Mass Megagram (Mg), equal to 1000 kg, is SI, and is
our choice for large masses. (ex, rebar, steel, gravel)
Metric Slang From PCs, CAD and fax, from Seatac to
We like to call them "meg". (ex, eighty meg of rebar)
the Keys, the Alcan, the Lone Star, the Bay Area, and
the Beltway, slang is part of our vibrant culture.
This is already used by people in daily speech, such as
a 25 meg hard drive.
Americans are efficient and we like things fast. Our
people will brand the SI system with our personality and
We hear metric ton used, but we find it slow, and it can
make it our own.
be confusing, since people often drop metric and say
only tons, even when metric tons are meant.
While perhaps controversial, we do not discourage this,
as we feel a verbally modified system will be more
quickly accepted in society at large.
character can be hard to use on many keyboards.
Smooth and catchy words such as nada are easily
incorporated into our daily speech.
Superscripts can be cumbersome, and are often avoided
in correspondence, using only the number.
The critical issue is that SI be implemented, and that
2500 m3 means 2500 cubic meters.
1100 g/m2 means 1100 grams per square meter.
Few are confused when five kilos, a non-SI term, instead
of five kilograms, are referred to.
Rule of 3's For Meters Many say, no matter how many
classes attended, they will never have a feel for meters.
This information shows techniques from daily usage, but
The rule of 3's can help, and is fairly accurate.
is not represented as preferred metric practice.
Feet times three, move decimal left one digit.
mmoc We have seen the term "mmoc" on drawings, to
mean mm on center. (ex, Fasten every 600 mmoc)
50 feet, times 3 = 150, move decimal, 15 m
20 feet x 3 = 60, yields 6 m
The "x" can verbally represent "hundred millimeters".
Rule of 4's For Hectares This rule can help develop a
(ex, "five x", vs "five hun-dred mill-i-met-ers",
general feel for converting commonly used acres to
2 vs 7 syllables) This can be very efficient for lengths up
hectares (ha), or hecters, as many pronounce it.
to 10 meters (ex, 5 x, 12 x, 52 x, 78 x).
Multiply acres times 4, move decimal left one digit.
Even fractions can be verbally faster using x.
(Ex, point five x, vs. fif-ty mill-i-met-ers)
30 acres x 4 = 120. Move decimal yields 12 hectares.
10 acres x 4 = 40, yields 4 ha.
This also helps people to use 100 mm increments.
Rule of 10's For Square Meters
"x" does not conflict with any other SI symbols.
Square Feet divided by 10 = Square Meters
Modular Products such as ceiling tiles, access floor, light
fixtures, and carpet tiles, have few standard sizes. We
500,000 SF divided by 10 = 50,000 m2
often use shorted names for 100 mm increments. 5 x 5 is
500 x 500, 6 x 6 is 600 x 600, etc.
Centimeters While not used in drawings and specs, they
For diehard fans of the old system, who can not bring
are used in other countries in day to day life.
themselves to use meters, the ideal transition unit may be
We sometimes call them "c's" (pronounced "seas").
the metric foot, equal to 300 mm, or 0.3 m.
(ex, the report was about 2 seas thick)
This technique was used earlier with cc's for volume.
So the 8 foot ditch becomes 8 metric feet, or 2.4 m.
Pascals "k-p-a" is often said instead of kilopascals, and
"m-p-a" instead of megapascals.