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    1. #1
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      Pounds, feet, meters, miles, litres, kilograms, gallons *explodes*

      I'm wondering what kind of measuring units tend to prevail in different regions. Here in Canada we're supposed to be fully backing the metric system, but sometimes it feels unnatural to use it in everyday speech.

      The media tends to describe everything in metric units, and everything is labeled in metric (which is why we have 355 mL cans... 12 fl. ounces). Kilometers and kilometers per hour are really popular because those are the measurements we use to drive. Litres are quite common too, probably because that's the unit that gasoline and water is sold in.

      Other than that, I find that metric units are rarely used. People don't tend to have a good grasp on the metric units, like they're missing a mental image or something. If I tell somebody "15 centimeters", I'll probably get a funny look, but if I say "6 inches" they'll understand right away. Short measurements tend to be in feet and inches, not meters. Weights are usually in pounds, not kilograms, I bet almost nobody here knows their weight in kilograms. You often here about pints and gallons; to make it worse, "une pinte" in French means a quart, not a pint.

      The weather network seems to be educating a lot of people here. Unlike my parents, I don't have a solid grasp of what temperatures in Fahrenheit are. They also use km/h for wind measurements and kilopascals for barometric pressure.

      In short, we're basically using a hybrid of the metric and imperial systems and it'll probably take another couple generations before the old system dies out.

    2. #2
      Treebeard! Odd_Nonposter's Avatar
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      The US is really a pain when it comes to measurement. Virtually everything is done in US standard unless you are in an application that requires it, e.g. medicine, foreign car mechanics, pot distribution, or certain fields of engineering. Nobody would have a clue if you started rattling off things in liters, meters, grams, and whatnot. (Although the 1-liter, .5-liter, and 2-liter bottles are popular. They're bigger than the nearest US equivalent.)

      Even though I've been conditioned to know everything in US standard, I wish that everything was in metric. It is just sooooo much easier to work with. Right off of the top of your head, can you give me, in pounds, how much a cubic yard of water weighs? I bet that you wouldn't. But, I can tell you that there are 1000* liters in a cubic meter, and from there I can tell you that said cubic meter of water weighs 1000 kilograms because the density of water is 1kg/L.


      *If I screw that up, I will be embarrassed beyond reason.
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    3. #3
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      Around me distance is usually measured in miles for long distances and meters for shorter distances and inches for really small units.

      Drinks weird, milk is gallons, sodas are ounces, beers are pints, everything else is litres.

      Temperature is a mix, everyone here understands both, although fahrenheit is usually preferred.

      Weight is also mixed, everyone understands both. I'd say if you asked someone around here to estimate the weight of something 70% of the time they'd use pounds, 30% of the time they'd use kilos.

      Pot is measured in grams.


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      Here in norway, everything is measured using the metric system. If you start talking about feet and punds, no one will understand you. Unless you talk about musical instruments, then everything is inches.

      It may actually be my imagination, but i believe if its round and fairly small, it has a large chance of being measured in inches, like musical instruments and car wheels and so on... Its weird...

    5. #5
      Worst title ever Grod's Avatar
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      Northern US.

      In speech everything is the US system, eg pounds and inches and shit.

      If you're doing math or dealing drugs we use the metric system... those are the only times I use it.

    6. #6
      Xox
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      Metric's used in science. Maybe that's partly the reason why Americans aren't too bright in that field. At least in my high school, most peeps dread taking chem. I remember some never really got the hang of it.

      also yeah, drugs.

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      NW American:

      My Science class loves the metric system and hates US standard, but then again it is an IB class.


      Can you see me now?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xox View Post
      Metric's used in science. Maybe that's partly the reason why Americans aren't too bright in that field. At least in my high school, most peeps dread taking chem. I remember some never really got the hang of it.
      Ouch. I think chem is the problem, not the lack of metric system usage.

      I'm in the US... I wish we used the metric system. It's so much simpler. We've started doing some physics problems in math class, but they're all written in feet and inches and pounds, which I find very annoying.

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    9. #9
      Worst title ever Grod's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Hidden View Post
      Ouch. I think chem is the problem, not the lack of metric system usage.

      I'm in the US... I wish we used the metric system. It's so much simpler. We've started doing some physics problems in math class, but they're all written in feet and inches and pounds, which I find very annoying.
      Seriously? In my physics class we use the metric system. I imagine it would be terrible with the US system. Where in the US are you?

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    11. #11
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      metric system entirely, with few exceptions. (germany)

    12. #12
      Xox
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      Quote Originally Posted by Hidden View Post
      Ouch. I think chem is the problem, not the lack of metric system usage.

      I'm in the US... I wish we used the metric system. It's so much simpler. We've started doing some physics problems in math class, but they're all written in feet and inches and pounds, which I find very annoying.
      Yeah lol. Chem is hated regardless.

      You are seriously not using the metric in physics though? O_o

    13. #13
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      We've started doing some physics problems in math class
      There's your problem: math doesn't care about metric. Physics nearly always uses SI units unless they are derived for the particular situation. Math classes, though, are different. In story problems, they like to use concepts in physics because you are "applying" what you've learned to a real-world situation. However, US books aren't entirely written with science in mind: they just like to pull fancy equations for students to play with. Since their entire purpose is familiarity with uses in the "real world," the writers think that metric would only serve to confuse students.

      Because of this, you end up using weird things like horsepower, foot-pounds, miles, and other arbitrary units in math, but physics uses kilowatts, newtons, and meters.

      It's stupid, I know.
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    14. #14
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      You know what they call a quarter pounder in France?

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    15. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by Marvo View Post
      You know what they call a quarter pounder in France?
      My hope would be that they don't have such disgusting things in France.

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      Haha the US is totally stuck in the middle ages. But the imperial system does have its uses. Actually, I think the US is officially metric. I mean, the military has adopted it and everything. Once the old fogeys die off, it'll move into the present.

      I think the metric system should be absolutely required for anything that requires precision. Not only science, but also things like distances on road signs. when driving in Canada, I know what a "km" feels like, so when a sign says the exit is in "300m", I also know what that feels like because I can relate to it in proportion of km easily (oh, that's just under a third of it). However, when I'm driving in the US, and I see some stupid shit sign that says "exit in 450ft" I'm not even half way done thinking "hey I should pull into the outer lane, at my leisure" before it zooms by. A foot is too damn small to think about when driving on the freeway.

      The imperial system is fine for anything that doesn't require any serious thought. "How tall is it?" "well you know, like a couple inches"... it's good for conversational approximates, and basically nothing else.

    17. #17
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      I also happen to work in the aviation industry which is a bucket of laughs.

      The North American standard is a little different from the European one, and a lot different from the Eastern one.

      For distances we use the nautical mile (exactly 1,852 meters), unless we're talking about meteorological visibility, then it's the statute mile. Speeds are measured in knots (nautical miles per hour), or Mach number for the fast guys. Altitude and dimensions are measured in feet, vertical speed is measured in feet per minute.

      Weights are usually given in pounds. Aviation fuel is measured in US gallons but sold in litres. Jet fuel is measured in pounds but sold in kilograms. Oil comes in quarts.

      Temperature is measured in Centigrade but barometric pressure as well as some instrument indications are given in inches of mercury. Wind speed is given in knots.

      PSI (pounds per square inch), foot-pounds and horsepower are common for maintenance terms.

      The worst is that I understand all of this shit. Throw me in a Russian cockpit with gauges labeled in meters and km/h and I'll be completely lost.

    18. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by Grod View Post
      Seriously? In my physics class we use the metric system. I imagine it would be terrible with the US system. Where in the US are you?
      Quote Originally Posted by Xox View Post
      You are seriously not using the metric in physics though? O_o
      I said when we're doing physics applications in math class, not in physics class. In physics we use the metric system, so that's why it feels weird doing the math problems in failunits. Essentially what Odd Nonposter said awhile back.

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    19. #19
      Xox
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      We used metric in math class as well. Metric is pretty much used in all academics here.

    20. #20
      DuB
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      Quote Originally Posted by Marvo View Post
      You know what they call a quarter pounder in France?
      Le Whopper?

    21. #21
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      Royale with cheese.

      You know why they call it that?

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    22. #22
      Il Buoиo Siиdяed's Avatar
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      They got the metric system there, they wouldn't know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is.

      I enjoy the odd hybrid of Imperial and Metric measurements. Ordering a drink in a bar by metric measurements would be. Weird.

      Still, this is relevant.
      Last edited by Siиdяed; 04-29-2010 at 08:57 AM.

    23. #23
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      Royal with- shit you beat me to it.

      Where did I see that at a few days ago?

    24. #24
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      That's right, because of the metric system.

      lordyM, it's from Pulp Fiction.

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