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Old 01-24-2011, 04:52 AM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
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Just looking through the thread about current temperatures and noticed I was the only one on the page posting theirs in degrees C, and wondered if there was anybody out there who wouldn't understand what 5 degrees C was in F. I know most of the people on here would be weather enthusiasts so likely to understand it, but in the overall American population?

Over here it was in 1965 that we officially changed over to Centigrade, and Fahrenheit has been almost completely phased out, though not so for other non-metric measurements. The only time you'd generally hear it is from older people trying to emphasise how warm it was, and then only round numbers like 70/80/90 etc, though people made a big deal when it got to 100F for the first time some years back. Generally younger people only know it if they have an interest in weather, and then only for the sorts of temperatures we would realistically get.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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I didn't know what Centigrade was until recently,
as Canada insists on calling it Celcius. (trying to please "Francophone" Canadians? )

It's quite common to see thermostats here that are in Fahrenheit.
Maybe it's just easier to buy products made for American markets.
Average young Canadians have a general familarity with F, but are more comfortable with C.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:43 AM
 
Location: USA East Coast
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In the 1970’s there was a huge push to make Americans learn and use the metric system and C scale and move away from the English system of numbers and the F scale. However, the implementation of this change was very poorly carried out (for the most part). Some schools tried to teach the use of both, some schools refused to change anything …etc. As such, you now have a large group of middle age Americans who never learned the use of C or the metric system. Today, younger folks seem to know the C/metric quite well…even grade school children as young as 7 years old.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:25 AM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
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People know how the Celsius (which is the "official name not Centigrade) works but most people aren't very familiar with the numbers. Might have a general sense what a few numbers mean but often get confused.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
23,914 posts, read 30,011,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCanadian View Post
I didn't know what Centigrade was until recently,
as Canada insists on calling it Celcius. .
Centigrade is just the old word for Celsius. Most everyone in the world uses Celsius these days. The only people I hear using Centigrade regularly seem to be airline pilots (both Canadian and from other countries).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCanadian View Post
(trying to please "Francophone" Canadians? ).
Hmmm... Celsius was a Swedish guy, so...
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:35 AM
 
35,319 posts, read 44,689,645 times
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Celsius is a much more logical system.
Water freezes at zero and boils at 100
Not sure why Americans couldnt figure it out and preferred instead to stay with a system who's freezing point is 32 and boiling point is 212

Same logic applies to the metric system of measurement, infinitely more logical to base a system on ten rather than an assortment of arbitrary base numbers..
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
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The imperial measurements are only illogical when you think about them, which you don't generally do if you learn them at a young age. Over here we use both systems but not interchangeably, which confuses foreigners (a Norwegian I met once told me about doing 50kph on one of our roads and not realising why the queue of traffic behind him wanted to do 50mph ), though I actually didn't know the proper word was Celsius and not Centigrade.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:56 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
46,074 posts, read 45,188,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Celsius is a much more logical system.
Water freezes at zero and boils at 100
Not sure why Americans couldnt figure it out and preferred instead to stay with a system who's freezing point is 32 and boiling point is 212

Same logic applies to the metric system of measurement, infinitely more logical to base a system on ten rather than an assortment of arbitrary base numbers..
I actually think Fahrenheit makes more sense, at least for weather. We don't experience the temperature of boiling water normally, but we do experience temperatures below freezing commonly (even in Western Europe). With Fahrenheit, almost all the weather we have (except for maybe 5 days a year) are above 0 and below 100. It almost seems well-designed that the coldest normal temps are near 0F while the hottest near 100F. And the units of Celsius seem too large.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:08 AM
 
Location: New York City
2,789 posts, read 5,644,070 times
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I prefer that we would use the metric system but more because I dislike feet and ounces and prefer grams and meters. Using Fahrenheit as a unit of temperature isn't too bad, relatively speaking (mostly because you don't have to convert into bigger units like you do with, say, feet and miles). Imperial is much worse when it comes to weights, distances, volumes than it is with temperature.

Still 0 F just happens to be a round number and doesn't mean anything special. Furthermore, there is no meaningful difference between -5F and +5F that would explain why the first number has a negative sign and the second positive. With Celsius, on the other hand, it's obvious.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Wellington and North of South
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It's rather comical that an imperial relic is used by US people - time to fully realise the declaration of independence! NZ switched over to Celsius/mm etc about 40 years ago.
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