Re: [LEAPSECS] pedagogically barren?

From: John Cowan <>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 13:52:59 -0400

Peter Bunclark scripsit:

> Well would you Americans consider stopping calling them English Units?
> It makes me cringe every time the Mars Climate Observer crash is blamed on
> `English Units'.

You'd probably cringe if you went to an American restaurant for breakfast
and heard the waiter ask the cook for "two toasted English". :-)

> We call the British equivalent Imperial Units, implying
> a definite historical context.

Their proper name (in U.S. government publications
and such) is "U.S. customary units". See .

> And teach our kids SI units.

We teach SI units too, but most people forget them fairly quickly.
There are also practical problems: "Retrofitting metric sized wallboard
on old 16" spaced studs can be significantly difficult."

All Norstrilians knew what laughter was:        John Cowan
it was "pleasurable corrigible malfunction".
        --Cordwainer Smith, _Norstrilia_
Received on Wed Jun 04 2003 - 11:00:59 PDT

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