19 Apr 2011

What’s wrong with SI units?

2 Comments Recipes

In Sweden we use deciliters and in Australia and America they use cups. Well, just convert between the two, it’s easy, you might think. Well, apperently it’s not! A cup in the US is not the same thing as a cup in Australia. I learned this from Marie (my new Aussie Guru when it comes to Australian cooking and baking) who today informed me that 1 cup in the US is equal to 2 dl and 1 cup in Australia is 2.5 dl. And the same goes for tablespoons too, in Australia it’s 20ml and in the US it’s 15ml. This can make a big difference in a recipe so it means I have to know if it’s an American or Australian recipe if I want translate it into Swedish, hence the question – What’s wrong with SI units?

For those unfamiliar with what SI units is, it’s an International System of Units – a standard for God’s sake…USE IT! 🙂

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2 Responses to “What’s wrong with SI units?”

  1. Reply Marie says:

    I guess in our modern, more globalised world a standard unit of measure makes sense. But in the older, more local worlds where these things developed, I guess it wasn't all that important.

    When I grew up in Australia we had £ not $ (that changed when I was about 9 or 10) and we had British Imperial measures (ounces, pounds etc) and our temperature was measured in Farenheit. They moved to decimal measures and centigrade when I was in my late teens, so I find it easy to drift between the systems and can look at a recipe asking for 4½ oz of butter and know automatically that it's 125g and that 375°F is 190°C.

    It's harder though when people use the same term like "ounce" and "cup" and they are different amounts depending on the country you are in. The British and American systems are like that. I know that what is called "1 pint" is 20 fl oz in the UK but 16 fl oz in the USA. I wish they could agree or just call it something else 🙂

  2. Reply laura says:

    it's annoying huh? haha… i didn't realize Austrailia and US have different cups… i knew the british ones were a little off when I googled it one day.. lol. Such a pain in the butt.

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