HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Does liking centimeters b...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:40 PM

Does liking centimeters better than inches make me unAmerican?

Lately, I have been doing some craft projects requiring lots and lots of measuring. I had my wooden ruler and tape ruler at hand. For some reason, which I don't understand, I began to use the centimeter sides of the rulers. I somehow felt it was more logical or simpler. Now I am hooked and wonder if it was something in the water that changed me over aka the red scare.









49 replies, 3278 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply Does liking centimeters better than inches make me unAmerican? (Original post)
Beringia Nov 2012 OP
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #1
kardonb Nov 2012 #10
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #2
charlyvi Nov 2012 #3
PoliticAverse Nov 2012 #4
kardonb Nov 2012 #12
TrueBlueinCO Nov 2012 #16
intaglio Nov 2012 #29
FrodosPet Nov 2012 #44
itsrobert Nov 2012 #5
valerief Nov 2012 #27
Speck Tater Nov 2012 #6
freshwest Nov 2012 #13
Ron Green Nov 2012 #7
Warpy Nov 2012 #8
vaberella Nov 2012 #9
Violet_Crumble Nov 2012 #11
AnnaLee Nov 2012 #14
yourout Nov 2012 #15
Diclotican Nov 2012 #17
TrueBlueinCO Nov 2012 #18
Spirochete Nov 2012 #19
BadgerKid Nov 2012 #20
BadgerKid Nov 2012 #21
bluedigger Nov 2012 #22
awoke_in_2003 Nov 2012 #23
Dark n Stormy Knight Nov 2012 #24
quinnox Nov 2012 #25
valerief Nov 2012 #26
Ron Obvious Nov 2012 #28
Edweird Nov 2012 #30
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #31
demwing Nov 2012 #40
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #41
demwing Nov 2012 #45
meow2u3 Nov 2012 #32
cherish44 Nov 2012 #33
IDemo Nov 2012 #34
area51 Nov 2012 #35
OxQQme Nov 2012 #36
OxQQme Nov 2012 #37
OxQQme Nov 2012 #39
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #38
CreekDog Nov 2012 #42
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #43
CreekDog Nov 2012 #46
Tommy_Carcetti Nov 2012 #47
Cleita Nov 2012 #48
Romulox Nov 2012 #49

Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:41 PM

1. It is more logical

Why the rest of the world uses it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:15 AM

10. logical

It IS more logical , and a lot easier ; everything is based on a decimal system . It is also very accurate .

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:43 PM

2. Not at all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:44 PM

3. No. Just makes you bi-numeral. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:44 PM

4. No, but if you switch from Fahrenheit to Centigrade then we'll start worrying about you. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:18 AM

12. no but....

again , centigrade makes more sense : the freeze point is zero .not a nonsensical 32 degrees . Everything above zero is above freezing , everything below , freezing . SIMPLE !

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kardonb (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:35 AM

16. Centigrade degrees don't have...

 

Centigrade degrees don't have enough resolution to give good information about temperature changes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TrueBlueinCO (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:59 AM

29. Baubles! and for 2 reasons

Firstly humans do not use temperatures that accurately. The only time most humans use temperature is in cooking and there 10 degrees either way is accurate enough. For medical purposes the measurement of body temperature is notoriously variable depending on where the thermometer is used, the time of day and the euthermic norm of the individual.

Secondly, ever heard of a d-e-c-i-m-a-l p-o-i-n-t? It allows any visual scale to be subdivided infinitely.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TrueBlueinCO (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:32 AM

44. Quick way of relating to Celsius

-20 = Dangerously Cold (-4 Degrees F)
-10 = Very Cold (14 Degrees F)
0 = Cold (32 Degrees F)
10 = Cool (50 Degrees F)
20 = Comfortable (68 Degrees F)
30 = Hot (86 Degrees F)
40 = Dangerously Hot (104 Degrees F)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:44 PM

5. Men like to use the bigger number for

self-measurement.
















72 inches tall sounds shorter than 183 cm.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to itsrobert (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:31 AM

27. Men still like to use their rods. Measurement-wise. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:45 PM

6. You sound kinda French to me. nt ;-)

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Speck Tater (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:22 AM

13. My first thought, as well...




Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:45 PM

7. It's more logical and scientific, but not as poetic

in English. I think everyone ought to use both systems, depending on what's needed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:56 PM

8. Everything in medicine is now metric and I loved it.

Some docs were really slow to change and a few of the real geezers still used the apothecary system of grains, minims, and so forth. Knowing conversions was essential.

The only stumbling block was temperature. Docs always wanted a translation from Celsius to Fahrenheit. Most of us kept cheat sheets for that one.

It's only a matter of time before pattern makers make the switch completely and then perhaps cookbooks will follow.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:03 AM

9. No. I think centimeters make you smarter. I do prefer miles over kilometers though. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:17 AM

11. UnAmerican? I thought it merely made you proAustralian...

Or British. Or any of the many other countries that use metric.

Welcome to my world. I can't imagine speeding in anything but kilometres per hour!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:24 AM

14. Horrors! Do you even need to ask??? Totally UnAmerican.

It's ok to use the metric system but it is very unAmerican to like it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:25 AM

15. My 6 inch.._____ sounds better as a 15 cm one.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:38 AM

17. Beringia

Beringia

The Metric system IS more logical than the imperial one - but if it make you un-american to use the metric system instead of the imperial I'm not sure...

But then again, I have never really used the imperial system outside of school....

Diclotican

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:38 AM

18. Feet/Inches is useful because...

 

Feet/Inches is useful because 12 inches to a foot means that a foot can be broken into halves, quarters, and thirds and still use a whole unit of measurement. It has its logic, it's just different from metric.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:45 AM

19. Probably

Liking centipedes better than inchworms definitely would...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:05 AM

20. Useful measurement systems survive.

Time is based on 60 because of its many divisibility factors in a pre-decimal world.
Converting to decimal time would seem to require a societal if not a worldwide effort.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:10 AM

22. Just don't start using mils instead of degrees or you'll be asked to leave.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:12 AM

23. The problem with the metric system...

is that I can't amaze people with my mad fraction skills

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:05 AM

24. You could be British...

Although the United Kingdom committed to officially adopting the metric system for many measurement applications, it is still not in universal use there and the customary imperial system is still in common and widespread use.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_system

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:27 AM

25. no, I happen to like the imperial system

 

much better than the metric. To me, it makes perfect sense. I guess having grown up with it, has led to a certain fondness. As another post said, there is a certain poetry to the imperial system, whereas the metric system always struck me as cold and mechanical. That is one eccentricity about the USA that I really like, how everyone else in the world uses metric, while we stubbornly refuse to change from our beloved imperial. I still remember as a kid they were talking about how we were all going to switch to the metric system, and it never happened.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:29 AM

26. Why do you hate America?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:37 AM

28. It's not just the factors of 10 that makes the metric system easier...

It's also the inter-relationship between the measurement systems. A litre of water weighs a kilogramme for example. Cooking is based on weight, rather than volume which makes so much more sense. Then there's the confusion between British gallons, cups, and tablespoons and US gallons, cups, and tablespoons which are all different.

We should have gone metric a long time ago, and probably would have, had that idiot Reagan not been elected. It's hurting our international competitiveness for one thing.

I'm currently in Europe and I'm having to convert recipes to metric. I found this website absolutely invaluable for all sorts of conversions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:27 AM

30. To each their own. I've been forced to use it on Florida DOT projects and it

 

was cumbersome and a real pain. The imperial system has the resolution and real-world usefulness needed for construction.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:42 AM

31. People who are bad at fractions greatly prefer metric

But fractional measure does make some at one time everyday things easier.

If you have a board 8 and 3/8" long and want to cut it in half you know that you'll cut at 4 and 3/16" without even having to think about it.

In metric you'd have to divide 21.27 cm by 2, I can do that in my head but not as fast as I can the fractional measure.

It's pretty much the same dividing into quarters, eighths and so on and that's what people used to do a lot of because absolute measure was more problematic, accurate rulers were an expensive hand made thing, people got by without.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fumesucker (Reply #31)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:39 PM

40. But if we used the metric system, you wouldn't *have* a board 8' 3/8"

Last edited Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:21 PM - Edit history (1)

Because you wouldn't be measuring your lumber in feet and inches. You'd most likely have a board either 255 or 256 centimeters in length. Cut in half, you'd get a board either 127.5 or 128 centimeters long.

I don't see the problem.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to demwing (Reply #40)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:53 PM

41. That's all well and good when you have accurate calibrated measuring tools

My point was more that for ad hoc measurement dividing something in half repeatedly to get quarters, eighths and so forth is a lot easier and more natural than dividing something into tenths or hundredths. I'm talking about the history of why fractional measures came about in the first place, there are actually pretty good reasons for it but I'm not doing a great job of explaining it.

You can make your own ad hoc measuring scale by marking up a board in half, then divide the halves in half each and so on, all you need is a compass or a divider to do it geometrically, no absolute scale involved. I don't know of a way to accurately divide something into tenths geometrically and I'm not sure it exists.

For instance you have a container that holds a given amount of liquid, finding half of that liquid could be done with something as simple as a beam balance with an equal weight cup on either end, you can then go on and find half of each half and so on. To find one tenth of that liquid measure would require much more sophisticated tools than to find one eighth or even one sixteenth of that measure.

Decimal measure is only natural to us because we have ten digits, fingers, there's no particular reason that base ten is special.









Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fumesucker (Reply #41)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:48 AM

45. Lets say you have NO calibrated measuring tools

Last edited Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:25 PM - Edit history (1)

it still doesn't matter. A board can be measured in inches or centimeters--half is half.

BTW - you're right about base ten. Other than the fact that we have ten numerals and ten fingers, the number ten isn't special--but the same could be said for the number 12. Even more so...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:31 AM

32. A 45-kilo weakling doesn't have the same ring

as calling someone a 98-pound weakling.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:40 AM

33. The metric system is damn European shit, I'll tell you what....

Good Americans hate European shit!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:31 AM

34. I'm all for measuring vehicle energy efficiency in kilometers per megajoule

Seriously.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:48 AM

35. Off to the re-education camp for you.

Just kidding.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink




Response to OxQQme (Reply #37)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:16 PM

39. Quicky conversions

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:12 PM

38. Constructors and Mechanics built America using their feet

If you had to work on cars, you're not too happy with now two sets of tools.

Your house was built with feet.

My question for all the metric heads is: how many feet are in a centimeter? No one can tell me!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RobertEarl (Reply #38)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:46 PM

42. 0.032808 feet are in 1 centimeter

always amazes me how confident you are on topics where you so thoroughly describe what you don't know about them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #42)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:19 AM

43. Heh

Y'know, instead of arguing with you, I'm beginning to feel sorry for you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RobertEarl (Reply #43)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:03 PM

46. Let us know when you figure out that "Kyodo" is not "Kyoto"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:08 PM

47. Does liking inches better than centimeters make me an Ugly American?

That and does finding soccer--sorry, football--boring also make me an Ugly American?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:09 PM

48. Growing up in two different countries I grew up using both.

Metric is definitely more logical and easier to use. My problem has always been converting from one to the other. For instance I have recipes from that other country that measure ingredients in metric units and it's tricky getting the amounts right when you are using English system measuring instruments.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:14 PM

49. I've started buying tape measures with both Imperial and Metric on them. Useful for cycling.

I use metric almost exclusively for cycling stuff, though a few things (like nominal wheel size) remain Imperial, giving you an interesting mix.

Hence, you need 135mm hubs for your 29" wheels on your 18" mountain bike, on which you will run 160mm brake rotors, and 2.35" tires.

Funny thing: European mountain bikers happily use inches, as in the above example. Kind of cool, actually.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread