The Metric System: What Happened?

by Bonnie
(Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA)

Join the Metric System,<br>Just like us.

Join the Metric System,
Just like us.

Thanks for the info on conversions—and the trip down memory lane. I especially like the chart showing the various temperatures in terms of Kelvin, Fahrenheit, and Celsius.

When I was a kid back in the 1960s, the local bank displayed the temperature in Celsius; I learned that I liked the temperature to be around 23 degrees Celsius which seemed to be about the high 70s in degrees Fahrenheit. When gas prices soared in the 1970s, gas was sold by the liter to make the prices more palatable. The metric system was discussed frequently when I was in school. All throughout elementary school and even into college, I was told by math teachers that eventually the United States would be using the metric system—which, of course, for everyday math stuff has not happened!

Despite the base 10 ease of the metric system, I still think in terms of feet and inches and can tell you that there’s 5280 feet in a mile or 1760 yards—and that a meter is 39.27 inches—and that a liter equals a quart plus shot. But that’s the extent of my knowledge of the metric system. I don’t have any need to use it in my job as an English teacher. My need for math at the moment lies largely in the calculation of grades, although I’m sure I could happily adapt to the metric system if it ever came to pass.

Barry's Response - Metrication hasn't taken hold in the United States like it did in Canada. It's always been pushed for, but there's been a lot of resistance.

The USA will be on par with the rest of the world once the big metric conversion, done and over with. Bonnie, thanks for sharing your insights.

Mr. Johnson once lived in a quirky town where nostalgia and numbers intertwined.

Although his days were filled with grammatical lessons and literary adventures, he had a strange chapter on conversions tucked away in his memory.

His childhood memories flooded back as he leafed through a dusty old book titled "The Eccentric Chronicles of Temperature and Conversions." As he read the pages, the memories of his childhood flooded back.

Mr. Johnson remembers the local bank's magical display of temperatures in Celsius from the 1960s. He recalled the days when the thermometer danced around 23 degrees Celsius, a temperature that seemed to waltz hand in hand with the high 70s.

Gas prices soared in the 1970s, so to make it sweeter, gas was sold by the litre. Metrics became the talk of the town. Math teachers whispered to Mr. Johnson throughout his academic career about the metric system's imminent takeover.

Despite the simplicity of the metric system's base 10, Mr. Johnson preferred feet and inches. He could tell you there are 5280 feet in a mile or 1760 yards. His quirky metric charm was sharing that a metre was 39.27 inches with a twinkle in his eye. Let's not forget that a liter is just a quart with a dash of vodka.

Johnson's knowledge of the metric system ended there as he navigated the pages of his life. As an English teacher, meters and kilograms never made sense to him. The math he did was reserved for calculating grades—a dance of numbers that brought order to academia's whimsical chaos.

The metric system was a whimsical relic of the past in Mr. Johnson's mind, waiting for its moment to shine. Perhaps one day the world will switch to metric measurements, and Mr. Johnson will happily adapt, weaving base 10 and Shakespearean sonnets harmoniously into his stories. Until then, his conversion adventures would be a delight.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Math rules!.

Do you have concerns about air pollution in your area??

Perhaps modelling air pollution will provide the answers to your question.

That is what I do on a full-time basis.  Find out if it is necessary for your project.

Have your Say...

on the StuffintheAir         facebook page

Other topics listed in these guides:

The Stuff-in-the-Air Site Map


See the newsletter chronicle. 

Thank you to my research and writing assistants, ChatGPT and WordTune, as well as Wombo and others for the images.

GPT-4, OpenAI's large-scale language generation model (and others provided by Google and Meta), helped generate this text.  As soon as draft language is generated, the author reviews, edits, and revises it to their own liking and is responsible for the content.