Archive for March 20, 2011

Why Metric is 10 Times Better

Asking why the U.S. has not switched to the metric system is almost as pointless as asking why we still observe Daylight Savings Time.

Some folks still have trouble converting between the two systems, but there are celebrity mnemonics that can be used to help remember typical conversions. For instance, 1 Ezra Pound ≈ 454 Billy Grahams.

Here’s a trivia question for you: Besides the U.S., what other countries have not officially adopted the metric system? Are you ready for the answer? According to the U.S. Metric Association, Liberia and Myanmar are the only two additional hold‑outs of significance.

Truth be known, the U.S. has gone metric. The yard, the pound, and the gallon are now officially defined by reference to metric units. In 1975, the federal government adopted metric as the nation’s “preferred measurement system.” Though the United States Metric Board was created to manage the transition, the only noticeable change by the early 1980s was that liquor and wine were labeled in liters.

But seriously, there are plenty of great reasons why we haven’t switch to Systeme Internationale:

• Referring to football as a “game of millimeters” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
• Inchworms will become centipedes.
• Meter sticks are very stubborn — they won’t give an inch!
• Currently, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The conversion to metric would mean that a gram of prevention is worth approximately one‑sixtieth a kilogram of cure. Yuck.
• Nobody wants to go traipsing all over Hell’s half‑hectare.
• Cemetery workers would strike if they were asked to bury the dead “six meters under.”
• You could no longer love someone a bushel and peck. You would have to love them 37.9 liters.
• The famous barroom reprimand, “Mind your p’s and q’s” (pints and quarts), would become, “Mind your h’s and l’s” (half‑liters and liters).

Seriously, folks, it’s high time we made the transition. People opposed to metrication are just being de‑feet‑ist.

About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

Email Subscription

Enter your email address to subscribe to the MJ4MF blog and receive new posts via email.

Join 127 other followers