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December 27, 1971

Metric Systems

Author Affiliations

Bloomington, Hawaii

JAMA. 1971;218(13):1945. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190260059023

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To the Editor.—  Now that The Journal is going metric, I am eating my heart out in grams. Wondering how anyone can demonstrate that "torr" is more understandable than mm Hg, Barry M. Austen of Cincinnati wrote in Science that all this useless arbitrary pedantry torr his heart out. "It hertz so much it gave me a fever," he wrote, which he will always measure in degrees centigrade, and no Kelvin or Celsius for him.But what bothers me is that your writers did not explain that the meter, which was originally supposed to 1/10 millionth part of the quadrant of the earth, did not come out right, because the 18th century precision instruments goofed off. And what about that platinum bar, which expands and contracts?The worst part about this metric business is that it does not get down to basics. When Eve ate an apple, and Adam discovered