# OT The metric conversion of the US would happen if they taught it in school.

There is no reason to even speak about the US standard. Any US conversions will be when it happens in the real world.
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Metspitzer wrote the following:

My kids were learning the metric system when they were in elementary school in the 1960s.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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I vaguely remember getting confused by the metric system when I was in school in the late 60s and early 70s.
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On 12/29/11 08:41 pm, Kurt Ullman wrote:

My late mother-in-law, who immigrated to the USA from Europe when she was in her 40s, said that if she could get used to all these strange non-decimal-based US weights and measures, any Americans could learn the metric system if they started early.
Perce
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I don't remember about elementary school but it was in high school in early 50s. I spent 6 years (two 3 year tours) in Germany and used all metric for my home projects. Much, much simpler than this stupid system we are stuck with.
IIANM the first attempt to force the nation to change was in the late 60s.
Harry K
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<...snipped...>

The US considered a switch to the metric system in Thomas Jefferson's time. Imagine how much simpler it would have been then, before the industrialization of the late 19th & 20th centuries.
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Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler. (Albert Einstein)

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
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wrote:

Teaching is one thing but it doesn't really stick.
What is needed is some of those old systems follow the migration path of the liter. Consider the 16" standard for stud spacing. Change it to metric and in a while some building wall will be able to estimate the number of metrically spaced studs.
On a personal experience I had a very nice teak wall system using standards and brackets that came from Denmark. The challenge was mounting standards that were designed for metric walls on a USA wall and attaching them to studs. And another thing would be to start packaging goods in kilograms. You can heft a package and guess that it weighed about 5 pounds. Until you can judge a couple of kilos that way you will never become adept at the conversion.
And one of my favorite set of road signs was on I19 that runs from Tucson to the Mexican border. The first sign said "This road is signed in metrics". The very next sign gave the speed limit in mph.
In my present home state you will find signs that inform you that the next exit is 1 1/4 miles ahead. Strange because I have never seen an odometer in 1/4 mile increments. But it translates to 2 km.
Charlie
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Yes, we never get the feel for it. Plenty of US kids learn the metric system in school, but they never get to the point where they can estimate how much something weighs in Kilograms or estimate how many Liters a quantity of liquid is.
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Davej wrote the following:

Having to Learn something that one may never use in real live is a waste of time and money. Classes teaching metrics should be limited to those who intend to go on to careers where metrics are actually used. It's like having to learn Latin.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Drugs have taught an entire generation of Americans the metric system.
P. J. O'Rourke
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wrote:

But everyone will use it. Ever since the 2 liter soda bottle, 99.999% of the population is exposed to the metric system. Anyone working around machinery or automobiles is exposed to it.
Yes, I had Latin and would have preferred to learn metrics. I use it every day now. The machines in our industry have been metric for the past 30 years since the US manufacturers stopped making them. All the tooling associated with them is metric and the US suppliers of our raw material use metric.
Anyone not using and learning it has their head in the sand. It is not going away, nor should it.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote the following:

Ask anyone how many units in pints or quarts those 2 liter bottles contain. Even I'd have to look it up for the exact figure. I believe it's a little less than a quart (I would have to look it up to see if my guess is correct, but I won't). Being exposed to the metric system does not mean that one understands it.

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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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A liter is a quart plus a liter bit more...
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wrote:

The point is to just stop using US units. A liter = quart and a yard = meter. 1 mile = 1.5 kilometers
Anyone in school doing math will love you for it. Kids will love you for it.
Forget conversions. Forget US units.
And................if you really have to know a conversion. Google will nail it for you. Put in any distance an it will convert to any other distance. One conversion to convert light years to centimeters or feet.
same with volume, same with time, same as it ever was.
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wrote:

It is a mind set. People are afraid of change and some ferociously resist it. . When I found that I'd have to use metrics some years ago, the thought was a bit intimidating. After a few days, it was just another set of numbers that was easy to understand. Forget silly wrench sizes like 23/64.
If you can use dimes and dollars, you can use metric.
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So when you needed to, you figured it out. Lots of us have never needed to.

That's how we were taught math. The teacher tossed the book that was adding up apples 'Because who *likes* apples, anyway. Let's talk about money.'
Jim
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wrote:

You have to "want" to understand it. If you look at that 2 liter soda bottle, it will show you it is 67.6 ounces and no, I did not have to look it up. Wine and spirits are 750 ml and 1 liter too.
After using it a while you can think pressure in bars and weight in kilos and density if grams per liter. Take a trip to Europe and you will find groceries in kilos and fuel priced in Euro per liter. After a week, I don't have to even do the math any more, I know what it means.
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My teachers made a valiant attempt to teach me metric in the 60's but I still have to go from 7.62mm=.30caliber to understand metric sizes. And I've survived with the limited knowledge. There's things I'd rather clutter my brain with.
Jim
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You wouldn't be "cluttering your brai" if you would just give up converting one to the other. If they did away with this abortion tomorrow, by Wednesday you would have no problem...correction, by the first time you bought gas or some groceries youwouldn't even notice. I buy a "loaf" of bread and I have no clue as to its weight in either system. I buy a case of beer - again I have no idea if it is packed in metric or our screwed up system. Same with nuts, bolts, distance, etc.
Re: loaf of bread - the one in my refrig is not "1 pound", I just looked.
Harry K
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wrote:

Of course not. An egg doesn't weigh a pound either. So?
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