K is for Kilometers

K is for Kilometers

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Americans, in general, don’t use the metric system. We learn it in middle school. I know this because Amber had to learn it last fall I think and she had some odd phrase to help her remember the prefixes – something aboutย King Henry, I think. I have to admit that it was a lesson my husband had to help with because I’m not any better at it than she is. I measure distance in inches, feet and miles, liquids by the cups, quarts and gallons, spices by the tablespoon or teaspoon. I know a meter’s about 3 feet, but that’s it.

However, tomorrow, metric matters. My husband and I are running in the Pirates Charities 5K. Yes, it’s 3.1 miles, and when I run through town or at the track I count miles, but tomorrow it’s kilometers. It should be fun, if a little chillier than I would like. In addition to the commemorative t-shirt we also get complimentary tickets for a baseball game. We’re thinking about going Sunday afternoon.

So I was looking up kilometers today on Wikipedia, just to see if it had anything interesting to say. Apparently only Americans spell it that way; for the rest of the world it’s kilometres. Also, only three countries haven’t officially adopted the metric system, the US, Liberia and Burma.


  1. I find the metric system easier and more logical. What can be simpler than dividing by 10? Sheesh. But most folks resist change and the US Congress is no different. As a science major I learned metric in college back in the’70s. At that time we thought it would be implemented by 2000.

  2. Jen

    Good luck with the 5K!

    I need to learn kilometres. I want to do more travelling and I’d hate to look rather foolish not knowing how far away something was (or worse, how fast I should be driving!) I know things would be converted for me, but I hate just going by what some device is telling me. Sadly, I’m terrible at math and conversion is nothing but! *sigh*

    Nice to “meet” you! Enjoy the challenge!

  3. I’m torn right now, whether to go metric or …American in my fantasy settings. Since I’ll eventually have contraptions and steam power, it seems only fitting to go metric. The problem is the language. If I ever say millimetre, it implies “milli” means thousandth. I’m probably over thinking this ๐Ÿ˜›

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