Talk:pound

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Could someone add the symbols and abreviations that are associated with this word? Kilogram is common to be shortened to kg, but what is correct for pound? I am using it in a twxt where all the other units are abren\viated and I now have to go find an abreviation for pound because it is not here aor I am blind... probably blind... ~ David.

Is lb. Does say that is the "symbol", a bit obscurely. Abbreviation is from the Latin libra. Robert Ullmann 08:19, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Plural[edit]

background: User talk:Mglovesfun#pound
The following discussion is copied from the Tea Room.

We both agree that pound is a plural of pound (they money, pound sterling). I call it the most common and therefore standard plural, Algrif calls it nonstandard. We need more British English speakers to form a consensus (speaker of other English dialects are welcome too). Mglovesfun (talk) 12:56, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

  • I consider both as standard British English, just "three pound fifty" is perhaps more common in the north. I teach my students that both forms are acceptable ways to say the price. --Adding quotes (talk) 13:03, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
  • The think the "three pound fifty" form is irrelevant because even in the US, you say you are "six foot four" not "six feet four" (even though without the four, it is "six feet") and that does not mean that "foot" is a plural form. One important question is: Without a number preceding it, is pound ever found as a plural? There is an analogous situation in Israel, where it is common to say חמש שקל (khamésh shékel, five(f) shekel(Template:m-s)) even though it is strongly considered that this is nonstandard and that the only proper form is חמישה שקלים (khamishá sh'kalím, five(m) shekels(m pl)). But I do not speak British so I can only ask the questions not give the answers. --WikiTiki89 13:22, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
From the OED: "Formerly used without change in the plural (reflecting both the Old English unchanged neuter nominative and accusative plural and the genitive plural in -a ). The unchanged plural was long retained following a cardinal number, a common feature of words denoting units of measurement (compare foot n. 7a, mark n.2, etc.), and still common in colloquial and regional English." My feeling is that, though common in informal English, the use of the singular is now considered dialectal and thus "nonstandard". Dbfirs 22:11, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the increasing use of the plural form started with decimalisation - people who used to say "five pound ten" started to say "five pounds fifty pee". Where I live (in the South East) you hear the plural form used more by the young and by non-native English. Us old fogeys still use the singular. SemperBlotto (talk) 22:18, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Other old fogeys consider that the correct plural of "new penny" is pence not pee but I agree that the expression is common amongst the younger generation. I would say "five foot ten" informally, but in formal writing I would write "five feet ten inches". I think the plurals (pounds and feet) pre-date decimalisation. Dbfirs 22:52, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't consider five foot ten or even six foot to be colloquial. I consider them standard, at least my part of the UK. Six feet tall to me is US English. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:29, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Putting the plural as a standard alternative is misleading. Sure, in the Nth of England, one can hear a lot of similar (what I consider mis-)usages with ounce, pound, stone, ton, gram, kilo, inch, foot, yard, mile, metre, kilometre, etc. etc., being used singular for plural. It possibly also has its root in the adjectival forms "a ten-foot pole", for instance, leading to some communities starting to say things like "That pole is nine or ten foot long" instead of the hugely more common "That pole is nine or ten feet long". In foot there is a usage note about this. But to state that pound is its own plural is going too far, IMO. Surely a usage note would be the best answer here. -- ALGRIF talk 11:44, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
There seem to be differing opinions on usage. Perhaps my viewpoint is coloured by dialectal usage of the singular (e.g. to walk five mile), quite separate from the hyphenated usage that is standard (a five-mile walk). I think we have just retained the Old English for longer and with more units than in "standard English" (if that exists). Perhaps Algrif's suggestion of a usage note would be appropriate. I wonder why "pound" has retained the Old English genitive for longer than other units. Dbfirs 21:44, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
... (later, after thought and research) The general plural of "pound" has always been "pounds" (at least since Chaucer), but the continuing use of the Old English genitive or neuter after numerals is so common in some regions that it can be considered still correct despite the OED opinion that it is "colloquial and regional". I think we need a usage note. I'll add one. Please adjust as you think necessary. Dbfirs 16:29, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Example sentences for regular plural:
There are tons and tons of examples. (No-one would say There are ton of examples, even colloquially.)
He has lost pounds and pounds since he went on a diet. Dbfirs 08:39, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

I've altered the entry based on the comments above and on my own research, and I've tried to retain a neutral point of view. I've replaced a colloquial example with a non-colloquial cite, and added some further cites to the citations page. Additional comments are welcomed. Does the entry now best reflect world-wide usage? Dbfirs 21:11, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

I stand to be corrected, of course, but my understanding of the use of plural with currencies is as follows: 10 pound = a single 10 pound note, 10 one-pound notes, or any other combination of coins and notes 10 pounds = 10 one-pound notes. Are there one-pound coins? Those would be included. Haven't been in the UK in a long time. leo029 11:42, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Consider yourself corrected. Totally wrong. SemperBlotto (talk) 12:12, 1 December 2013 (UTC)