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# US giving boot to official foot measurement

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Change is afoot for the official measuring stick used to size up big places in America.

The reason? There are actually two different definitions of the 12-inch measurement known as a foot.

Some land surveyors use what's known as the U.S. survey foot. Others use the definition that's more accepted by the broader world: the international foot.

The difference between them is so tiny that you can't see it with the naked eye on a 12-inch ruler. But over big distances, it matters. So, to reduce the chance for errors and confusion, the federal government has announced it's finally giving the boot to the survey foot.

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Well thank God that’s over. Now I can sleep at night.

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I read the title and thought it was talking about the crazy, useless shoe size measurements.  I like the german shoe sizes, they are more accurate and for a woman with big feet in the U.S. would be a godsend as 10 & 10 1/2 are too different to be a good fit for some people.  (not to mention different brands had different sizes called 10 & 10 1/2 or don't even make half sizes past 9 for women).

Edited by Desertrat56
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47 minutes ago, preacherman76 said:

Well thank God that’s over. Now I can sleep at night.

Too right... I've had people make fun of me for my size 12 shoes and I thought this might mean I was in an even larger category!

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If we would simply switch to the metric system, which most of the world uses anyways, then things would be easier.

I am in the process of learning it and while it seems weird at first, using the metric system is basically counting.

10 mm (milimeters) is 1 cm (centimeter). Basically take the millimeter measurement and take away one zero or vice vesa.

If you have 100 mm then remove one zero and you have 10 cm or if you have, say, 50 cm then add a zero to the end of that to get 500 mm.....

Anyways, that's enough noise outta me for now.

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7 minutes ago, Bendy Demon said:

If we would simply switch to the metric system, which most of the world uses anyways, then things would be easier.

I am in the process of learning it and while it seems weird at first, using the metric system is basically counting.

10 mm (milimeters) is 1 cm (centimeter). Basically take the millimeter measurement and take away one zero or vice vesa.

If you have 100 mm then remove one zero and you have 10 cm or if you have, say, 50 cm then add a zero to the end of that to get 500 mm.....

Anyways, that's enough noise outta me for now.

My first grade teacher made us learn the metric system because she was sure the U.S. would switch to it the same time Canada did, but alas she was disappointed.

We also had to know the metric system in science class and I sometimes use 1/2 liter instead of 2 cups in my recipes.  Just works better.

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10 minutes ago, Bendy Demon said:

If we would simply switch to the metric system, which most of the world uses anyways, then things would be easier.

I am in the process of learning it and while it seems weird at first, using the metric system is basically counting.

10 mm (milimeters) is 1 cm (centimeter). Basically take the millimeter measurement and take away one zero or vice vesa.

If you have 100 mm then remove one zero and you have 10 cm or if you have, say, 50 cm then add a zero to the end of that to get 500 mm.....

Anyways, that's enough noise outta me for now.

Bendy Demon, I'll be 60 this year and I can recall teachers in the 70's saying we needed to begin to learn the Metric System.  We had exposure to the units but there was never any real attempt to require young students to rely on them so it never became intuitive as it would have to be.  I'm not sure if anyone else in the world still depends exclusively on the measures we use in the U.S.

If I had to guess why we've been so resistant, I'd say it saves someone money.

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I am 71 and learned the imperial (feet and inches etc) system here in U.K. school.  The metric system stated coming in after I was an adult and I still can visualise measurements in the imperial system, but have to convert cm and mm and metres in my head to imperial before I can visualise the length or distance.  Same with pounds and ounces against kilos, and litres and pints etc.  What you learn as a child is usually the version you stick with mentally.  I could go back to pounds, shillings and pence (£.s.d) with no trouble, even after almost 50 years of decimal coinage.  Now I am getting all nostalgic!

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4 hours ago, and then said:

Too right... I've had people make fun of me for my size 12 shoes and I thought this might mean I was in an even larger category!

You know what they say about people with big feet

they spend more at that shoe store.

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7 hours ago, Desertrat56 said:

My first grade teacher made us learn the metric system because she was sure the U.S. would switch to it the same time Canada did, but alas she was disappointed.

We also had to know the metric system in science class and I sometimes use 1/2 liter instead of 2 cups in my recipes.  Just works better.

There's this time I was making a Coca-cola cake.  It required two sticks of butter.

A stick? Do they mean whatever size butter is sold in?

It turns out that 500 grams is about twice as much as the recipe required.

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7 hours ago, and then said:

Bendy Demon, I'll be 60 this year and I can recall teachers in the 70's saying we needed to begin to learn the Metric System.  We had exposure to the units but there was never any real attempt to require young students to rely on them so it never became intuitive as it would have to be.  I'm not sure if anyone else in the world still depends exclusively on the measures we use in the U.S.

If I had to guess why we've been so resistant, I'd say it saves someone money.

I was a newly-minted teacher back then and we had all sorts of materials for our classes. IIRC the plan was that the US and Canada would switch at the same time because there was so much shared trade. However things fell apart for several reasons. First, where Canada set out procedures and timelines, the US didn’t have a coordinated plan. It was up to individual companies and businesses. At least in our area, you could find one brand of gas being pumped in liters while the station across the street sold it in gallons. Some broadcast outlets gave temperatures in °C while others used °F, and so on. Second, sad to say, there was a lot of political and cultural opposition to a system that came across as "foreign" - specifically European, despite the fact that Japan was one of the countries that was pressing for the switchover for trade reasons. Political winds shifted in the 1980s and the Metrication Commission was formally abolished.

It's interesting that you mention the idea of saving money, because that’s often cited as a reason to continue with Imperial measurements ... despite the fact that on deeper analysis the opposite is true. Back in the 90s there was a second, briefer, and equally unsuccessful attempt to switch. At that time the American Association for the Advancement of Science commissioned a study of the effort involved. They found that industries that had already converted, like auto manufacturing, had spent far less than initially estimated and after a few years made up all of their conversion costs due to the general simplicity of SI units. They further estimated that at the time, the US economy was in fact wasting roughly \$50 billion a YEAR by hanging on to Imperial units. The major reasons cited included the inherent inefficiency of many Imperial measures, and sales lost because so many US products were incompatible with other countries' standards.

The issue of lost trade has already hit home in the western part of the country. I've read that least two, maybe three states are trying to "go metric" with those parts of their economies that depend heavily on trade with Asian markets. Could be interesting in a few years...

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we already use metric system,  anyone who worked with cars knows there are metric and sae bolts, nuts there, you need 2 sets of tools.   anyone that knows how to count money, they will learn metric sys. in a flash.  but i see no real reason to switch, it is used in many industries, it would be a monumental task to switch all of them with no real benefit.

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12 hours ago, Golden Duck said:

There's this time I was making a Coca-cola cake.  It required two sticks of butter.

A stick? Do they mean whatever size butter is sold in?

It turns out that 500 grams is about twice as much as the recipe required.

In the U.S. one stick of butter is supposed to be 1/2 cup.  Who ever wrote that recipe must have been my mother-in-law, except she only cooked biscuits and she never used real butter.  I cook without measuring nowadays but it is only because I have been doing it so long and if someone asks me for a recipe I look it up and use real measurements.

Edited by Desertrat56
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On 12/15/2019 at 10:04 AM, Bendy Demon said:

If we would simply switch to the metric system, which most of the world uses anyways, then things would be easier.

I am in the process of learning it and while it seems weird at first, using the metric system is basically counting.

10 mm (milimeters) is 1 cm (centimeter). Basically take the millimeter measurement and take away one zero or vice vesa.

If you have 100 mm then remove one zero and you have 10 cm or if you have, say, 50 cm then add a zero to the end of that to get 500 mm.....

Anyways, that's enough noise outta me for now.

No way.  God told America to use the foot and not the centimeter and damn it that's just what we're going to do!

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