The metric system uses measures that are all synchronized, and are used in a decimal fashion for smaller and larger measurements, using standard prefixes to indicate orders of magnitude. This makes the system incredibly easy to work in. It has been almost universally adopted for use around the world, and is the only system of measurement used in scientific work (but see "problems caused by having two systems" below).
The system shares most of its measurements with the "Système International" (International System), abbreviated "SI", which are the specific units used in science.
 Clinging medievalism
Despite the utter sense that the metric system makes, and the ease of use, in the United States there has been tremendous resistance to its full adoption, for two reasons - (1) it was (apparently) invented by the French, and all good American citizens know they're not to be trusted, and (2) all those awful complicated headachy conversion thingies. (Well, OK, technically the US did adopt it, but never restricted use of the imperial system.) In spite of this, everyone in the U.S. is quite comfortable with two litre bottle as well as nutritional information and medicine measured in grams and milligrams (example: a fat-free product saying it has 0g of fat). of carbonated sweetened beverages and 9 mm bullets. And every alcoholic knows perfectly well that 750 ml is close enoough to a "fifth" that ish doesdst' rrelly mater.
The metric system has, however, found wide use among entrepreneurs in America's inner cities, among American scientists, and hospitals, the last of which tend to have scales that measure in kilograms for the hospital's information on the patient and can switch to pounds for laypeople who aren't completely familiar with the system. In addition, hospitals often use 24-hour time like mainland Europe.
In the UK, by comparison, there is less outright hostility (well, with the exception of Daily Mail readers, who probably think centimetres cause cancer) to the system and more tedious bloody-mindedness to just stick with the traditional system. Despite EU regulations that say food products must be sold in metric kilograms (a form of standardisation across Europe) some traders insist quite forcefully in using old, Imperial units. Because this is illegal and against Trading Standards laws, it leads to the so-called "Metric Martyr" cases. Originally just a tabloid euphemism for traders prosecuted for dealing in Imperial units, the term is now used for those fighting against the original prosecutions, and expanded to outright opposing Europe in general.
 Awesome simplicity
As these examples show, the metric system is a far clearer way of expressing simple truths:
- I'd walk 1.6 km for a Camel.
- (Sings): "2.54 centimetre worm, 2.54 centimetre worm, measuring the marigold..."
- I'd walk 1,609,344 km/For one of your smiles
- I would walk 804.674 km/And I would walk 804.674 more/Just to be that man who walk a 1609.348 kms to fall down at your door.
- A stitch in time saves nine (wtf?!)
- 28.35 g of prevention is worth .45 kg of cure
- 0.473 l is 0.454 kg the world around (Er, well actually only in the USA)
- That British money is soooo confusing (they decimalized in 1969, kids)
- Give them 2.54 cm and they'll take 0.9144 metres!
- 96,000 Kilometres Under the Sea by Jules Verne
- How many teaspoons in a cup, again? (50)
- "Many multiples of 1.6 km to go before I sleep"
- "A fer piece thataways" and "you can't git thar from heah" both retain the exact same meaning.
- The longest word in the English language is "smiles", because there is 1.6 km between the first and last letters
 Metric time
When the French revolutionaries brought in the new metric system, they also brought in the French Republican Calendar, which decimalized time with uniformly thirty-day months (five or six days being added at the end of each year to keep the seasons in step), ten-day weeks, ten-hour days, 100-minute hours and 100-second minutes. This did not prove terribly popular and was abolished less than 15 years after it was brought in.
Ironically, using a decimal system for the "arbitrary" increments of the day (as noted above), the "new second" would be within 10% of the "old second". So counting off would translate to "one nine hundred, two nine hundred, three nine hundred, ...". See how easy this would be?
 Problems caused by having two systems
- The Gimli Glider[wp] incident of 1983 was the result of improper conversions that left a plane with less then half of its needed fuel for a trip. Incredible piloting prevented any deaths.
- In 1999, NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter[wp] was lost due to unit mismatch in software: the orbiter interpreted some instructions to be in Newtons, while the command software on Earth sent them in pounds-force.
- ↑ Their units relate directly to each other, ie, 1 cubic centimetre = 1 millilitre, and one litre of water (at STP) weighs almost one kilogram.
- ↑ As in, other than for measuring bottles of soft drinks, nutritional informatio, and medicine
- ↑ Some businesses manage to sell beverages in 2 quart (1.89 L) bottles/cartons which make them slightly more profitable. N.B.: An Imperial quart is 1.16 US quarts, and is in fact larger than a litre.
- ↑ http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28768
- ↑ metricmartyrs.co.uk - and just to show that the US doesn't have the monopoly on conservative paranoia, they decided to post a (dead) link to "20,000 road signs in kilometers [sic] – an evil EU plot?"
- ↑ Working eight hours a day all of a sudden sounds a lot longer!
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