Metric vs Imperial

10 02 2010

So yesterday I was discussing with someone what system the country uses. The Americans see us as a pretty Metric place, and the Europeans see us as Imperial in comparison with themselves, so I thought I’d think through what I use more!

  • 1D Space
    On a long journey I’d give my distance in miles, but the length of a pencil I’d give in cm. I give my height in feet and inches, and the length of a cable in metres.
  • 2D Space
    I’d guess in square metres for a room, people tend to use acres for large things like land, and I’d go with square cm for a bit of paper (or A3, A4 etc, not sure what that system is!).
  • 3D Space
    I’d say mainly metric here. Most things in ml and litres, but then milk is always pints!
  • Velocity
    Speed limits in this country are all mph, but speed records tend to be metres per second for more sciency things. I do think we’re more imperial in general here… unless anyone has a good counter example?
  • Acceleration
    The standard car way of measuring this is “0-60 in x seconds” so this is actually imperial… again sciency things in metres per second squared… neither hugely common.
  • Mass
    I’d give my weight (if I was sharing it!) in stone, pasta & rice in grams, and cake measurements in ounces. Baby weight in pounds, and big iron weights in cartoons in tons!
  • Time!
    Time I would say is just it’s own scheme… I’d love a metric time system, but don’t see it EVER happening! …Or, as someone at work said a while ago, we should start using a base 12 number system for everything, this would make time metric, and we could put everything into this system!

Any other forms of measurement I’ve missed?


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