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[–] NassTee 1 points 11 points (+12|-1) ago 

We use units that work well. It's as simple as that. It's not like someone just invented a bunch of units and forced people to use it, like the metric system. Imperial units are used because they're good for what they're used for.

Take gallons, for example. People were selling liquids in gallon jugs before someone came along and said, "Hey, that's a good size. Let's call that a gallon. These other bottles you sell, the ones a fourth of the size of the big ones? We'll call those quarts." Cups, tablespoons, teaspoons - I mean, it's right there in the names. We standardized on what was already being used.

Feet and inches are useful and meaningful for measuring people's heights. But we don't measure height in yards or in hands. Have you heard of hands? They're four inches. We don't use them in general, but people who raise horses do. Why? Well, I'm no expert, but I'll bet that most horses of the same breed grow to an average size within about a hand of one another. At any rate, it's a unit they find best for measuring horses. Feet and inches would work just as well, they're easily convertible, but hands just give a better feel.

For some reason we don't like using stones to measure weight. Maybe because it's base fourteen. I mean, talk about weird. But that's what they use in Britain. Why? Probably because they feel rounding off seven pounds or less is reasonable when talking about a person's weight. Just like we feel rounding off to the nearest inch is good for height.

So most people don't use furlongs, gills, etc. So what? That just shows those aren't useful to most people anymore. When they are useful, that's what we'll use.


[–] prairie 1 points 2 points (+3|-1) ago 

Imperial units are used because they're good for what they're used for.

I use cm and mm for measuring smaller things. Inches and fractions are lunacy. Maybe I just need to find a ruler that has tenths of an inch ticked off rather than eighths or sixteenths.


[–] IDintDoNuthin 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Half of 1 is 1/2

Half 1/2 is 1/4

Half of 1/4 is 1/8

Half of 1/8 is 1/16

Half of 1/32 is 1/64


Omg, actual divide 1/4 = 0.25

Omg, actual divide 1/16 = 0.0625

Wow wow wow, Velocity = Distance / Time therefore Imperial velocity is so confusing they take an Imperial Distance divided by Imperial Time and get some meaningless output that simply does not work at all.


[–] Merchant_Menace 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

For precision work we use "thou" which are thousandths of an inch and "tenths" which are a tenth of that. The fractional lengths you're talking about with other bases are more used for standardized sizes like screws, wrenches, etc. Incidentally, you use our 1/4", 1/2", and 3/8" standard for your socket wrenches. You know, on account of standards being useful and convenient to just keep in place.