On 04/06/12 13:07, James Knott wrote: > John Hart wrote: >> The English system evolved to fit human needs. > > The English system was based on things that were convenient at the time, > but are completely arbitrary, such as foot, barrel etc. Often, units > with the same name will vary in size, depending on context, such as > gallon, ounce (volume or weight?), mile, foot, ton etc. The metric Not arbitrary - just usually "about the right size" for the job in hand. As has been noted by others, "the centimetre is an excellent unit; its only fault being that it's approximately 2.54 times too small". And a gramme is daft for, say, cooking - a kilogramme being too big. > system is a rational, consistent system based on physical properties and No way!!! Remind us what the original intent of the metre was - and how wrong (and pointless). And the current definition is, well, arbitrary, is it not? And how do entities like the litres and are fit into a "rational" system that already has cubic this and square that? And don't get me going about the "fundamental" unit of weight being the kilogramme. Logically - you did say the system was rational, did you not? - we should have such abortions as millikilogrammes. > relationships. Again, if you want to "guestimate" by eye ratios such as > 1/2, 1/3 etc., it makes no difference which system you use. Except 10 only has divisors 2 and 5 - can you divide accurately by eye into 5? 12 inches to a foot though - and you can divide into 2 or three quite readily. Each to their own. But /please/ don't pretend something is rational when it isn't. -- Mike Scott Harlow, Essex, England --------------------------------------------------------------------- To unsubscribe, e-mail: ooo-users-unsubscribe@incubator.apache.org For additional commands, e-mail: ooo-users-help@incubator.apache.org