Measure me this…

So….as someone born and raised in Germany, I was taught from a young age to aspire to the typical German traits – punctuality, discipline, being diligent, hard-working and logical.

And with the last of these characteristics is where I hit a wall in certain environments…namely:

Systems of measurements

For me, whatever is measured, usually follows the same logical divisions, whether it be distance, weight, volume, you name it. And the division is DECIMAL – 1000g in a kilogram, 1000 kilogram in a ton, 1000 tons in a megaton, and so on.

I mean, it`s even right there in the name….KILO, meaning one thousand of something.

But then I get to the US (or even just into the blogging world of long-distance hiking :P) and I am copletely thrown for a loop.

Ounces, quarts, miles, gallon, yards, inches, feet, and so on……WHAT????

I just don`t get it… I`m serious, every time I try to imagine the weight or dimension of something I have to look up the conversions. Not because the single form of measurement might be different, but because the distribution makes absolutely no sense (to decimal-thinking me anyway).

I mean….just look at this o.o:

Liquids: smallest measure is an ounce, 8 ounces to a cup, 2 cups to a pint, 4 cups or 2 pints to a quart, 16 cups, or 8 pints or 4 quarts to a gallon….phew

Solids: smallest measure is an ounce….again, and at least we stick with the weird division of 16, because there are 16 ounces in a pound and then 2000 pounds in a ton – this would roughly be equal to 1000kg, but not quite

And apparently, there`s a measurement called a “grain”, that is equal to I don`t know what fraction of an ounce, but I´ve never come across this in real life.

But let`s continue…

Distance: smallest measurement here is an inch, 12 inches to a foot, 3 feet or 36 inches to a yard, 63360 inches or 5280 feet or 1760 yards to a mile…..huh?!? 

I mean….to me a yard is still a place where kids play or you plant a tree or something, but whatever 😀 And what`s with the need to use these weird divisions between measurements…..4, 12, 16, etc. – at least in decimal everything can be divided by 10 (or 1000).

And don`t even get me started on temperatures *eyeroll* …or “stones”.

Well alright, now that my rant is over (and I have probably royally pissed some people off), here`s actually something useful – especially for the weight-savvy hiker 😉 :

Conversions at a glance:

US measurements

US measurements

One Reply to “Measure me this…”

  1. OK, when you go to the pub, do you ask for a pint of beer or do you ask for 473.2 ml of beer ? And the reason the USA is still using “standard” measurements is because half the population can’t even do 3rd grade math. How the hell do you expect them to convert to metric ?

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