    measuring clothing items
    height (6 feet versus 182cm)
    teaspoons and tablespoons for cooking

    Though maybe there could be metric equivalents of those measurements and I would be fine with that

  8. #1 – You’re arguing that Americans should abandon their traditional systems of measurement just because a majority of other countries don’t use them. Well, so what? By that kind of logic, we should all stop speaking English, too — indeed, everyone on the planet should stop speaking whatever languages they now speak — and we should all learn Chinese instead, since that’s what a plurality (1/6) of the world speaks. The argument is specious — and what the rest of the world uses is irrelevant.

    #2 – Nonsense. First of all, one generally doesn’t need to convert units anyway — in the Imperial OR the metric systems — because the different units all serve different purposes. Who *cares* how many inches (or centimeters) there are between New York and Los Angeles? One measures such distances in miles (or kilometers) for a reason — so the ease or difficulty of conversion is not an issue. Secondly, any given Imperial/US customary unit of measurement can be expressed with decimals just as easily as any metric unit — for example, 15 inches is 1.25 feet — and if you genuinely consider that more difficult to convert simply because you have to remember how many inches there are in a foot, then that says more about YOU than about the system of measurement.

    #3 – That is akin to suggesting that learning two languages is “confusing” — when in fact, children raised bilingually are demonstrably more intelligent than children who are taught only one language. You underestimate children, and overestimate the difficulty of conversion.

    #4 & #5 – Medicine IS a science, so that’s only one reason, not two, and it is the only reason you offer that has the slightest validity — but it’s still not a *sufficient* reason, since A) non-scientists are not obliged to adopt a system just because scientists use it, especially when another system already exists in common usage that is every bit as efficient and useful, and B) if *consistency* of usage in America mattered (which it does not), then one might just as easily argue that our scientists ought to use the Imperial system.

    #6 – False, and poorly reasoned. False, because conversion errors are NOT “inevitable” — and if they were, then the shifting of decimal points in the metric system would be just as likely to cause errors as conversion to or from Imperial units. And poorly reasoned, because (again) you think you are arguing for the metric system, when you are actually arguing for *consistency* — which (AGAIN) could just as easily be achieved by everyone using the Imperial system.

    #7 – This is, for all practical purposes, functionally identical to reasons 1, 4 and 5. And it’s *still* irrelevant.

    #8 – To whatever extent that this might be true, it too is irrelevant; but many hobbies and sports *don’t* use the metric system, so it’s an invalid argument anyway.

    #9 – This is a cross between reasons 1 and 3 — only this time, you are assuming that even *adult* Americans are too stupid to be able to handle the metric system when they travel abroad, apparently because you think people can’t have two systems in their head simultaneously.

    #10 – This is just an incredibly obnoxious way of restating reasons #1, #7 and #9 — which remains irrelevant — and now your entire argument is tainted by your contemptuous attitude.

    #11 – Rubbish.

    #12 – Absolutely absurd. The ability to conceptualize any unit of measure is entirely determined by one’s *familiarity* with that unit, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the system to which that unit belongs. Ask any average American which they can visualize more easily: 5’10”, or 177.8cm. For that matter, ask *100* people chosen at random off any American street — and if you get more than *1* who claims to be able to visualize the latter measurement more easily, then I guarantee you’ve stumbled across some foreign tourists.

    #13 – Most people don’t even use all those Imperial units that YOU think are so difficult to learn — and most of the people who DO use the rarer units don’t seem to have any particular difficulty doing so. (And by the way, the word is spelled “versus,” not “verses.”)

    #14 – The fact that the metric system was “designed” is one of many reasons the metric system is so widely despised by Americans — the vast majority of whom are obviously quite content to keep using units of measure that naturally *evolved*, rather than a system “designed” (arbitrarily) by elitist snobs who thought they knew better.

    And I would add this: Perhaps the greatest reason that most Americans have no interest in the metric system, and will *never* accept it, is that those who advocate it — such as YOU — are so thoroughly pompous and stuck up about it.

    You think children are too stupid to learn two ways of measuring things? You think even *adults* are too stupid to be able to perform simple conversions? (Or for that matter, too stupid to just feed the numbers into their cell phones?) You think Americans are “foolish and ignorant” just because we don’t use the metric system?

    Well, congratulations. Keep telling yourself how much better and smarter the “rest of the world” is than Americans. And keep deluding yourself with the belief that you’re somehow more enlightened too, even though YOU can’t handle two systems at once — or if you CAN, then by what colossal arrogance do you assume it’s beyond the rest of us?

    The rest of us will keep right on using our Imperial units, AND the metric system whenever we must — such as when we’re traveling abroad in countries full of people who can only handle ONE system of measurement — and although it will come as a surprise to you, we’ll experience no mysterious difficulties doing so.

    While we’re at it, we may also learn multiple languages, or maybe even wholly different systems of mathematics, such as binary or hexadecimal — Oh no! We may encounter numbers that don’t divide evenly by 10! Whatever shall we do? — and we’ll do it all without a single cerebral stroke, or even a strained muscle.

    And you can waste as much time as you want to, evangelizing the gospel of universal metric conformity in America. By all means, keep dreaming. I invite you to hold your breath waiting for the mass conversion.

    • The last sentence above: “By all means, keep dreaming. I invite you to hold your breath waiting for the mass conversion.”

      If this person is so sure metric system adoption will never happen, why respond at all?

      • I think he was telling you to die from asphyxiation… But then maybe that’s just my own contempt for you site coloring my comprehension.

    • To “Knight Owl”:

      Electrical outlets in my American home provide 120 Volts. Since this unit named “Volt” is part of the metric system, please tell me: what is this in Imperial units? For example, the metric system has these relationships:

      1 Watt (power) = 1 Volt (voltage) x 1 Ampere (current) = 1 Newton (force) x 1 meter per second (speed)

      so there the electrical and mechanical units all nicely fit together. What do these relationships look like in the Imperial system, and is it really better than this? Why don’t our batteries have two voltage labels: first in Imperial units, and then (maybe) in Volts in parentheses? We already do this for volumes, so why not for voltages as well?

      Why do we impose these (metric) Volts on Americans instead of using our own traditional units?


      You may not care to measure large distances in unsuitably small units, but your GPS gadget does. Nailing down the position to a few meters (or feet) from satellites placed thousands of kilometers (or miles) above us really does require that level of precision and unit conversions. Let’s say US troops surround a terrorist compound and call in an air strike – we wouldn’t want that missile to hit our guys instead, would we?


      I see no problem with keeping using yards in football – and other essentially frivolous things like that. But if you ever need prescription glasses or contact lenses, you’ll be happy having those diopters (another metric unit: inverse meter) work well for you.


      Many American cities were “designed” on a grid from scratch, as opposed to European cities which “naturally evolved” from their medieval roots. Perhaps you’d enjoy living in a place like Cairo, which seems to have no design to it at all. Both the American Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were designed by elite/elitist committees. So on this point too you are simply wrong; but that is not surprising from a person like you, who cannot admit that, on occasion, America could actually learn something useful from abroad. The Chinese made that same mistake in the 1400s when they disengaged from the rest of the world out of their sense of superiority. It did not work out well for them during the next five centuries, so let’s hope that we can learn from that.

    • I love this reply so much. So true. Don’t judge us jut because we don’t use the same system as everyone else. Plus, most americans aren’t bothered by the fact that there are 12 inches in a foot or 3 feet in a yard, when all the pro-metric people say its so hard to convert. Its just what we grow up with, and its engraved in our culture. Nobody wants a football field 91.44 meters…

    • If a thousand years ago people were allowed to chose which numerals should we use, majority of people would have voted to stay with Roman numerals because most of people met numerals only when looking at the clock and Roman system was just fine. If you need to do even a not very complicated engineering calculations, metric system advantages are absolutely obvious and metric system was imposed in the Enlightenment era in Europe. But the majority of Americans meet numbers and units only in their kitchen or simple carpentry so they vote to stay as it is.
      By the way did you know that Apollo Lunar program was using metric system for all calculations and only in the final human interface everything was converted into imperial units? Because the astronauts were, well, they were Americans.

  9. I has to learn some metric measurements in my high school chemistry class and if I had already known them it would’ve made that class a lot easier. Plus, the idea that we shouldn’t do something just because we have always done it a different way is just plain stupid. If things weren’t improved upon, we would still have black and white TV, the telegraph, and steam engines. Our system needs to change for the better.

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  11. No, thank you. I was born in another country and used the metric system the few years that I was there. Since I’ve lived most of my life here I find the metric system very hard. It’s easier for you because you’re used to it. Whenever we’re in science and we use it we have more trouble than when we were little am learning about inches, feet, pounds, liters, etc. When we learn to convert we find it easy and hard. Depends what we’re converting. Once we’re done with it we don’t bother to remember it. Conversion for a lot of us is easier here than converting the metric system. It actually seems a lot more when we’re using the metric system.

  12. All I want to do is bake a cake using my same method as I always have….1cup of this ….1/2 cup of that….there should be a choice of method that you can chose from…everything is not for everybody…Just saying

  13. first of all its 98% not 95 % as the opening web statement here says .. We here in Canada were forced under a heavy hand of politics to use and understand metric over night! .. there was voting for it and here 40 years later I still struggle with converting temperatures and mileage in my head to know exactly how hot it is and how fast am i going .. thanks to our Canadian car models the speedometer makes it easy for me.. and the temperatures after all these years are finally making sense to me.. ( if you Americans want to come visit us in the month of July and want to bring your winter coat because you read it was 25 degrees where you are going .. that’s your problem for being stupid in the first place .. and the cost of changing over all the signs in the country to read the new speed limit .. will do wonders for your budget .. No wonder Canada is still not only paying for all this years later.. even most of our international signs have to read both English and French ., at least you won’t have to change your signage to both English and Spanish !

    Now off to the golf course to try and par that 6500 ‘yard’ course in record time ..

  14. You know… I found this site because I googled “easiest way to learn the Metric system” because I’m learning Japanese and Spanish (simultaneously) right now and of course Mexico and Japan don’t use the decimal system. …the thing is that every time I see some -JERK- talking about how billions of people should just up and change (almost) their ENTIRE way of thinking about measurements it just makes me want America to stay decimal FOREVER just to spite the NERVE of the suggestion.
    Should we switch? Probably. But because WE decide to, not because it would make things more convenient for everyone else. Not because of what other people say.

    100/10 is a LOT LESS confusing than that other shit. Ten times ten. DAMN SO COMPLEX. Why doesn’t everyone else learn the Decimal system?
    Maybe because it’s fucking inconvenient to have an entire COUNTRY change their way of thinking about something that, at the end of the day, DOESN’T REALLY MATTER when it suits them just fine?

    Medicine and Mars: Those are two fields where human error is less acceptable because the consequences are greater. SOMEONE should have caught those mistakes, just as they would have to catch any that AREN’T related to the decimal system.

  15. There are two ways about it, because the metric system is accurate. Other countries are using the metric system for their currency as well, because it is the end of inflation. The fact is that the metric system is sensible, and needs to be used in the U.S.!

  16. I don’t think we need the metric system. I learned the metric system in college for my chemistry degree. any job I had used metric only. There was no issue learning it. I like to use feet, inches, lbs, etc at home. There is no critical issue that requires metric outside of work. I don’t need Km for road signs. Miles work just fine. Don’t need to spend money to change all signs over. Waste of taxes. Kids learn metric in science classes. Treat it as a tool used in science. No other use for it. There are just no other reasons I have heard from the people that want to change other than everyone else has changed.

  17. The US already uses metric system – money. penny is 1/100 dollar. 10 pennies is a dime. 10 dimes are 1 dollar. Nickel 5 Cents is 1/20 dollar. Quarter is 1/25 dollar. 100 dollar bill. 1000 dollar bill. 10,000 dollar bill.

    • There is no 1,000 or 10,000 dollar bill.
      [Political comment about the president removed prior to approval as it was not relevant to comment above.]

  18. This may be true, but the imperial system is really useful for measuring distances. In base 12, we can evenly divide by 2, 3, 4, and 6, whereas in base 10 we can only evenly divide by 2 and 5.

    • This is the “argument of twelves,” as I call it. The problem is this ONLY applies to distances measured in feet (as far as I know–correct me if there are other “distances” made up of twelves [hours and months are not distances]). It doesn’t apply to many other measures (16 ounces in a pound, 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon, 4 cups in a quart, and 1760 feet in a mile, etc.). If everything in our measurement system was based on 12s it would be a much stronger argument. Then there is the fact that science, medicine, and 95 percent of world uses the much easier metric system where EVERYTHING has common denominators. A single measure that can be diced many ways, as far as I’m concerned, is an awfully large price to pay for our lack of metric system adoption. I think it’s something to think about. Still, I appreciate you raising the issue.

      • Yes, the metric system is easier to convert and use IF WE GOT USED TO IT. But, Americans can easily say how many inches in a foot, or how many feet in a yard, or how many ounces in a cup. It is so deeply engraved in our daily lives and culture that it is very difficult to change.

        But anyways I have an 8th grade essay due in 3 days so thanks for this

      • In my country of Canada we converted to metric in1975 age 25 and here 45 years later I still convert in my mind to imperial the litres to gallons and Celsius to Fahrenheit to get thru my day ., but the jest of my post of this topic is why the USA never followed the rest of the world was the Americans don’t have the temperament or the smarts to understand metric., well I still don’t either to this day .

    • I’m currently doing a deligent search for any information regarding the metric system for a god awful debate I’m doing in Language arts class. And I see this. My faith in humanity, what little I had at least, has been completely demolished. Congrats.

  19. I’m actually surprised no-one has mentioned defects in the imperial system itself. A pound of 7000 grains is divided into 16 ounces, each 437 1/2 grains, which are then divided into 16 drams, each 27 11/32 grains. Did I mention that “ounce” comes from “uncia”, the Latin word for one-twelfth? So shouldn’t there be 12 ounces in a pound? Well, there are! There are 12 ounces in a troy pound, used to weigh precious metals (and drugs). A troy pound is only 5760 grains, making a troy ounce 480 grains. Meanwhile, back in the world of avoirdupuis weight, a hundredweight is equal to 112 pounds of 7000 grains each. Seriously?

    Actually, troy weight isn’t that bad. There are lots of 2’s, 3’s, and 5’s that make division easy. 24 grains make a pennyweight, 20 pennyweights make an ounce, and 12 ounces make a pound. If we never adopt the metric system, let’s at least measure everything in troy weight.

    And if you thought having two different pounds is bad enough, how about three different gallons? A wine gallon is 231 cubic inches, a Winchester gallon (for measuring ale and beer) is 282 cubic inches, and a dry gallon is 268 4/5 cubic inches. Let’s say you wanted to fill a swimming pool with water. You measure out length, width, and height, multiply them together, and then divide by the “magic number” (which is nigh-impossible to do in your head). Assuming you even know to use the right magic number. I think water is sold by the wine gallon, but I’m not sure, and if you calculate using the wrong gallon you could be in for quite the surprise…

  20. Changing to the metric system would actually be harder than some of you think. We would have to change street signs, cars, food labels, math, etc. Older minors would have to struggle to learn math all over again with the new system. I already had to go through algebra once I don’t want to have to go through it again with a completely different system. Changing would cost money and take a lot of time. I agree that some parts of the metric system are easier, but the current system has become some much a part of life for Americans it would be really hard to change. Adults would have to learn the metric system to function in daily life and seniors would be confused since the current system is all they have know. Also it would be hard for parents to help kids with their math because they never learned it using metrics. I think we should leave it be, and if you want to use metrics thats your business but don’t go around trying to get people to change from what they have always known just to make things “easier”. I think everyone has valid points and a lot of people are right that in some ways the metric system is easier, but if you really look at it, in some ways its not. And just because Americans are comfortable in the system we use doesn’t mean we are stupid or stubborn in any way shape or form. Its like asking Great Britain to change to our system and then calling them stupid or stubborn because they say no, when thats just what there comfortable with. I think every country has a right to decide its own system and not be judged because of their choice. And if citizens within that country disagree then they can use the system they want if they want to.

  21. I agree 100% in Canada we changed around 75 /76 when I was about 25 and today after all these years I still have to convert to imperial to figure out the weather. Highway speeds are fine as our odometer is Canadian therefore metric. All our golf courses are imperial and weights and measurements are definitely never metric!
    All all signage was changed to kilometres and I’m sure that’s why we as Canadians always had a deficit.

  22. Here’s another more innocuous but no less valid – I feel stupid being forced to use feet, pounds, inches, acres, bushels and pecks knowing there’s something that works better, and is far more intuitive for me personally. It’s the same attitude that drives the staunch nationalist defenders of the barleycorn, and they have a much, much louder voice than I do. It’s safe to assume are not equally educated in both methods of measure. I HATE “feet” – I hate using the word “FEET” or “FOOT”. My mind conjures pictures of dirty feet. MILES conjures visions of a sweaty Roman soldier in full battle gear counting each step as he marches along. The term “ACRE” puts a dusty old farmer with an ox-plow to mind. These methods of quantifying the world around you so not belong in use in a 21st century world power. They’re useless. Not to mention, if we were to finally abandon them, they’d be obsolete. Quaint things belong in museums and history books.

  23. Let’s face it fellow metrologists – It’s a losing battle. I only wish I had a viable CHOICE to use the methods to measure my world that work best for me and let me tell ya, it’s not a dead kings foot and abstract, random measuring references from 3rd century Rome. Being educated in SI and living in a nation hopelessly entrenched in a dying or dead “system” of measure, too obstinate and nationalist to even consider anything else is pure hell.

  24. And don’t forgot the major fuckup when the mars lander crashed into the Martian landscape because some American didn’t convert to metric!

  25. What is absolutely stunning (and a glaring illustration of American ignorance) is that our currency system (yes, the American currency system) is a metric/decimal system! The first metric currency system in the English speaking western world! Astounding, eh? It is a direct result of our founders working along side the French on (gulp!) the metric system! We are actually tied closer to the SI than the mish-mosh of Egyptian/Roman/English units we’ve been dragging along with us for centuries. You’ve been using the metric system your whole lives, America. If there weren’t a few missteps and bad decisions early on, we would have been the first nation after France to embrace this awesome system. After all, the French just helped us defeat our monarchical masters – Why are we so desperately clinging to oddball English units? History is strange.

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