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Refusing to give an inch to the despised metric system (general)

posted by bibleprobe(R) Homepage, Mass., 08.12.2015

Refusing to give an inch to the despised metric system

Good for America for sticking with inches and miles. It makes perfect sense to me. Americans can picture in their minds what an inch, foot, yard, oz, pound, mile and an acre are. Try picturing in your mind what a gram, centimeter, millimeter (0.039 inches), or even a kilometer are? We know that 90 degrees Fahrenheit is hot, and 32 degrees Fahrenheit is cold. How cold or hot is 32.2222 degrees Celsius? Who in America really cares! Certainly not me...

/s/ Steve K

Refusing to give an inch
America's only metric road

Story by Moni Basu, CNN
Video by Nick Scott, CNN

Only three nations do not use the metric system today: Myanmar, Liberia and the United States. But calling America a nonmetric nation is somewhat of a misnomer. The United States has given more than an inch even though it might not have gone the whole nine yards.

Consider that Coke bottles are sold in liters. So is wine. Medicine, in milligrams. Food nutrition labels are metric. And what about a 100-meter sprint or a 5K race?

Still, America is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not conduct business in metric weights and measures.

It's an issue that made the news again recently when Democrat Lincoln Chafee announced his candidacy for the White House. "Let's be bold -- let's join the rest of the world and go metric," Chafee said in launching his campaign, calling the move a "symbolic integration" meant to show good will to the world.

Easier said than done. To be or not to be metric has been a question of great consternation in this country.

Opponents have called pro-metric people communists and other not-so-nice labels. Proponents have called the anti-metric camp plain stupid and hell-bent on making sure America lags behind the entire world.
About this series

Great American Stories is an occasional series on the unexpected places and unforgettable characters that help define the country.

There are blogs like "Metric Maven" and even a book on the subject. John Bemelmans Marciano gave up writing the popular "Madeline" children's books started by his grandfather and last year published "Whatever Happened To The Metric System?"

Marciano says his young editor had no idea the United States had come within millimeters of metrication. The book reveals a fascinating history of how this nation ended up keeping a system in which 16 ounces make a pound, 12 inches make a foot and 3 feet make a yard.

The rest of the world calls Americans pennywise and pound foolish for still using a system that on its face makes little sense. And Americans, in turn, shun the metric system as a foreign creation. Never mind that Americans use the thermometer invented by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, a foreigner of Dutch-German-Polish extract.



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