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Old 12-19-2004, 10:47 PM   #1
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International Standards and Systems of Units

For better or worse, English has become the language of the internet, and media in general. I often wonder if we need standards for terms of communication as well.

Differences that come to my mind:

* Metric measurement (eg kilos, centimetres, and celsius) in most of the world vs imperial measurement (stone, feet, and fahrenheit) in the USA

* Differences in numbering conventions eg a billion is a thousand million in the USA and a million million in Australia, etc. (Europe?)

* Dates displayed in Europe and Aus/NZ as dd/mm/yyyy, and in the USA as mm/dd/yyyy

* International paper size is A4 except for parts of the Americas where it is Legal or Letter. (I'm not sure which, my apologies)

Should we all use the same units of measurement to facilitate understanding?

If so, how do we choose which is to be the international standard?
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Old 12-19-2004, 10:51 PM   #2
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Re: International Standards and Systems of Units

Quote:
Originally posted by beli
For better or worse, English has become the language of the internet, and media in general. I often wonder if we need standards for terms of communication as well.

Differences that come to my mind:

* Metric measurement (eg kilos and centimetres) in most of the world vs imperial measurement (feet and inches) in the USA

* Differences in numbering conventions eg a billion is a thousand million in the USA and a million million in Australia, etc. (Europe?)

* Dates displayed in Europe and Aus/NZ as dd/mm/yyyy, and in the USA as mm/dd/yyyy

* International paper size is A4 except for parts of the Americas where it is Legal or Letter. (I'm not sure which, my apologies)

Should we all use the same units of measurement to facilitate understanding?

If so, how do we choose which is to be the international standard?
Well they tried and issued a change here in the States back in the 70's to move to the metric in the school systems and it didn't take. I think people are too stuck in their ways or too arrogant, maybe a little bit of both.
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Old 12-19-2004, 11:30 PM   #3
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I don't mind learning about how Europe and the rest of the world do dates and measurements, but abandoning "mileage" as an automobile term might feel sort of like converting to a cult.
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Old 12-20-2004, 01:25 AM   #4
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international standards stop at the borders of the USA ja

intergalactic standards
that's what we need
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Old 12-20-2004, 02:56 AM   #5
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It's a good idea Beli, I don't know how many times I've gone to enter a date on an internet form only to have it reject because the month and day are around the wrong way.
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Old 12-20-2004, 05:04 AM   #6
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They tried to introduce metric into the U.S. and it didn't work. We're too ingrained into our measurement pecularities to change. Of course when they tried that communication wasn't nearly as global. That could make a difference.
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Old 12-20-2004, 05:38 AM   #7
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this is an issue for which corporations will find solutions when the costs of assymetric reference systems outweigh the costs of developing a unified standard.

at the same time, different populations are so set in their ways that it may be difficult to spur change.
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Old 12-20-2004, 05:54 AM   #8
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Kids understand metrics.....Its the adults who have to make the change here in the states.

I know teachers who do not teach it.

Its a shame because being based on 10, it makes math much easier.
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Old 12-20-2004, 06:49 AM   #9
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in canada, we switched from imperial to metric in the early 80s. i remember being eternally confused about the temperature until i adjusted--there's a world of difference between 20 degrees fahrenheit (below freezing) and 20 degrees celsius (late spring warm day).
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Old 12-20-2004, 09:34 AM   #10
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I think that the U.S. being stuck to an old, dated, measuring system is a sign of arrogance.

They should change to the damn metric system, for once and for all.
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Old 12-20-2004, 09:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2@NYC
I think that the U.S. being stuck to an old, dated, measuring system is a sign of arrogance.

They should change to the damn metric system, for once and for all.
The metric system really is easier to work with, especially if you're like me and a total mathematical klutz. Arrogance is never reasonable.
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Old 12-20-2004, 09:44 AM   #12
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I would like it if we used the metric system.
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Old 12-20-2004, 12:03 PM   #13
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The Metric System makes way more sense. I wouldn't mind being forced to get used to it. I write my dates the European way b/c in high school German class, we got points off for doing it wrong and MLA citation does it like "24 Nov. 1999".
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Old 12-20-2004, 02:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
but abandoning "mileage" as an automobile term might feel sort of like converting to a cult.
Interesting analogy.
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Old 12-20-2004, 02:22 PM   #15
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Re: International Standards and Systems of Units

Quote:
Originally posted by beli
* Differences in numbering conventions eg a billion is a thousand million in the USA and a million million in Australia, etc. (Europe?

Is this true??!! I'm shocked and amazed. How could I not know about this? It's a million million in Australia? What the bemph!

I've learned to work around the other issues and can compensate fairly well for them, but this caught me completely off guard.

So you're saying that when an Aussie is counting his marbles and he gets to nine hundred ninety-nine million nine hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, the next number he counts is one thousand million? Who else counts this way?
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