Home > bad attitudes, ocd > The Strangest Things Tick People Off

The Strangest Things Tick People Off

A paving contractor left a flier in my mailbox today and on the back was a handy set of “Canadian-to-Metric” conversion tables. He’ll never get my business; and here’s why.

There is not, and never was, a Canadian measurement system. We were part of the British Empire and so we used the Imperial measurement system. Whoever made up the flier has just spat (undoubtedly in ignorance) on a part of my heritage. Yes, I’m serious. Anyway, I think the word they were looking for was “American”. So many people use “Canadian” and “American” interchangeably these days. Another pet-peeve. I have nothing against America, but Canada is not America. I doubt America wants to be mistaken for Canada either.

In the early 1970s the USA was making moves to adopt Metric, so Canada followed suit. By 1976 Canada had officially switched over while the USA backed out. The Canadian system of measurement is Metric and has been for 26 years. I wish troglodytes like these pavers would face reality at long last.

Yes, I am a Metric snob. I think Metric is better. I understand that many people work in industries (like paving) dominated by American products and the American measurement system. Still I go to Lowes and Home Depot in Virginia. Many American products these days are trilingual and have Metric measurements alongside American ones.

It drives me crazier (than I already am) to see people in Canada still dragging their feet about Metric at this late date. It drives me even crazier when they make up stuff and get it wrong. Ignorance burns!

By the way, I know American measures fairly well. I spend a lot of time in the USA and I think in American while I’m there. It’s easier than converting all the time. When in Rome, after all…

  1. April 18, 2012 at 2:37 am

    I wish I could think in metric. It’s a lot of work when you’re not accustomed to it.

    Many Americans would prefer to be mistaken for Canadians when abroad. The rest of the world has a more agreeable opinion of our northern neighbors.

    • April 18, 2012 at 7:37 am

      Actually it’s the converting that’s a lot of work. Just learning “that’s an inch” or “that’s a centimetre” is much easier. 🙂

      When I was in Europe I started out with a Canadian flag on my backpack and, as you say, I noticed a lot of Americans with Canadian flags on their backpacks. Then I noticed every beggar and peddler was hitting on me, so I took all the flags off my stuff at all. Then I was left in peace.

      When you’re abroad the best thing is to be mistaken for a local. 🙂

  2. May 9, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    While driving through Montreal, I was amused when saw signs in French for vacant warehouses advertising space by the square foot (pieds carre, I think)

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