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    Measures Question

    This question just came to mind, and now I'm curious.

    In American schools, kids are mainly taught the English/Imperial system of measurement (Feet, Inches, Pounds, Gallons, etc), but still given a background in the metric system because most of the rest of the world uses it, and also because it's pretty much the only system of measure used in science classes because everything converts nicely. And some of our drinks are sold by the liter.

    Now, In non-American schools, I'm sure you're taught the metric system, but are you given any knowledge of the English/Imperial system?


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    I was taught only the metric system formally. However in Canada most people discuss their height and weight in feet and pounds, and of course we buy beer by the pint!

    I would say that I was in the transitional generation, my parents think about everything in Imperial, my nephews think in metric, I tend to think in a little bit of a mish-mash.

    Oh yeah, the last time I was in the UK they measured road speed and distance in miles. But then again, they measure weight in stone so there you go.
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    467 (x8)

    We in England still do regularly measure human weight in Stone and pounds.
    Human height in Feet and inches.
    Travel distance in Miles

    But, due to EU law, food and drink is becoming more Kg rather than Lbs & Ounces.

    However, a beer is still served as a pint.

    (I should note that English imperial is slightly, ever so slightly, different to American English Imperial. 1uk Ton = 1.12 us Ton)
    Last edited by Jon Quixote; December 11th, 2006 at 11:43.
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    I only learned about inches and feet through 40k. It was all centimetres before then.
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    Yea, for some reason I always thought GW would convert things to metric for countries that use it, but then I realized how awkward it would be to move D6 x 2.54 cm through cover.

    Also, I don't think I've ever heard of stone. I've heard of a slug, though.

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    467 (x8)

    14 pounds (lbs) = 1 Stone

    Yes, I know, across the pond, the pound is the largest unit.
    So a heavy person is hundreds of pounds.
    In the UK, a heavy person weighs tens of stone.
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    I was taught both, equally strongly at the same time, and I have to say the metric system made so much more sense. It was kinda annoying as a kid trying to keep all of the systems straight especially when one dreally didn't have an easy logic like a base 10 numerical system behind it.
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    479 (x8)

    While the metric system makes more sense mathmatically (being base 10 and all), the imperial system works better in everyday applications. A simple example is the height of a human. Human in general have trouble quatifying numbers smaller than 1 or larger than a hundred. Ideally 12 is a relatively easy quantity to visualize, so it's easier for a human brain to imagine 5 foot 6 inches as apposed to 150 cm or 1.5 meters. The metric system generally has small measurements and large ones, while the imperial system has more middle sized ones that are more useful in regular activities.
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    KITTENS GIVE MORBO GAS! theyak's Avatar
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    385 (x8)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastershake View Post
    While the metric system makes more sense mathmatically (being base 10 and all), the imperial system works better in everyday applications. A simple example is the height of a human. Human in general have trouble quatifying numbers smaller than 1 or larger than a hundred. Ideally 12 is a relatively easy quantity to visualize, so it's easier for a human brain to imagine 5 foot 6 inches as apposed to 150 cm or 1.5 meters. The metric system generally has small measurements and large ones, while the imperial system has more middle sized ones that are more useful in regular activities.
    I don't think that arguement is at all valid.
    You find visualizing 5 foot 6'' easier than 1.5 meters because that is what you are used to.
    I can tell you, my cousins, who grew up using the metric system exclusively has a HECK of a time visualizing height/length/distance in miles, yards, feet, and inches.

    Someone who has grown up using meters and centimeters as their base measurement will have a heck of a time learning conversions and understanding what a "foot" is, but the other way around, the learning curve is absolutely simple, everyone gets it, once the names are memorized.

    The issue that I personally have with the "standard" system is that it is all in reference to another thing applying arbitrary conversions.
    anything under an inch? well, that's FRACTIONS of an inch. 1/16 of an inch + 1/32'' + 9/52'' etc. A base 10 system just adds decimal places to smaller denominations.
    what's... 1 mM + 1 pM + 1cM? well do you want that in cM, pM, mM, or M? its all logically simple.

    Your argument about "middle" sizes... a yard roughly a meter. hmm. well, how many yards in a mile? how about feet, inches? ... um.. well I don't know that. I can look it up, but how many meters in a kilometer.. 1000. period, easy, how many centimeters? well, that's just as easy, 100,000, how about milimeters pah, if you could do the above calculations, then you will have absolutely no troble here. Simplicity pure and simple.

    MY original point is, depending on what you grew up with, is what you will find easier.
    But you can't argue that the metric system isn't as easy as the other for reference of measurements, its just not true.
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