Metric Time

I think the time has come for metric time. Not for Americans of course, we're completely fine with the current system. But I'm thinking of the rest of the world, Europeans in particular, having to deal with 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 365 days in a year, etc. They aren't used to measuring anything outside the scope of 10 anymore. I suspect they all take tranquillizers on leap year. Which brings me to my simple metric time proposal. Like other metric time proposals its based on 10. But unlike other metric time systems, I'm doing away with the messy unit names. Milliliter, millimeter, milligram, kilometer, dekagram, hectare, etc., my brain is scrambled trying to keep all these units sorted. Not only that, but they're just lousy sounding words that border between awkward and embarrassing to say, whereas I think everyone agrees that the units such as foot, yard, day, year, cup, pint, etc were short and sweet. They worked nicely into clichés and poems also.

And so this is what I propose. To begin with we have the day. The day remains the same as it is now in time length, except that it is 10 decs long (short for decidays). These would replace hours. Granted they are much bigger blocks of time, but on a metric system we logically have no choice as 10 is the magic number. And we absolutely can't have any deviation or we'll be called on the carpet by the metric police. Believe me I tried. If you need smaller blocks just use a cen (centiday - one hundredth of a day). There isn't a current equivalent to this, so traditional clocks would come equipped with this optional fourth hand. I would suggest not using it though, as my own jerry-rigged version of such a clock left me with a daily, raw headache. It wasn't until I physically ripped the additional hand off that I felt the veil of throbbing frustration lift and I would permit people to speak above a whisper to me again. Ems (millidays) are one thousandths of a day. This would sort of be equivalent to our minute, but not. Seconds would be dems (decimillidays). Anything smaller than that we'll let scientists sort out. So that would simply take care of the standard day.

The year is nearly as straightforward. Every ten days is a deca (decaday.) Forget the week. Seven of anything is ridiculous and against principle, so think of this more as a mini-month. We would need to name the extra 3 days of the deca, perhaps ateday, ninday, and tenday. Then we would drop our two least favorite month names. I suggest February, which very few people ever bothered to pronounce correctly anyway, and November, one of the far too many "ember" months already loading down the calendar. Then every 100 days would be a hety (hectoday). We could easily log our former years this way. "But how would that correlate to the earth revolving around the Sun for seasons?" you ask. Frankly it wouldn't. But so what? Our calendars would denote when the Spring had arrived or Winter, etc. No it wouldn't be the same day every year, but unless you're some sort of anal retentive, earth fanatic you can live with the change. Instead of focusing on weather and plant growth changes usually associated with seasons, we would probably break our shorter years down into just two seasons such as football season and off-season. I could also suggest a work and vacation season or a over-eat and diet season, or numerable others, but for some reason sports fanatics always seem to win any of these arguments anyway so we may as well concede to them now and save the grief.

We also would mark Birthdays every hety. Yes our ages would approach 400 by the time we neared death, but think of how many more celebrations you could have in a lifetime. I think everyone agrees that birthdays are special. And who would turn down extra cake and ice cream? And that's it. For a few hundred Euros every family could replace all the clocks in their homes and put to rest centuries (myrs) of idiotic messy time and date keeping. Obviously in America we'll still be using hours and years, etc., but that shouldn't stop the rest of the world from true progress. I say go for it.