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Thread: Imperial or Metric Measurements: Which is Best?

  1. #1
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    Default Imperial or Metric Measurements: Which is Best?

    I've always wondered why we still use the Imperial system of unit measurement. I mean this system is seriously outdated and obsolete. And yet I continue to use Imperial even though it can be seriously painful. When you think about it, using the length of someone's foot as a standard is seriously primitive. And then the godawful fractions.

    There was a movement in America to go metric about 40 years ago. It met with incredible resistance even though it was shown that metric has many advantages over Imperial.

    I continue to use the damn system because that is what I was brought up with. Thanks Britain.

    Check this out:

    [I]For the yard, the length of a pendulum beating seconds at the latitude of Greenwich at Mean Sea Level in vacuo was defined as 39.01393 inches. For the pound, the mass of a cubic inch of distilled water at an atmospheric pressure of 30 inches of mercury and a temperature of 62

  2. #2

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    I like metric. Healthcare and foreign engine repair use it. Same with liquid measure.

  3. #3
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    I think and function in avoirdupois. Every time I run across metric specifications, I have to resort to a conversion table or app. I don't care what the rest of the world does, I'm sticking to the old way.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  4. #4
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    Imperial works fine if you have young eyes and are really good at fractions. Otherwise, metric is far superior. The divisions are much easier to see and the math is way easier. That said, when I get beyond the size of a guitar, I usually have to go back to Imperial.-Bob

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    A yard of beer wouldn't be quite the same in metric.

    Attachment 133310
    In metric its a little less than a handspan bigger. If you like beer, go Metric.

    I don't understand why my post is truncated like this:

    Canada supposedly went metric in the seventies and I am quite comfortable with temperature (Water freezes at 0

  6. #6
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    I'll try it with the degree symbol changed to the word:


    Canada supposedly went metric in the seventies and I am quite comfortable with temperature (Water freezes at 0degreesC and boils/vapourises at 100degreesC. Room temperature is about 20degreesC.)
    Distance are in kilometers (or kilometres; both are acceptable) speed limits are k/h and gas is sold by the litre.
    Food is sold by the gram or kilogram and milk, juice, pop (That's Canuck for "soda". If you order soda in Canada you'll get soda water.) by the litre.

    I am still 6'1" and my weight (Never mind) is in pounds except at the doctor's.
    Plywood and drywall are sold in 4' by 8' sheets. Wall studs are 2-by-4s and are installed at 16" centres.
    Canucks still talk in inches and feet as well as centimetres and metres for shorter distances.

    So after nearly 5 decades, we're only "partially metric".
    Last edited by Jim Yates; 04-02-2021 at 08:19 PM.

  7. #7
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    I'm imagining a conversation between the inventors of the Imperial System of Measurement:

    -Let's make this distance, the width of my big toe be an "inch" and we can measure things with it.
    -Great idea! Then for bigger distances we can put twelve of those together.
    -Sure. Let's call it a "foot".
    -Sounds like a plan, and for even longer distances we could put three foots together and call it a yard.
    -Good, but let's call 'em "feet" instead of "foots".
    -OK. What about really long distances?
    -Well, we could put 5283 feet together and call it a "mile".
    -That sounds too complicated. Let's round it off to 5280 feet.
    -Good idea. That'd make it 1760 yards.
    -Cool. Now what about liquid measure?
    -. . .
    Last edited by Jim Yates; 04-03-2021 at 02:30 AM.

  8. #8
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    For everyday life I’ve always preferred Imperial dimensions, but for scientific calculations metric is a lot more manageable.

    Over many centuries the Imperial system evolved from the world that humans found themselves in and its units relate to the human frame and day to day life in various ways. Fractions of a hole unit are sensible in that they are based on halving things and that's easy enough to physically do though sometimes the resultant maths is easier in metric.

    Metric is a soulless system based on arbitrary quantities that have no relationship to humans but instead to the planet we live on. Yes, it works, but for me Imperial works better.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 04-02-2021 at 08:59 PM.

  9. #9
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    Many years ago, I went into a big department store to buy some material. I didn't have much money on me, so I asked the clerk how much it would cost for two yards.

    "We've switched to metric" was the reply.

    "OK, two meters, then".

    He frowned and chewed his pencil. "I'll have to work it out. It's priced at 55p per foot."

    John Colter.

  10. #10
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    I'm quite happy using both. The only time I remember it being a pain was when I was a fabrication inspector and a young lad who was working with us asked me to double check a job he was working on, checking out the dimensions in metric it was a (Marine Boiler Drum) riddled with hundreds of holes where the steam tubes fit he showed me the drawings and all the dimensions looked odd all metric with decimal points like (304.8 cm) and (76.2 cm) or (101.6 mm) wich made it difficult to check just armed with a tape measure...Then it dawned on me what it was all about Some lazy draftsman in the drawing office instead of producing a newly designed drawing in metric,, he just took an old imperial drawing and sat there all day with a calculator converting imperial into metric, the original would have read (10 ft) (30 inch) (4 inch) once we knew that we just converted it back and used an imperial tape measure..the pic shows the fitters swaging the ends of the tubes into the holes to make a steam proof fit..I used to spend hours inside those drums... never thought i'd end up making ukuleles.
    steam drum.jpgboiler 2.jpg
    Last edited by Timbuck; 04-02-2021 at 09:45 PM.
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