Countries That Don’t Use the Metric System

by Joey deVilla on August 13, 2008

Of all the countries in the world, only three backwaters still use the archaic Imperial system of weights and measures:

Map highlighting countries that don't use the metric system

I say we let them get some decent governments first, then worry about getting them on the metric system.

[Found via allvoices.]

{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

Durrutti February 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm

About 75% German soldiers killed in the war died on the Eastern Front.
The Soviets took Berlin.
The Soviets liberated most of the camps.
The Soviets killed the most Germans.
And they did all this despite that moronic tyrant Stalin “purging” a large part of the army because he was a paranoid dick.

America helped a lot but most of their efforts were in the pacific fighting the Japanese.

Embarrased for morgan February 2, 2012 at 11:56 am

As a US citizen, let me apologize for morgan. There is just so much ignorance in this country. He probably voted for Bush both times, too.

Zackery Awesome February 4, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Okay because the U.S doesn’t have a decent gov. Jelly much.

Jack American March 25, 2012 at 10:59 am

The whole world would be under a communist regime without America’s help. We also made huge contribution to the United Nations and actually had the idea for a peace keeping organization when Woodrow Wilson went to Paris to create a treaty after WWI. His idea (which was called Wilson’s 14 points) would have prevented WWII if his points had been accepted. The other allies; however, wanted Germany to pay for their actions during WWI. So the others didn’t accept all of his points and they forced the war-torn Germany to pay reparations which would starve the German economy and allow a dynamic leader to step in. This allowed Hitler to step in with hardly any opposition from the rest of the world. If the allies had accepted Wilson points, WWII wouldn’t have occurred and six million Jewish people wouldn’t have been killed and Russia wouldn’t have had a revolution and the Soviet Union wouldn’t have formed. Without the Soviet Union, China would have stayed Nationalist, Korea would have stayed whole, we would have avoided the Cuban missile crisis, and the entire world would be years ahead technologically. Without the United States, the world would have been conquered by Germany by the twenties and the entire world would be a place without creativity, free speech, expression, or anything the U.S. stands for.

Ryse June 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm

So, if all of your scientists and military are using the metric system, what does that tell you?! I have to buy 2 sets of tools to accomodate Metric(the world) and Imperial(USA). this seems backwards and a little inefficient. Not to mention, it is NOT hard to learn metric… your dollar is already based on this system…if you can count by 10’s, you’re good. I think the rest of the world just feels like its annoying for everyone to convert to your arcaic system because of your pride and “stickin to your guns”. I dont see any advantage to NOT using Metric. It seems to me that America likes their status quo, and in this day and age, where the country is having such problems economically and with maintaining good relations with other countries, that status quo isnt valid anymore, and you guys are starting to fall behind.

alex August 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Who gives a damn? What system the Americans use. As long as it works for them. This is just a website for those who hate United States Americans’ and its citizens.

George September 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Don’t know about Morgan but I am embarrased for our current president obama. Bush was way better. Who cares if we don’t use the metric system.

Rikard October 6, 2012 at 8:30 am

Michelle: You say that every time something bad happens we ask you for help? Ok, good thing you guys helped US with OUR war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea etc. I have been in Afghanistan doing your job for you and I don’t remember training Talibans in the 80’s, I don’t remember pissing them off either, and I certainly don’t remember them trying to attack me, guess I was drunk at the time, huh? Good thing the world police is there to help me with my war in Afghanistan.

I hope that little show killed off the need to blurt out more of that irrelevant bullshit.
The Imperial measuring system is not better than Metric, no matter how much you feel we owe you.

anon x November 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Wonderful American patriotism, anyone who doesn’t praise U.S.A is a hater.

As for the rest of you:

I don’t really see how this is something to fight about. Really! Let them keep their own system if they like it so much.

Truth be told is that the one thing that pisses me off is (as you can see in many of the comments here) that many (not all) Americans are convinced that they are the best of the best.

U.S.A keeps naming itself the greatest country on earth and I’m getting so sick of it. And just stop bitching about the military, a big military is like a big car, overcompensation.

You heard me U.S.A! I think you have a small dick!

Now I’m just going to lean back and watch the “U.S Hater” comments rain. ;)

rob November 19, 2012 at 9:35 am

jack american: uranium, petroleum, ford contracts(both sides, belts and break pads), coca cola contracts(fanta was made so coke didn’t lose money in Germany), jp Morgan ammunition contracts, ibm contracts (the punch computers in the concentration camps were serviced by a nice man who flew over from new york every two weeks) this is why the us entered WWII . as for free speech reporters without borders places the us at 47 in the world

Thor November 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm

This seems like the same kind of dispute than “why British people still drive on the wrong side of the road?”

RT December 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm

1. US has to use units like “the Astronomical unit” or “light-years” that are NOT “1x 10 to the power of n of the meter”. So the metric system is inadequate but some arel promoting it like “cure-all snake oil”.
2 No metricated country has ever sent anyone to the moon and back alive. President Kenedy said “we do it not because it is easy but because it is hard”. Now metric is promoted as “easy”. So? We have NOT chosen the easy..
3. USA consumes 40% of world’s GDP. The other 95% of the world (metricated) consumes the other 60%. So why can’t we use our own system.
4. Metric System is decimal like our dollar. It is NOT digital (binary) and we are in the digital age. The US customary system is binary. Because of the factional system, we can keep dividing by 2 and still remain precise. The metric system needs rounding and so is NOT precise & imperfect.
e.g. 1 yard divided by 2 = 1/2 yd = 1-1/2′ = 18″
1/2 yard divided by 2 = 1/4 yd = 3/4′ = 9″
Buy 1 lb of meat for 4. Each can get a quarter pounder = 4oz each.
You don’t cut a pizza or cake into 5 – do you???

Tep December 6, 2012 at 8:49 am

But you can keep dividing by 2 metric system. Because 10 can be dividing by 2.
1 meter divided by 2=1/2 meter=5 dm=50=cm=500mm
1/2 meter divided by 4=125mm
By 1 kg of meat for 4. Each can get a quarter of kg=250 g
And I can cut a pizza of cake into 2 or 4 or 5. I don’t know why you use rule for cut pizza or cake.

Tep December 7, 2012 at 7:34 pm
Festeron December 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm

You are a nut bar.

1. AU and light-year are base units, much like the metre (note the correct spelling) or your mile. See also gigaparsec, femtosecond, and kilofortnight.
2 The metric system is to be avoided because it is simple? Really? You’d rather do things the difficult way, only because it’s difficult? Here’s a spoon – build me a tunnel.
3. Without getting into how greedy and possession-obsessed the Americans are (see recent videos of Black Friday at Walmart for examples) and measuring how important a country is by your god the dollar, why not just count heads? The US has 309 million people, which is less than 5% of the world population of 6.93 billion. I’ll turn your question around: So why don’t you use our system?
4. Digital = binary? US customary system is binary? You really lose it here, don’t you?It looks like you are one of those people who think that you cannot divide 7 by 2.
>e.g. 1 yard divided by 2 = 1/2 yd = 1-1/2′ = 18″
>1/2 yard divided by 2 = 1/4 yd = 3/4′ = 9″
Take it a step further, RT.
9″ divided by 2 is? Or does your analogy break down here?
>Buy 1 lb of meat for 4. Each can get a quarter pounder = 4oz each.
Buy 1kg of meat for 4. Each can get 250g (no McDonalds reference for us)
Buy 1kg of meat for 5. Each can get 200g (still a lot of meat – even for an American)
Buy 1kg of meat for 10. Each can get 100g
Buy 1kg of meat for 7. Each can get 143g (done in my head – no fractions)

>You don’t cut a pizza or cake into 5 – do you???
Sure I do – can’t you? Each slice is 360/5=72 degrees. Are you telling me you cannot estimate 72 degrees? That you cannot visualize a pentagram on your pizza? And who cares if you’re off a bit? It’s easier to do if it’s a square pizza or a rectangular cake, though.

My point is this: you are a nut bar.

Johnny January 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm

You’ve forgotten about the Bahamas we don’t use the metric system also the UK still uses the imperial system for many things like miles, pounds, and ounces.

Rich January 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Hey Anon x, Rob, Rikard, Zachary and the rest: If America falls, where will have to fall back to? What country do you know that allows such freedoms to exist? Do you think gay people will be able to live peaceably in Iran? Or the Progressive anarchists (AKA: Obama, Ayes, etc.) to work in freedom to destroy America? Do you really think the despots in Liberia, N. Korea, China will let you just fire comments opposing their beliefs and let you get away with it? Wow! Talk about ignorant! I kiss the fucking ground EVERY time I return to the US! EVERY FUCKING TIME!

Joe March 2, 2013 at 8:53 am

How could possibly Bush the war criminal be better than any president in U.S. history? Let alone the second worst recession? I am not even beong political here.
Perhaps that kind of ignorance made us not to adopt the metric system. Sigh.

J C Cruickshank March 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Yo out there, coming to you from this archaic corner of the world, Canada was forced to go metric when part of my country, (the part that wasn’t to bright) elected a nut case called trudeau who made Canada go metric, if Canada had of had some backbone we still would be imperial, no one needs to go metric, it just messes up our country. It is also designed to divide a country and that is not democracy @ work.
Thank you
J C and Heather Cruickshank

Bob March 7, 2013 at 7:28 pm

The metric system it has 2 giant flaws that make the Imperial system better.

1. The Fahrenheit system is much more accurate than Celcius without using decimal points. Proof that there is a noticeable difference in the huge Celcius degree range is the fact that most digital Celcius based thermometers use decimal points for 20.5 degrees and such.

2. The other advantage is that we Americans get more for our money on our system. In other countries, like Canada for instance, when they raise the price of gas by 1 penny that is approximately the equivalent to raising it by 4 cents in the US Gallon. There are several occasions when gas goes up in the US by 9 cents, and it goes up by 3 cents in Canada. Do the math, that is approximately 3 cents more per US gallon that Canada pays. Not to mention the many items that we get in the US as a dozen (12) or even baker’s dozen (13), when in other countries you would get 10.

Ultimately though the question here is not which is better, but why do we still have the Imperial system in the US?

The answer is that the schools have pushed and pushed for the transfer to metric for decades now, and the people chose not to accept it. That’s just it. In this wonderful country they can’t just say “we are now on the metric system”. Here we have a choice, and that DOES make us the greatest country in the world.

Jack Nelemans March 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Just got home from a 3 month vacation in the US. Although I have been there numerous times and have been to 48 states as well as coast to coast in Canada and 10 European countries. I had no idea Americans are as brainwashed as they are. You have no idea about the rest of the world because the. American education system only teaches about how wonderful the US is. Nowhere have I seen the poverty that is in the US. Yes you have some rich, but most live in squalor below the poverty line. As far as freedoms, you don’t have the freedoms that are common in the rest of the world, except for a few Communist and dictator countries.
Please buy a passport and travel outside your little world. You will find it cleaner, safer, more affluent and much more modern. Sorry for being so blunt as I have met many good people in the US, but they have been blinded by their education brain washing.

Dwilliams April 5, 2013 at 10:33 am

Nice researching for all your information on the Internet faggots. Oh and how are you going to tell me about my own country (United States of America) when you truly know nothing of our country. Oh and let me guess you are either Russian or British cause every person I have talked to and puts the U.S down ends up being that and I think you guys have been taught to depose Americans

Dwilliams April 5, 2013 at 10:35 am

*despise Americans

Daniggatron June 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Y’all just pissed we kick yo bitch asses at everything¡ For real though switching the to metric system would be like admitting we’re as terrible at life as the rest of the world measuring their dicks with millimeters so it sounds bigger. Pfft! USA the only super power in the world nukka’s!

Ytrid Milsum June 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm

From what I understand a lot of countries use both the metric and imperial system for different applications. I’m surprised to see a heated debate on the matter.

Stop June 11, 2013 at 11:30 pm

How about you guys shut the fuck up.
America is better.
How about you guys stop killing

Eff-You-See-Kay the USA! July 17, 2013 at 11:57 am

As an American (by birth, NOT choice), I apologise on behalf of my fellow Americans. The sad truth is, the United States of American is a shithole of reaction. For real, everything about our culture, society, and system (political-economical) is thoroughly reactionary. Case in point, all the idiot right-wing tea-tards going on about how Obama (who is apparently some Kenyan-born Islamist/Communist, never mind the obvious contradiction between an Arabist theocratic ideology with feudal characteristics on one hand and an internationalist, atheistic, technocratic, egalitarian one on the other, and also he’s the Antichrist and WORST PRESIDENT EVER). But don’t get me started about the left-liberal wimps who said equivalent things about Bush (being “Hitler” and all). Bush and Obama were/are BOTH lousy presidents, but both were/are FAR from the worst. There were way worse presidents. Which of the two being the worst is debatable, but I know it’s a distinction without a difference. I would say Obama could just be the most mediocre president in American history. But that’s just it. Americans are mostly lemmings fenced in by the faulty 2-party system and deluded by our infotainment media. Rather than propose solutions or attempt to do a better job, the populace would rather fling mud at whomever is in opposition. Reactionary!

Furthermore, America is a hopelessly stubborn society. We are proud of having archaic, obsolete, or backwards practices and institutions.

The death penalty? CHECK!
(Though to be fair, that’s a tough one. A majority of the sovereign states in the world have yet to abolish the death penalty, so we’re not that far behind. Also, even I understand it’s a controversial matter and could see the merits to both sides, though I lean slightly against. That said, in the vast majority of nation-states, the death penalty is seldom or never used. The USA is one of the few nation-states where the death penalty is commonly invoked, putting us in the company of China and a bunch of Islamist shitholes. The more advanced nations of the EU and Commonwealth (and even some former Soviet republics!) have all abolished it altogether.)

A majority of the population who denies evolution? CHECK!

Widespread practice of Judaic infant genital mutilation? CHECK! (And only 3% of Americans are even Jewish!)

Continued usage of the “U.S. Customary System” (read: British Imperial System) over the System Internationale (Metric System)? CHECK!

Which reminds me, why are Americans so damned Anglophilic? When did this Hail-to-the-Queen shit start? “Imperial” in the Imperial System is a reference to the British Empire. I was under the impression that England/Great Britain was our oldest enemy. (I have NOTHING against the British today.) I am thus baffled at why for the past 150 or so years Americans have been collectively dropping to their knees to suck British trouser schnauzer. The British invented that system of measurement, it is THEIR system and they even dropped it. So many redneck Americans hate on the French, when it was the French who helped us fight for independence from Perfidious Albion in the 18th Century, the British who fought two wars with us (Revolutionary War, War of 1812) and dragged/tricked us into fighting another war for them (World War One). Americans want to be the new British Empire. Well, sour news for you, the American Empire will crash and burn harder than the original British Empire did.

USA, USA, we’re number one, we’re number one!
…in obesity…

Eff-You-See-Kay the USA! July 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm


Jack American said:
“…and actually had the idea for a peace keeping organization when Woodrow Wilson went to Paris to create a treaty after WWI. His idea (which was called Wilson’s 14 points) would have prevented WWII if his points had been accepted. The other allies; however, wanted Germany to pay for their actions during WWI. So the others didn’t accept all of his points and they forced the war-torn Germany to pay reparations which would starve the German economy and allow a dynamic leader to step in. This allowed Hitler to step in with hardly any opposition from the rest of the world. If the allies had accepted Wilson points, WWII wouldn’t have occurred and six million Jewish people wouldn’t have been killed and Russia wouldn’t have had a revolution and the Soviet Union wouldn’t have formed.”

Earth to Jack Redneck American:
(1) Woodrow Wilson was the single WORST president America ever had. Not only was he a gigantic racist douche, a slimy Anglophile traitor, and a pompous fuckwit, he, more than any other individual (other than Hitler and Stalin) bears responsibility for making the 20th century the Hell-on-Earth that it was.
(2) Just what the fuck were we doing in WWI to begin with? It was a European civil war concerning the inbred aristocratic classes and monarchs. You might invoke the “All Germans are Nazis” trope but WW1 was NOT WW2. There really were no bad guys and good guys in the First World War (if anything, arguably the Germans WERE the good guys in the 1st World War). Americans had no business in the Great War, period, but then we were a rising empire then.
(3) If the USA did not enter, either the Germans would have won [(but barely, and likely a pyrrhic victory, but even so, it would not have been so bad if the German Empire (NOT Nazi Germany!) would have won. Personally, I think the world would have been much better off if Germany won the Great War (but much, much, MUCH better off if Napoleon had emerged victorious in his endeavors, there likely would have been no world wars as we knew them, but that's a different story...)], as they did have, by all accounts, the greatest army (with the French likely being a distant second and the Americans being third at the time, the British had the greatest Navy), or else it would have ended in stalemate. Even if the Entente powers managed to defeat the Central Powers without American assistance (including military intervention from 1917 on, money lending, shipment of armaments, ammunition, and other war resources, diplomatically supporting the Entente…), it would have been very close, a pyrrhic victory for the Entente, certainly not the one-sided victory of actual history that lead to a demand for unconditional surrender and harsh, punitive peace terms in the infamous Treaty of Versailles (the worst treaty since the Congress of Vienna).
(4) Wilson’s 14 Points were laughably moronic at the time and unworkable. Did he really expect the victorious allies to play nice with their hated rival that they defeated so definitively? The League of Nations was a miserable failure, indeed doomed to fail.
(5) The Soviet Union has nothing to do with the “Fourteen Points.” There were actually two Russian revolutions in 1917. The first forced the czar to step aside and cede power, establishing a (weak) provisional government. The second Russian Revolution of 1917, the October Revolution, was the Bolshevik revolution. That latter one would establish the Soviet Union. Both Russian revolutions predate the 14 Points, so I fail to see your point. (Also, aside from the fact that the USA shipped weapons, munitions, foodsuffs, and other supplies to the Entente powers all while lending them cash, when the country was purportedly “neutral,” without which it is likely the British and/or French would have sued for peace, Wilson also provided funds to the Kerensky regime (founded after the first Russian Revolution of 1917), essentially bribing his government to continue the fight despite the war-weary Russian populace, thus giving Lenin and his comrades an easy in.) YOU FAIL HISTORY FOREVER!
(6) Had the Germans won (or at least fought to stalemate, or otherwise avoided punishment), that whole revenge motive would not have been present, Adolf Hitler would not have had a leg to stand on and would have been rejected by the German people, seen for the deluded maniac he was, thus no Third Reich!
(7) American involvement in the Great War, idiotic as it was, had other horrific side effects: the Spanish flu pandemic, the Great Depression, Prohibition…

“…and the entire world would be years ahead technologically.”

Quite possibly, yes. But most likely… NO! You are saying that without World War Two or the Cold War we would be years ahead technologically? Considering how much technology was spurred on by both WWII and the Cold War, I consider that a false statement. While it would have been nicer overall if WWII and the Cold War were avoided, technology would likely be held back. Electronic computers were largely a product of WW2. The needs for ballistic computers to track projectile trajectories, to crack German and Jap codes, in logistics applications, and finally in the Manhattan project spurred their development. The invention of, and development of, electronic computers, and digital computing, would have been postponed. Radar was invented in WW2. Computer technology further evolved as a result of the Cold War. (Cold War security needs spurred the development of computer time-sharing and lead to the invention of modems, packet switching, distributed computing, without which the Internet would be impossible. In fact, the Internet started as ARPANET, originally devised to function in the wake of nuclear war.) Without the USSR to compete, the space race would likely have been averted. Space launches, artificial satellites, and manned space flight would likely have been postponed, as would the moon landing, if it ever would have happened. I could go on… Jack Redneck-American, you fail history again!

“Without the United States, the world would have been conquered by Germany by the twenties and the entire world would be a place without creativity, free speech, expression, or anything the U.S. stands for.”
(1) This bullshit again? Germany was not “evil” or at least no more evil than most other countries at that time. They had little desire to conquer the whole world back then, and even assuming that they did, they did not have the means to actually carry it out. You’re just uncritically swallowing turn-of-the-20th-century British propaganda about the Kaiser’s Germany. Sure, Imperial Germany was heavily flawed, but certainly they were not on some grand crusade to eradicate all creativity and free will in the world. On the contrary, the British Empire nearly HAD conquered the world! (Remind me again who the good guys were?)
(2) The only thing the U.S. stands for is the freedom to buy and consume!

Eff-You-See-Kay the USA! July 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm

@ RT: Holy shit, you are stupid! Are you just trolling? Because, god damn, I don’t see how any individual could possibly be so dumb! I mean there were great Americans of great intelligence, and still are, but you ain’t one of them. Morons like you make the rest of us look like idiots.

(1) Astronomical Unit is simply a term for the distance from Sun to Earth (makes sense that we would use the distance from our planet to our local star as a common reference). Light-years are the distance traveled in one Earth year at speed c. Both of the above can be expressed (quite easily) in SI units. But Festeron already answered that…
(2) That statement is so stupid I don’t even know how to respond. All I know is Kennedy, being a political leader, and even the greatest politicians are prone to sentimental or passionate oratory, wanted to give a rousing speech, kind of how a coach or general would, poetic, inspirational, but not necessarily pragmatic. Yes, it’s good to challenge oneself, I get that, COMPETITION, HOORAH! But that does not mean never simplify. Doing everything the hard way just because you think you can is insanely idiotic.
(3) So we consume a disproportionate share of the global GDP, “YAY! Greedy fat fuck Americans!” How does that give us the right to declare ourselves superior over the rest of the world?
(4) Obviously you have no idea what “digital” or “binary” means. The metric system is indeed decimal, but the US customary system is NOT binary. Binary is a numerical notation, base-2. (We ordinarily count in base-10, where our place value is in powers of 10, at least that’s how most human languages are structured and how Indo-Arabic numerals are usually presented.) For example:

5 + 2 = 7 (decimal)
In binary would be:
101 + 10 = 111

Binary does simplify things greatly. Computers use binary because 0 or 1 corresponds to on-or-off in an electronic switch. However, it would be impractical in daily use.

And I don’t get how/why the “metric system needs rounding and so is NOT precise & imperfect.” Uh, high! The Metric System is decimal (base-10). I know that you REALLY suck at math, but 10 is divisible by 2, what we call an even number. You don’t have to divide into fifths (per your pizza example). Also, numbers being infinitely divisible you can divide ANY measuring unit in half indefinitely. So, your point is? The U.S./Imperial System, however is NOT binary, or decimal, or any number. It is completely fucking random.
12 inches to 1 foot, 3 feet to 1 yard, I have no idea how many feet or yards to a mile… Also, 3 is an odd number, not divisible by 2, so kind of shoots down your whole binary argument…

“Yo out there, coming to you from this archaic corner of the world, Canada was forced to go metric when part of my country, (the part that wasn’t to bright) elected a nut case called trudeau who made Canada go metric, if Canada had of had some backbone we still would be imperial, no one needs to go metric, it just messes up our country. It is also designed to divide a country and that is not democracy @ work. Thank you J C and Heather Cruickshank”

This raving idiot “J C Cruickshank” who apparently suffers from multiple personality disorder (is it J C or Heather?) proves that Americans do not have a monopoly of morons. Imbeciles live in other countries too! Maybe we can take a break from America-bashing for some Canada bashing? The gratuitous spelling errors and horrid grammar aside, said individual (is it even politically correct to refer to somebody suffering from a split personality as an “individual”?) she has failed to explain why Trudeau was a nut case, or how the Metric System messed up her country, nor did she elaborate upon her conspiracy theory that the Metric System was designed to factionalize a country. However she did indicate that she considers “having backbone” to mean fighting for a shitty archaic measuring system.

@ Bob:
(1) The Fahrenheit system is NOT much more accurate than Celcius. At best you can say it is more precise (learn the difference between accurate and precise) because Farenheit involves smaller intervals. But you’re obviously too stupid to deal with fractions.
(2) One gallon is approximately 3.78541 litres. However, there are a couple ways around that problem. One option is to introduce a lower denomination than the cent (re-introduce the half cent perhaps), but that is a very poor solution (see below). The other option is to simply adjust prices at the level of decaliters (groupings of 10 liters). That is the nice thing about the metric system and it being decimal. Per your example, where the price of a gallon goes up by 9 cents in the US and the price of a liter goes up by 3 cents in Canada that would work out to about 11.356 cents per gallon (closer to 2 cents than 3 cents extra…). However, if instead of +9 cents per gallon or +3 cents per liter, a price adjustment of +20 cents per decaliter is made, that works out to less than 8 cents per gallon. [Regarding the notion of a smaller cent, actually in addition to the archaic measurement system, the penny is another useless artifact to which Americans stubbornly cling. Some economists have shown that phasing out the penny can help the economy, probably much more than anything Obummer would do.]

“The answer is that the schools have pushed and pushed for the transfer to metric for decades now, and the people chose not to accept it. That’s just it. In this wonderful country they can’t just say “we are now on the metric system”.

Leave it to an idiot American to confuse corporate overlordship with “free choice.” Americans wouldn’t know free choice if it bit them on the ass! When Mitt Romney proclaimed that “corporations are people” he was not shitting us. But I have a proposal. The easiest way to phase out “our” archaic system of measurement (which was not originally ours to begin with), rather than mandating one or the other, or mandating both, is to give students an option of which one to learn. Start the kids at a young age, like third or fourth grade. Let them decide if they want to learn the customary or Metric system. On the first day, briefly explain the two measuring systems and let them pick one, but only one. Then they can take a test on one system or the other. “Okay class, there are two measuring systems…” “…there are 12 inches to a foot, 3 feet to a yard…” (versus) “everything is times 10!” Kids would ask questions like, “why aren’t there 12 feet to a yard?” and thinking, “this is really fucking stupid, can we just learn Metric?” The problem is, we are not given a choice. In American schools, one system is taught over the other (usually US Customary), or else they will give both equal time, but even if Metric and Imperial do get equal classroom time (this is rarely guaranteed), the students will be more familiar with the latter in their daily life (due to its habitual use in the States). That’s why teach one or the other in a class, but offer both classes and let the pupils select the class. And 1000 meters per kilometer is a hell of a lot easier than 5280 feet per mile.

Michael B.C August 31, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Eff-You-See-Kay the USA!

Out of any post, on any blog type site, throughout my entire life, have I never seen such a well written counter argument to an ill-written subject. Best reading of my life. I live in America (if you could not tell by my insufficient punctuation…. thanks American public schools!), and I am tired of hearing we are number one when the only argument those people (usually right wing conservatives) give is, whenever someone needs our help we are there, and we lead in GDP (by far). Those are very, very petty things to be proud of. What else do we lead? Not much (Mexico is actually the most obese country, damn burritos), our healthcare is a joke, our poverty rates are pathetic for the so called “richest country in the world”, and our education system still sticks to outdated ideologies.

DON”T get me wrong, I hate having to bash on my country, which I still think is great. But I cannot stand our naive stances that we are #1. We are a great country with unprecedented power that came up with some freedoms others only dreamed about, However that was long ago, and we are slowly losing these freedoms as others take them to new heights. America, what could have been and what it is has made me shake my head. Let the UN vote on our chemical weapons findings. We are becoming more and more NAZIfied, which may lead to the third world war, and when that happens , realize that is on us, on our pathetic leaders and brainwashed civilians. Lets become the land of the free again, instead of the land of the consumer.

Lighteningboy September 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm

I moved to the U.S.A. about 4 months ago, from Canada. I will always be a patriotic Canadian, but I am loving it here in Louisville!

Metric is far better, arguing this baffles my mind! We divide by 10. Our freezing point is “0 degrees celcius,” what a concept! Minus 1 is 1-below freezing.

Let’s see if we can beat Liberia and Burma to the Metric System, they are the only other two countries that remain Imperlialized.
I love America. Please adopt the Metric System, start recycling please!

G.0 September 19, 2013 at 4:11 am

Just a heads up, the measurement system currently in use in the United States of America is the US customary system NOT the Imperial customary system of measurement. They are very similar but they are not the same.

engineereagan November 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm

@tep of course the eu has a larger economy, it only took all of Europe to do it.

Big Mac November 29, 2013 at 11:47 am

The war of 1812 was between the British (Canada) and the USA. They were not on the same side. Get your facts right.

Jim December 3, 2013 at 1:57 am

It’s hard to believe that the USA is still using the old and inconvenient imperial system of measurement. I think that says a lot about Americans’ strong resistance to adapt to the rest of the world and accept change. Another good example is the fact they still use 1-dollar paper money. It is probably the only country in the world that hasn’t changed to coins for lower denominations, which are vastly cheaper in the long run than paper money. The average life span of a 1-dollar bill is only 1-1/2 to 2 years, but Americans passionately refuse to change to coinage to replace paper money.

Off topic but in response to another post here, is the notion the America is the epitome of freedom. Can Americans still actually believe this? In my opinion, the passing of the “Patriot Act” has made the USA one of the most suppressed countries in the world. In how many countries do the police have a right to enter your house and take you away to be incarcerated without charges, without allowing you to contact anyone, and can keep you secretly locked away indefinitely without even an explanation? Very very few, I would think. North Korea is likely one of the only other ones (assuming the US media is honest about what is reported).

I like the USA, mostly, but I wish there weren’t so many of its citizens who blindly and foolishly wave the flag while taking it up the backside from the powers that be.

Dp December 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm

The U.S. has been using both the Metric and Imperial sytems since 1875 with equal ability. That is why The United States is The ONLY super power in the world….and of course our Belief in a higher power….and I’m not talking about that unqualified decietful/ hater shoe salesman Obama.

Andrei June 3, 2014 at 9:44 pm

@Gary. “it leads the world in public education”. Don`t just start telling “facts” just because you like hearing them. Finland actually has the best public education in the world. Look it up. And don`t get me wrong, I`m not finnish, I`m romanian, and romanians are winning every single year medals at the math/other olympics. Most of them being gold. But still, Finland has the best public education.

James June 30, 2014 at 1:36 am

I think the people who dislike the imperial system are to arrogant to learn the system correctly. Lets face it we will never get rid of the Imperial system just look at sockets they come in 1/4” – 3/8” – 1/2” – 3/4” you will never find a Metric drive its all imperial. Dealing with metric being divisible by 10 the classic Imperial ‘foot’ is divisible by 12 and living close to the Canadian border for most my life its necessary to know both and fluently. In the end I stand by the Imperial system because I prefer to use fractions over decimals. Lets be honest the Imperial names sound way better than Metric an Inch to a centimeter its too much of a mouth full. Yard to a Meter and a Mile to a Kilometer. Metric just sounds Gay really.

Paul July 1, 2014 at 10:13 am

There are two types of countries.

1) those who use the metric system
2) those who have been to the moon.


Jason July 16, 2014 at 6:58 pm

As an American, I just wanted to bring up the fact that America is the 3rd largest country in the world in terms of area and population. We have a lot of tools, and produce a lot of goods. The monetary cost for us to change our entire country from Imperial to Metric so that the rest of the world doesn’t have to buy an extra set of wrenches seems a bit trivial. I guess the only thing I can suggest, if the Imperial system is a problem, is to buy local.

Alex July 25, 2014 at 2:48 am

You left out Belize and I’m pretty sure a couple other countries.

Paul August 7, 2014 at 8:28 am

On the bright side it makes for easy trading with Liberia and Burma:)

Steph August 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Great discussion, if people can see beyond politics.

USA does not really produce much anymore, everything is made in China. Good luck finding a microwave, dishwasher, etc made in USA.

Most cars, even USA made ones also use metric (not for everything), but ask a mechanic, you need both set when working on a USA made car.

Fahrenheit is more precise for degrees than Celcius, true. But 0 for Freezing and 100 for boil is simple and easy. In the same vein, mm is more precise than 1/16 inch…etc!

The decline of the USA is partly due for not adopting metric

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