Is a C+ really that much worse than a B-? Please explain

What is it about C+ grades? I turn in my grades, and the email deluge begins roughly 5 minutes after I do so: “Can I have a B- instead of a C+? Of course you will be rounding my C+ up to a B-, right? It would mean the world to me.” (No, I shan’t.)

There’s something psychological about the C versus B and I don’t get it. It’s been a long time since I’ve thought about my own GPA, so maybe there is a big difference numerically, but I can’t recall that being the case; the difference between a B- and C+ is pretty marginal. Both can keep you out the elite graduate programs. Perhaps they should.

I’d understand this if were in the D+ versus C- range. At a D+, you wind up taking most required classes again, and that is an expensive and time-consuming proposition. But a C+ means you don’t have to take the class again.

I really don’t like letter grading. Let’s face it, I don’t like grading. By the time you are in graduate school, you should be self-motivated and self-evaluative enough to do your work in collaboration with a professor.