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Re: Accents

From:Stephen Mulraney <ataltanie@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 9, 2002, 0:56
On Tue, 8 Jan 2002 12:55:37 -0500
John Cowan <jcowan@...> wrote:

> Stephen Mulraney wrote: > > > BTW, why do Americans call # ('hash', 'octothorp') the 'pound symbol' ?? > > Because it used to be written *following* a number on bags full of > stuff to indicate their weight in pounds, thus: 20# = 20 pounds > weight.
Ah, curious. It's not really an explanation though, is it? ;) On the other hand most likely someone sometime just thought it would be a good idea. Here in Ireland and also in the U.K. where pounds are often used, one writes '20 lb', from the abbreviation for whatever latin word 'libra' - a balance or a weight of one roman pound (about 3/4 a modern pound). My parents use exclusively the imperial system (not always the same as the American system - you don't think anyone really drinks only an *American* pint of beer, do you? g:) ) while younger people use a mix, but oddly always quoting a person's height in feet and inches...
> (One pound = 2.2 kg, for the maior et sanior part of the word.)
The other way round - 1 lb.= 454g (as one learns from tubs of butter which are sold as is traditional in pounds, but are actually marked in grams...) Stephen Mulraney


Tristan Alexander McLeay <anstouh@...>
John Cowan <cowan@...>