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I enjoyed reading the responses to the question: "Where does the word kip
come from".  It reminded me of the subject not much unlike the ongoing
debate of ASD vs LRFD.  Having had the opportunity to work in an engineering
office in Europe for almost three years I can appreciate the problems of
switching from one system to another.  I know it would affect every aspect
of our industry and every aspect of our nation.  But when you consider that
only three countries in the world use the English system (U.S., Liberia, and
Burma (I believe)), it's amazing how the U.S. can continue being a player in
the "global" construction market.  I've seen a few efforts in moving to the
metric system (government contracts in metric, "soft" metrification of
rebar, even a "metric" LRFD!) but the word "kip" seems to sum up the
problem.  Kilo is a metric prefix meaning "1000", pound, an English unit of
force.  Everyone can see the wisdom in a base "10" system but nobody wants
to let go of the pound.  Just an opinion.
Trevor Larsen  E.I.T.