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A Metric U.S Essay

1450 words - 6 pages

Out of all the countries in the world, only three major ones have not switched to the metric system, the United States being one of those countries. The metric system is a comprehendible system of units used to measure weight, mass, capacity, etc. This system was created by the French in 1790. The system that was devised contained one basic unit for a measure, and to make it greater, one would simply have to multiply of divide by 10 and its powers. The way the system functions became much easier to understand rather than the traditional systems in which people had to memorize the different conversion factors need to convert to the other units. In 1875, an international agreement was set ...view middle of the document...

If one were to be using the customary system, he or she would have to remember inches, yards, miles, and acres. Another example is weight. To measure weight, one would use grams. In addition to the base units, there are a series of prefixes which apply to all types of measures and that increase or decrease the value of the base unit by ten. The most common prefixes are centi-, meaning hundredth, milli-, meaning thousandth, and kilo-, meaning thousand. Also, these prefixes increase or decrease in sequential order to reduce the need of having to memorize different units. In the metric system, converting between the different prefixes is quicker than making too many calculations when using the customary system. In the metric system to increase the prefix, one needs to divide by a power of ten, and to decrease the prefix, one needs to multiply by a power of ten. Unlike the metric system, the customary system requires one to memorize many different units of measurement for one type of measure and the numerous conversion calculations needed to convert one unit to another.
Moreover, the United States should adopt the metric system because it is preferred by many people across the United States. People dislike the fact that the customary system, or the English system has units that have difficult conversions to understand. For example, the customary system states that in every foot, there is 12 inches, and in every mile 5280 feet. The metric system provides an easier alternative which is to simply know when to multiply or divide by a power of ten. Also, the metric system is preferred over the customary system because it contains a less amount of units and has only one conversion factor. In the customary system, there are a series of units for each type of measurement. The numerous units in the customary system creates a much more difficult system to comprehend. The metric system has only one unit for each measure which makes it simple to understand. Additionally, the metric system contains just one conversion factor that applies to all types of measurements. The metric conversion factor states that to increase the value of the prefix, one needs to multiply by any power of ten. Vice versa to decrease the value of the prefix, one has to divide by any power of ten. The customary system contains several conversion factors, each of which are different for each type of measurement. Also, it is confusing for U.S. students to learn both the customary system and the metric system. Students find it much simpler to learn one system, preferably the metric system, because they confuse the different units and conversion factors from both systems. Likewise, students complain about the various units and conversion factors that the customary system contains.
Furthermore, the United States should standardize the metric system because many other countries in the world have done it, and it would help in communicating data. Although many...

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