Won't you come this way and meet my second cousins the square meters.

They've invited us to join them in a toast.

I know you haven't met all the metric units but maybe I can tell you a little bit more family background anyway.

The metric system is really a collection of standard units and prefixes --

There's
• newtons, N, to measure force,
• amperes, A, to measure electric current,
• meters, m, to measure length,
• square meters, m2, to measure area,
• cubic meters, m3, to measure volume, and
• liters, L or l, to measure volume,
and then there are multiples of these units, powers of 10...
• milli, m, for thousandth,
• centi, c, for hundredth,
• deci, d, for tenth,
• deca, da, for tens,
• hecto, h, for hundreds,
• kilo, k, for thousands, and so on

That's how we all got our names.

Our first name is for the multiple of ten.

The family name is the unit of measure.

I'm mm for milli meter.

I know it's been a long day but won't you have a piece of our .4536 kilogram cake -- some pound cake -- before you go?

 © MC, i. 00-8-3, www.mathnstuff.com /math/spoken/here/2class/110/millif.htm