The Metric System: Odi et Amo


11.27 ≠ 12. Not in any mathematical universe I am aware of.
You might think, “What’s a mere .73? No one in their right minds would complain about so small a difference. But the difference is significant, trust me.

What am I talking about? Soda cans. The metric system steals .73 ounces from the loyal soda drinker. How? Simple. 1/3 of a liter = 11.27 ounces. It’s as close as they can get to the standard 12 oz US can in the metric system with a “logical” metric unit. They could have used .35 liters, which is 11.835 ounces, or even .36 liters, which is 12.173, which would have gifen the metric consumer a benefit. But neither 7/20 of a liter, nor 9/25 of a liter really make any sense. So they used 333 ml, or 1/3 of a liter.

These soda cans look small. If there was a six pack of 11.27 ounce cans next to a six pack of 12 ounce cans, I doubt there’s anybody on this earth who would buy the 11.27 ounce cans. (Assuming the price per ounce was equivalent.)

Sure…it’s kind of nice to know that 1 sixpack is exactly equivalent to a 2 liter bottle, but that’s about the only thing that can be said in its favor. (And the 2 liter bottle is a strange anomaly in the US…one of the few things we buy in metric units)

2 liters, by the way, is 67.628 Ounces. A US sixpack is 72 ounces. So there’s 4.372 extra ounces of soda in every US sixpack compared to a European Metric sixpack.

The significance of this difference was easily detectable on the grocery store shelves of the British Caribbean island I recently vacationed at by one fact alone: They sold beer in 12 oz cans. Your loyal beer drinker will absolutely refuse to accept anything less. Soda drinkers are forced to suffer.


  • Multiplying and dividing by 10 is so easy.
  • The French Revolutionary Calendar is a thing of beauty