Re: Metric Time (was Re: Why not 13 months? (Was La Systeme Metrique))

Joseph Francis Nebus (
8 Oct 1995 17:09:27 -0400 (ANDREW GRYGUS) writes:

>And yet one more of them. The >>>only<<< advantage of the metric
>systems is the sliding decimal point for conversions, so the >>>only<<<
>thing any of you guys can come up with is obscure conversions that
>no-one would ever need to do. Since we have units appropriate to their
>use, we seldom need to convert much of anything in day-to-day life.

Fine. True story, and among the reasons why I pray for the U.S.
to get some sense and go metric:

My parents were having friends over and were making snacks. They
sent me out to find a suitable roadside farm stand (we do live in the
Garden State, of course) and purchase one pint of strawberries and one
quart of raspberries.

I get to a suitable stand. All the containers of fruit are sold
in 6-ounce packets.

I could not remember how many ounces make a quart, or a pint, nor
could I remember whether a pint or a quart is larger, nor by how much, and
neither could the poor person working at the stand. And a person who came
up to the stand to buy something else didn't know either. I ended up
guessing at how much of what to buy, and my parents weren't sure of
whether I was close to a pint and a quart either; they just fit it into
the measuring cup.

Now, if they'd told me, say, "get a quarter of a liter of
strawberries and a half a liter of raspberries" I'd never have had the
slightest trouble figuring out of which I was supposed to buy more, nor
of roughly how much that should be (every U.S.ian knows precisely how
much "2 Liters" is; metrics are painless if you just shut up and
convert already). I think we ended up with too many strawberries and
not enough raspberries, and there is no telling how many other times such
an hors-d'ouvre-related clamity has overcome well-meaning people. It won't
be stopped until the U.S. goes metric.

Joseph Nebus