Why they won't go metric

Do you think the reason those pesky Americans won’t switch to our nicely engineered metric system is that theirs just sound cooler?

I mean, “miles” rolls off the tongue a lot easier than “kilometers”, “inches” is definitely nicer than “centimeters”, “gallons” sounds better than “liters”, and I’d prefer “ounces” to “grams” or “centiliters”.

So is it a case of beautiful engineering wrapped in poor user experience design?

4 comments

Sebastiano Pilla

Well, with a 1-to-1 equivalence (1 mile = 1 Km, etc.) they could keep their names and they'll only have to change the numbers...
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Now _that_ would be really confusing, wouldn't it? "You mean new miles or old miles?"
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Branimir Doli

You might be right. Imagine saying "Go the extra kilometer". Regarding confusion: well, introducing yet another kind of mile (call it the "metric mile") wouldn't really add much to the already existing confusion with nautical mile, survey mile, statute mile...
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In the SI system, you're supposed to place prefixes in front of the base units. The base unit for mass in the SI system is "kilogram". So there is a theory that, instead of "gram", we should really say "millikilogram".
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