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Americans prefer British measures

The US Federal Highway Administration began to convert to metric in 1991. It set September 1996 as the deadline for complete conversion. Computer conversion programmes were developed, and 150,000 conversion slide rules were distributed. At its high point in 2001, 13 states had switched to metric, and 7 were dual. Since then most have switched back. The big holdout was New York State’s Department of Transportation.

The Yardstick, which is the journal of the British Weights & Measures Association, reports that in January 2007 New York announced that it was abandoning the metric system and reverting to inch, pound units. Could this be because they are so much more efficient and user-friendly than metric? Americans seem to prefer traditional British measurements, as do the British, despite the EU’s insistence on metric.

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