# Talk:Pound (mass)

## Pound of feathers vs pound of gold riddle

User:Blue-Haired Lawyer wrote in edit summary "I think (w)e can all agree riddles are unencyclopedic." Well no, posing riddles might be unencyclopaedic but providing answers to them certainly isn't. The criterion for inclusion is whether the riddle is discussed in reliable sources.

Like user:Jc3s5h I am neutral on whether we want this in the article, but I think it should be discussed here first before any more insertion/removals in the article. SpinningSpark 14:46, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

The content was;

==Pound of feathers vs pound of gold riddle==
The riddle, "What weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of gold?" assumes the use of different pound units to measure the two substances — avoirdupois for feathers and Troy for gold. As an avoirdupois pound (approximately 454 g) is heavier than a Troy pound (approximately 373 g), the correct answer is, "A pound of feathers." [1][2]

References

1. ^ Eureka! American Museum of Natural History
2. ^ Demos — Making Science Fun! Yale University

## Dutch pound

Is there a source for the claim that the modern Dutch pound is a kilogram rather than half a kilogram? I disbelieve the current assertion. The article titled Dutch units of measurement says it's half a kilogram. Michael Hardy (talk) 18:14, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

There are plenty of sources for just the opposite [1][2][3][4][5][6] SpinningSpark 20:18, 5 May 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps the confusion comes from 10 ons = 1.0 kg SpinningSpark 20:23, 5 May 2014 (UTC)
In modern usage the Dutch 'pond' is equal to 500 g. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 19:34, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

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## Ounces and pounds of mass

On the ounce article, one or more anons (several different IPs, but they seem to act as the same person) is insisting on defining an ounce as a unit of weight (force) rather than mass. Since the customary units are defined in terms of the metric units of mass, they too must be units of mass. Could others please contribute? Thanks, --Macrakis (talk) 03:35, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

I understand your confusion, however the existing statements that ounces and pounds are weights is accurate, and should remain. In Imperial and U.S. Customary unit systems, the pound (and thus ounce) were defined before the difference between weight and mass was clearly understood, and are thus measurements of weight, even though additional engineering units for force were later grafted onto the system(s). Among measurement systems that Americans an British are familiar with, only the metric/SI system clearly defines these separately. So while the value of the International Pound (and ounce) is defined by the SI unit for mass, that does not make the ounce a unit of mass after the fact of its original definition (I view the metric definition of the pound as a refinement/official conversion, not as the original definition, which is of course 7000 grains. But that's another article. (And I might add that your question is a good one, which exposes the problems of continuing to use customary units. Metric is sooooo much simpler. PetesGuide (talk) (K6WEB) 04:58, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
If you had an ounce of gold in your pocket, would you still have an ounce of gold if you climbed to the top of a mountain? How about if you took an international flight or visited the international space station? Does the amount of gold in your pocket change as you move between these different places? By the way, WP:SIG#EL says a signature should not have an external link. Johnuniq (talk) 06:42, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
I feel that PetesGuide has it semi-right. The question is not whether 'ounce' is a unit of mass or a unit of force; it is obviously a unit of mass, in the context of scientific discussion. The question really is: What is the English word for mass in the context of an ordinary ("non-scientific") discussion? I last lived in England in the 1980s, so I can be accused of being out of date, but the answer until then was quite clearly "weight". In a "Guess the weight of the cake" competition, or when it says "Weight 8 oz" on a bag of sugar, these clearly refer to the amount (mass) of cake or sugar present. The usage is justified by the "historical conflation of mass and weight", which is in turn justified in non-precision contexts by the fact that gravity is a constant. (In modern Britain, for example, does anyone really say "Give your height and mass"??) This conflation is also justified in practice by terms like "Kitchen scales" which conflate the nonexistent terms "massometer" (a balance) and "weightometer" (a spring or piezoelectric force measuring device). I do not see that the metric system makes any difference at all. The ordinary word for "how much stuff there is" is "weight", as in "my weight in kilos", in contrast with "how much space the stuff takes up", which is volume. Imaginatorium (talk) 07:26, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

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