a (metric) unit

eric   Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:25 am GMT

>>>How is any label "cluttered" with any kids of measurements? They're just little numbers at the bottom edge -- no real clutter there! I think you have a wee bit more against the US than just how we weigh our veggies....<<<

Any information not pertinent to buyers is clutter.
eric   Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:27 am GMT
<<<<Be Patriotic! Support the USA! Boycott the "metric system".>>>

Got the feeling somebody speaks tongue in cheek here, or has lost his marbles?
eric   Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:39 am GMT
<<Agent Q may or may not be aware that many "lesser mortals in the rest of the world" know it's unfair and ridiculous to categorise all Americans the same way. >>


Damian, if this is true:

>>>In other words, if many of you know it is unfair and ridiculous, then why do many of you still hold that opinion of Americans?<<<

He simply says that not all Americans are ugly.
Guest   Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:54 am GMT
"Agent Q is entitled ...
Agent Q is entitled ...
Agent Q ..."
[Agent Q this, that...etc etc.]

Spellbinding. What a cute lecture. You sure you didn't miss any other axioms?
Groundskeeper Willis   Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:09 am GMT
>>You sure you didn't miss any other axioms?<<

There are a few more :
Agent Q has haggis breath because he can't find the real thing to suck on.
Agent Q wears a girlie skirt he calls a "kilt".
Agent Q rides Shetland ponies, so shoot low, boys.
Agent Q shags only bushpigs and Damian is Agent Q's love child.
Uriel   Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:29 pm GMT

Damian, if this is true:

>>>In other words, if many of you know it is unfair and ridiculous, then why do many of you still hold that opinion of Americans?<<<

Because it's just so much more fun, Tiff! Not that I for a minute believed that Q was actually American....
Uriel   Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:33 pm GMT
<<Any information not pertinent to buyers is clutter. >>

Well, obviously it's pertinent to some buyers, eric.

By your logic, I should be campaigning to get all that pesky nutrition and allergy information banned from the labels as well, since I'm not allergic to anything and don't give a crap about what percentage of my daily Vitamin A allotment a can of tomatoes provides.....
eric   Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:07 pm GMT
By your logic, I should be campaigning to get all that pesky nutrition and allergy information banned from the labels as well, since I'm not allergic to anything and don't give a crap about what percentage of my daily Vitamin A allotment a can of tomatoes provides.

Yes, using your logic makes it entirely wrong, but luckily it’s my logic that prevails.
Luckily nobody had the harebrained idea to put USC next to metric nutritional values on food items. It only becomes clutter if it is superfluous information like 1 lb 453 g, 3oz x g, because USC is definitely clutter for Europeans. Whether you care about allergy/vitamin information or not, has nothing to do with clutter. It is not duplicated information
Damian in London N2   Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:07 pm GMT

The emphasis was on the word "many"...as in a lot of people but far from being the majority. Also, the "rest of the world bit" meant exactly that.....everywhere in the world outside of the USA, and the the viewpoints I highlighted did not specifically refer to those of the UK, and I hasten to add that I did not express any personal opinion.

We all know that different countries have popular images abroad. The current image of Brits abroad is that we are all drunken louts, out on a rampage of violence and mayhem. It's patently untrue, and even though alcohol consumption is definitely higher in the UK than it is in the US (reportedly...I don't know for sure) ...at least outwardly, it is "unfair and ridiculous" to assume we are all doing it. In fact, alcohol consumption in the UK is less than it is in some other European countries...the issue is the way it is controlled which causes problems in some sectors of the population at certain times at home here....and of course in some countries abroad where young Brits let rip when on holidays or weekend breaks there. That's how many countries view the Brits, but no way is it endemic 24/7! How could a whole country operate under those standards of behaviour?

It's the same with those points I made about Agent Q's post. Some of the points in HIS/HER post do ring bells about the popular American image outside of the US in "many" people. To assume that all Americans fit that image is "unfair and ridiculous" and again "many" people realise that. When it comes to negative images the minority who display these images tends to paint the majority in the same way, like saying all Brits are inveterate drunks.

However, we're supposed to be discussing metric units in this thread. Metrication is now the norm in practically the entire world....even in the UK officially, even though most people still unofficially describe themselves in feet and inches and stones and pounds for height and weight in their own minds, even though all appropriate organisations record them in metric. But we do now think Celsius except for most old people perhaps. My grandparents still have no understanding of degrees C as far as I can tell. This is, apparently, still the case in America, currently the world's most powerful country yet still incredibly resistant to an official change to full metrication which "the rest of the world" now uses and the only system they understand.

Like Uriel, I really don't think that Agent Q is an American anyway, so what the heck.
Philip   Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:11 pm GMT
My point is that as a teacher I was educated decimally and use it exclusively so there is no going back to the ancient European system of weights and measures! People think that the Imperial system is British well it isn't!

The mile was used all over the Western world till the SI was introduced, the pint is French, la pinte, the pound, ounces, feet and inches are also of Italian origin and Fahrenheit German. What a mess we are in! Hence numeracy among the young is so poor!

Kilometre signs will be introduced eventually now that height signs are in metres and km markers are appearing! Re language well in Spanish people say "se ve a la legua" meaning you can tell a league away or in English miles away and "pesa un quintal" meaning it weighs a quintal (100 Spanish pounds) so expressions don't change just because of decimalisation or metrication. Case resolved!
Damian in Edinburgh   Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:30 pm GMT
I was taught exclusively in the metric system. Imperial means very little to me, really. I mean, none of my generation have any knowledge of (or even wish to know about) the old fashioned currency system the UK had before 1971. It must have been a nightmare to work out the money in those days. It even looked weird have three tier money.

Give me decimal in everything at any time. I can really see the point in decimal! :-)
zzz   Sat Feb 10, 2007 4:24 pm GMT
>> I was taught exclusively in the metric system.<<

Part of the reason that the metric system is confusing to many people in the US is the way that they teach it. Some schools don't even teach it in high school, and so it's not until one goes to a physics or chemistry class in college that they teach it. And when they do teach it, they tend to teach it from the perspective of the Imperial system. So instead of learning that there are 100 centimeters in a meter, they teach that an inch is 2.54 cm, and then teach how many inches are in a meter, etc. Luckily, some schools are starting to improve.

And more people know Kelvin than Celsius, because that's what they teach in science classes. The reason that so few people know Celsius is because it's hard to learn a new temp. system. Most weather reports here don't even give the temperature in Celsius; many thermometers don't even have Celsius either. So the only way to learn it is to convert to and from Fahrenheit, which is too much for most people--and it does little to endear the metric system to them. So the only time we use the metric system is for science, when we need to heat things to X number of degrees Kelvin.

Also, now that we have certain products in metric, and others in the other, it makes it more difficult to us to learn either system especially well. We buy (American) gallons of milk, but 2 liter bottles of pop. Some things come in a nice round number of crams, but 16.34 ounces, which is a bit annoying.

If you tried to set your car to metric, you'd probably end up with a speeding ticket, because none of the signs are in metric, so you'd have to do a bunch of conversions in your head.

Also, it would waste precious tax dollars to switch to Metric. Unlike Europeans, we don't enjoy paying taxes. It would also ruin many businesses that rely on Imperial measurements. They would have to change all their yardsticks and stuff.
Uriel   Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:49 am GMT
No, we learn that a meter is a 100 cm -- but then we still have to figure out what that is in feet and inches, since those are the terms that have more meaning for us -- so out comes the 2.54, and the headaches begin.

My personal preference is for feet, pounds, and gallons. That's how I think, and no oamount of being able to divide easily by 10 is going to make up for the fact that the units are just all completely different in size and don't correspond well to my usual increments.

And as for Kelvin -- is that not based on Celsius anyway?
Guest   Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:09 am GMT
C +273 = k
Gabriel   Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:21 am GMT
I remember being confused and then amused at TV shows and movies dubbed into Spanish which contained phrases like:

The town is about 32 km from here.

The suspect was approximately 81 kg.

That must be more or less 3.7 L.

Until I realized that the inept translators had performed the conversions and inserted them with inappropriate accuracy when the original line referred to an estimation only (20 miles, 180 lbs, a gallon). I occasionally see this from time to time. It strengthens my belief that those who translate, subtitle or dub American movies for Latin American audiences are an incompetent bunch with little knowledge of English and an even worse acquaintance with their own language.