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Can you speculate the magnitude of chaos in the U.S.A. if...


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That would depend on who you're talking to... An older hands on engineer type probably thou, a younger or more science orientated then mm... Best to get clarification.

Yes,I thought so. I was reading a thread between American engineers and it's now clear they were referring to thou when they said mil. I wonder how many cock ups that's caused between an old and young engineer fresh out of college working together?! :)

Edited by StringJunky
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I look forward to the day when a politician says "We could always sell beer in half- litres. Nobody needs to use pints".

The riots would be interesting.


I seem to recall in Vancouver at the Safeway the deli counter had prices per 100g, but the produce section was per-pound.


I was more thrown by the bilingual labeling. Confused why they sold canned spiders in the nut aisle, until I checked the spelling more carefully (peanuts = arachides)


As to an earlier comment, now that I think about it, the road signs being in kph didn't matter because my speedometer already had those markings on it. They were just in smaller print and finer lines, below the mph markings.


I wonder if digital display speedometers have a setting to toggle between them? (edit: Google indicates the answer is generally yes)

As I have a digital readout in my car, I can confirm that at least some US cars do indeed have a toggle switch to change between Imperial and Metric.


Sometimes I set it to metric in the winter just to mess with the kids about how cold it is outside (the car's digital outside air temp readout also changes with the toggle).

Edited by Greg H.
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It seems you do not intuitively understand that it's a matter of what folks grow up using, not a matter of complexity. Parlez vous avoirdupois?

Sorry, French is too complex. I prefer the simplicity and ease of understanding that comes from using English.

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I had an argument with a colleague about metric versus imperial - unfortunately for him it was regarding fresh water volume and mass; very soon he realised the ease of converting cubic metre of water to metric tonnes compared to barrels to long tons.


SI makes sense. I was born 2 weeks after the UK finally decimalised its currency and quite a few years before it decimalised its units of measure; and I am a so glad I didnt need to learn pounds/shillings/pence or stones/pounds/ounces. It doesn't matter what an actual unit is (a pint, a litre, a big glass, not enough beer, too much wine, far too much vodka) - it matters what the conversions and mulipliers are. And 10 is easy - whereas 12, 14, 16, 20 depending on dimension are not easy; a cubic metre of water has a mass of a tonne but a cubic foot...

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... Parlez vous avoirdupois? ...

Sorry, French is too complex. I prefer the simplicity and ease of understanding that comes from using English.




The avoirdupois system (English pronunciation: /ˌævərdəˈpɔɪz/; French pronunciation: ​[avwaʁdypwɑ]; abbreviated avdp[1]) is a system of weights (more properly, mass) based on a pound of 16 ounces. It is the everyday system of weight used in the United States and is still used to varying degrees in everyday life in the United Kingdom, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, and some other former British colonies despite the official adoption of the metric system. ...

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