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

DaveHatunen (
Thu, 12 Oct 1995 23:09:00 GMT

In article <45j83h$>, MacFAQ <> wrote:
> (DaveHatunen) wrote:
>> In article <45g945$>, MacFAQ <>
>> wrote:
>>>Another reason the metric system is better: the main units of volumetric
>>>measure span a small range of volumes. Measuring tiny volumes requires
>>>small fractions. Measuring large volumes requires using a large number
>>>digits. The metric system has things like microliters and megaliters to
>>>deal with the extremes.
>>Ever heard of a dram?
>Sure, but it's a unit of weight, not volume. What's your point?

Oops. Quite right. But it also has a meaning as a very small amount of a
liquid (volume-wise) as in the old print ads about a "Dram of
Drambuie", which is probably what I was remembering.

In any case, there are very small units in the so-called British
system. Generally once used by apothecaries. But in general the
Anglo-American system was a practical system for ordinary people, and
microlitres were pretty much out of the realm of everyday experience
and usage. Still are, for that matter.

Historically, it was a lot easier to split a quart into two equal
pints, and each of those into two equal cups, etc, than it is, even
today, for the average person to split a litre into ten equal
decilitres, without the aid of factory produced measuring devices.

Today, when we routinely measure the wavelength of light, it's easy to
forget the practical aspects of the Anglo-American system.


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