Little by little

Have you noticed? I hadn’t, until a podcast mentioned it and I began to pay attention and sure enough: it’s happening – and I think most of us are unaware. It’s sneaking into our daily lives and hopefully our subconscious is filing it away for future reference.

The metric system.

The U.S. has a long history of rejecting the metric system. Not that we haven’t tried, but we keep going back to our less-scientifically-based methods of measurement – the inch was based on the width of a man’s thumb, for example, whereas the metric system is mathematically-derived.

At least twice there has been a huge push to get us on board with the rest of the world (several of our founding fathers were proponents of the metric system, and indeed: George Washington and Thomas Jefferson helped introduce our dollar based on 100 cents), but Americans just won’t bite. I was a child in the 70s and well remember the sudden influx of metric into my math classes when there was a revival in the effort to switch us over. And even as a child I could see the brilliance of a science-based system of measurements based on the oh-so-easy-to-work-with number ten.

But then it just sort of faded away. Eventually it was only the government and pharmaceutical companies clinging on, but thanks to a truly global economy, we just can’t ignore it. It’s considered compulsory for most companies, but more and more of them are getting on board.

As I said, pharmaceuticals have long been metric.

Liquid products, from soda to shampoo, have for many years listed both types of measurements. (And did you notice that this shampoo has THREE languages on it?)

But as I look around the grocery store, I see it on everything.

Even our pizza dinner tells me how many grams of yumminess are in the box.

Why don’t we just take the plunge? I’ve always loved that Bill Nye The Science Guy insisted on using metric. Did you know that there are nine different kinds of “tons” in our system? That’s nuts! We should just buck up. I’m going to start putting my soap weights in grams, with my very next label printing.

It may be a quiet revolution.


About wonkydonkey

You want random? You got it. Mostly knitting and gardening, with some home improvements, pets, baking, family, and the occasional bad joke thrown in for good measure. This blog is mine; it is a place where I can insist upon proper grammar or break my own rules and degrade into slang on a whim. Either way, it's still mine. I love the Internet.
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