(A better question is why wouldn’t we use the metric system?…)
One reason to use the metric system is that it is used by most people (i.e., almost the entire planet). Indeed, the only countries that don’t use metric are USA, Liberia and Myanmar…
(Update: both Liberia and Myanmar have now officially stated that they are in the process of transitioning from the imperial system to the metric system… leaving only one country that hasn’t…)
But more than just making sense so as to better participate with the vast majority of humanity, there is a reason why almost almost everyone on the planet uses the metric system: IT’S BETTER.
How is it better?
- Easier math / conversions
- Simpler, easier to remember (conversions, formulas, etc.)
- More uniform and logical naming structure
- Easier to teach
- It defaults to decimals rather than fractions
- It’s the language of Science (even in the USA)
And all of that means that users of the metric system are far less likely to make errors in their conversions, calculations and measurements.
As an example, try adding 3 1/2 pounds to 32 ounces… go ahead, I’ll wait while you do the conversions… Or tell me off the top of your head, which if further, 4/10 of a mile or 1,000 yards?
On the other hand, think for a moment how easy it is to do conversions and math in almost any other country…
Think about it…:
12 inches per foot
3 feet per yard
1,760 yards per mile
8 ounces per cup
16 cups per gallon
There is absolutely NO LOGIC to this!
So why don’t we (in the USA) use the metric system?… Don’t get me started.
But in cartography class – we will use the metric system. For those of us who grew up using the Imperial system, think of this as a small step toward joining the rest of the planet.