Disadvantages of the metric system include the difficulty of United States citizens learning the new system, businesses being out the expense to redesign products and equipment to metric standards and the expense associated with revising road signs. Detractors of the metric system prefer English measures of halves and quarters instead.
Arguments against metrication in the U.S. include the argument by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, an organization that sued to block metrication. The organization claimed that the West was won using not metric measurements but by inches, feet, yards and miles. It was once suggested in the 1970s that road signs written using the metric system would help Russians with an invasion.
The French devised the metric system in the late 17th century as a means for combating fraud among shopkeepers and farmers. France adopted the system in the early 1800s and it quickly spread around the globe in the century that followed. The United States, Liberia and Myanmar are the only three countries in the world that do not use it.
However, the U.S. does officially use the metric system. The system was adopted in 1975 as the preferred measurement system, but it never really caught on. Some large agencies with scientific or international operations use the system, but the English measurement system is more common throughout the country, with the exception of the labeling of liquor bottles.Learn More
Countries that don't use the metric system use imperial units, a legacy system based on ancient measurements. Feet, miles, gallons, quarts, pounds and ounces are all part of the imperial system. This system came from that used in Great Britain, standardized by the Weights and Measures Act of 1824.Full Answer >
The metric system is advantageous because it doesn't require conversions or use fractions. There are also fewer units in the metric system, and it uses simpler prefixes. The main disadvantage is having to teach someone who's used to using imperial units how to use the metric system.Full Answer >
The basic unit of volume in the metric system is the liter. Volume is a three-dimensional measurement of space, determined by multiplying the lengths of the three dimensions occupied by matter. Therefore, cubic-meters can also be used as a unit of volume. One cubic-meter is equivalent to 1,000 liters.Full Answer >
The meter is the metric system's base unit of length. Since 1983, the meter has been defined as the distance light travels in 1/299,792,458 of a second. The earliest definition of a meter had it as the one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the North Pole.Full Answer >