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Old 05-29-2017, 09:40 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,588 posts, read 27,387,426 times
Reputation: 9059

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
They may be familiar with a 2 litre bottle of pop, but somehow for most that doesn't translate into other uses, such as buying gasoline and milk.

I've even told some Americans that they buy pop in the US in litres, and they just blink at me.

Stand by a deli counter in Vancouver and wait for the Americans buying things in metric. Very, very few ask for anything in grams. " What's that in ounces " is what you hear.

Sometimes they try, and ask for 800 grams of sandwich meat. The clerks know enough to show them about 250 and ask do they want more...usually they don't

Maybe it's the cruise ship crowd we get, but it is still not unusual to hear Americans when paying a bill
" is that in American dollars ? "
I think we're misunderstanding one another. I said many are familiar with grams, not that they necessarily use it in every day life. No, Americans are not used to buying food at a deli etc. in metric. Our grocery stores delis and butchers don't use metric for the most part.

And it may be the people you're getting and God knows where they are coming to you from. Knowledge of the metric system may be regional in the US. Like I said, in Arizona south of Phoenix, road sings give distances in km rather than miles. Again, in science and medicine, metric is used. You will be advised to take 2 mg tablets and even nutritional information in food is given in grams and milligrams. For many people today, a distance measurement smaller than an inch is often given in mm and cm as that is less cumbersome than fractions of an inch.

The metric will gain popularity in the US although certain standard designations will continue to be used like the foot because it's easily understood and decimeters are rarely ever used. I could one day see the meter replacing the yard as it's also rather familiar.

Problem with the American Dollar thing is that in Mexico, most places within 60 miles or so of the border will take them. Even some places further in will so many travelers when they hear "dollar" may need clarification LOL
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
67,650 posts, read 60,914,057 times
Reputation: 101078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
Ah, yes economy. One dollar is 100 cents, and 1000 dollars is 1000 dollars, or in other words, a 'k', a kilo. Yeah, I don't really know what that reminds me of.

I bet you one inch and a teaspoon of dollars that you don't either.
Well, actually I do. Nice deflection though.

Like I have been saying, the metric system is super easy to grasp - it doesn't take a genius or any sort of superiority to do so - but it's just a matter of history and tradition and that's why we have these other systems of measurement around the world. I think they will all slowly fade and we'll eventually be on one system of measurement worldwide and when that happens I'll be fine with that too, if I'm around. Meanwhile, it's easier for me to go with what's common in my country - like everyone else does, including you.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
67,650 posts, read 60,914,057 times
Reputation: 101078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
My point is that you get greater and easier measuring precision with mm than with inches. It's plainly obvious when you have a measuring tape that has both on it.


Your rounded 6.5 inches converts to 165 mm which is 2 mm less than my rounded measurement of 167 mm.
Yeah, every single one of my measuring tapes (bought right here in the US) has both imperial and metric measurements on it. Imagine that! If I want to, I can use the metric system just about any time I like. I just don't generally want to, but it's not like it's not available or particularly hard to grasp.

Bottom line is, though, if both of us rounded the measurements up or down, we'd still be "off." But get this - my husband and I recently built a fence together. We've also built an elaborate deck, and a barn, by ourselves, and tons of other projects around our properties over the years (acreage by the way). We used (gasp) INCHES and believe me, if you've ever built anything construction wise, you know how important measurements are. Without exception, every building project has turned out great. Can't argue too much with success.

That being said, if we'd been raised in a society operating on the metric system, I'm sure we would have had just as much success. Not more, not less, just as much. That's because both systems work well. And both systems are easy to learn, especially if you grow up being taught either or both.

So, neither system is more or less "easy" - it's a matter of what you grow up with and learn. Clearly sometimes one or the other, or any number of other systems, is "greater and better" depending on what one is doing. That's why there are so many different systems of measurement used in various professions.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
67,650 posts, read 60,914,057 times
Reputation: 101078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
They may be familiar with a 2 litre bottle of pop, but somehow for most that doesn't translate into other uses, such as buying gasoline and milk.

I've even told some Americans that they buy pop in the US in litres, and they just blink at me.

Stand by a deli counter in Vancouver and wait for the Americans buying things in metric. Very, very few ask for anything in grams. " What's that in ounces " is what you hear.

Sometimes they try, and ask for 800 grams of sandwich meat. The clerks know enough to show them about 250 and ask do they want more...usually they don't

Maybe it's the cruise ship crowd we get, but it is still not unusual to hear Americans when paying a bill
" is that in American dollars ? "
By the way, just try ordering deli meat via the metric system in the US, and I have a feeling you will be just as obviously out of place as "the cruise ship crowd" you're observing in Vancouver. Or maybe it would be best to just shrug and smile and say, "Hey, I'm Canadian!" Then you're likely to be smiled back at and accommodated in a friendly manner.

And good luck buying a liter of gasoline here. I mean, you CAN but you'll have to figure out what the differences are between gallons and liters. Or litres as you say.

When in Rome, do as the Romans. Honestly, it's not that hard. I've navigated through and lived in Europe for years off and on and have never had any sort of issue getting around. Like I said, hey, I did it before GPS too! And with different currencies at every border and exchange rates that fluctuated daily with each currency!

A sense of humor rather than a sense of judgmentalism is ever so much more attractive.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Bologna, Italy
7,501 posts, read 6,290,442 times
Reputation: 3761
I only use inches when referring to vinyl records.

Yards is the most difficult to grasp.

Miles I can do. Like, 5 miles is about 8 km.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,876 posts, read 38,026,310 times
Reputation: 11645
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Yeah, every single one of my measuring tapes (bought right here in the US) has both imperial and metric measurements on it. Imagine that! If I want to, I can use the metric system just about any time I like. I just don't generally want to, but it's not like it's not available or particularly hard to grasp.

Bottom line is, though, if both of us rounded the measurements up or down, we'd still be "off." But get this - my husband and I recently built a fence together. We've also built an elaborate deck, and a barn, by ourselves, and tons of other projects around our properties over the years (acreage by the way). We used (gasp) INCHES and believe me, if you've ever built anything construction wise, you know how important measurements are. Without exception, every building project has turned out great. Can't argue too much with success.

That being said, if we'd been raised in a society operating on the metric system, I'm sure we would have had just as much success. Not more, not less, just as much. That's because both systems work well. And both systems are easy to learn, especially if you grow up being taught either or both.

So, neither system is more or less "easy" - it's a matter of what you grow up with and learn. Clearly sometimes one or the other, or any number of other systems, is "greater and better" depending on what one is doing. That's why there are so many different systems of measurement used in various professions.
Well, I go to the U.S. a fair bit, and I've never been worried that stuff was going to fall down because it was built using inches!


In fact, most everything here in Canada was likely built using inches too!
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,876 posts, read 38,026,310 times
Reputation: 11645
Quote:
Originally Posted by forgotten username View Post
I only use inches when referring to vinyl records.

Yards is the most difficult to grasp.

Miles I can do. Like, 5 miles is about 8 km.
For yards I figure it's roughly the same as a metre.


For vinyl records, wouldn't you use RPMs? 33... 45... 78?
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
67,650 posts, read 60,914,057 times
Reputation: 101078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Well, I go to the U.S. a fair bit, and I've never been worried that stuff was going to fall down because it was built using inches!


In fact, most everything here in Canada was likely built using inches too!
Life is good on either side of the border. I like the little differences. I don't want every place I go to be the same.
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Bologna, Italy
7,501 posts, read 6,290,442 times
Reputation: 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
For yards I figure it's roughly the same as a metre.


For vinyl records, wouldn't you use RPMs? 33... 45... 78?
RPM are not always useful since there are 12 inch records playing at 45 RPM (for instance almost everything from the disco era, which led to the "maxi singles" in the 80s) and of course there are countless 7 inch records playing at 33 RPM, so they can hold more music.

45 RPM usually sounds louder / better / less compressed due to the increased space between grooves. Downside is, you can put less music on one side of the record.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Vancouver
18,504 posts, read 15,552,312 times
Reputation: 11937
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
It may come as a surprise to you, but when I lived in Germany (along with many, many other Americans), I - we - didn't have a very hard time ordering/buying/thinking in other types of measurements. In fact, not any harder a time than Europeans have when they visit the US and find themselves facing different measuring systems.

For that matter, when I lived there, I had to navigate various currencies and exchange rates (and borders) as well, and (gasp) drive throughout Europe without a GPS - I used a regular old map - and made out just fine. Isn't that amazing that an American would be able to do that? Shock and awe, baby, shock and awe.

Believe me, most Americans are not of the "cruise ship" mentality.
Why would that surprise me? Americans who move here adapt over time.

My point was about tourists and US tourists are lost in most cases when it comes to metric. This is not a judgement on their ability to learn, but a fact that they don't use metric in their every day lives for the most part.


I think you are being a bit sensitive and taking the lack of metric knowledge for the average American and turning that into somehow being mentally deficient.

Quite the leap.
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