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Speaking of which, why did the U.S. fail to introduce metric properly? I've heard rumors about bin Laden's attack on New York invoking fervent patriotism nationwide having to do with its last straw, but surely that alone can't be the whole story...
Believe it or not, there's serious advantages to the Imperial system. It's a hell of a lot easier to eyeball certain measurements (for example, the foot is about the length of the average foot. The inch about a thumb's length, a yard is about a single walking pace). When precise measurements aren't required it's fantastic. Day to day life doesn't really require precise measurements, and anything that does you're going to use rulers/measuring tape/scales anyway so the system doesn't matter at that point.
Metric is great at converting, but really, you don't need to convert that often. I honestly don't remember how many feet are in a mile, but I know how long a mile is, and can visualize .5 miles easier than 2,640 feet.