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Dear MA:

How is it that the abbr. for a pound of weight is lb? None of my English instructors could answer this but I'm confident you can.

-- Dave-O, the net

That's the attitude we like, Dave. And take our word for it, when you're an elf it's all about attitude. So the research elves say, tell your teachers that lb. stands for libra. Then I�m sure your teachers will give you an A for citizenship and initiative. Or maybe a Z for being a wiseguy. These days, who knows. Anyway, aside from being a sign of the zodiac, libra was a basic and frequently used unit of weight in ancient Rome. One libra of dried figs would net you about 3/4 of a pound of the fruit in our way of measuring things; but then who likes dried figs anyway. The fewer you have, the better off you are.

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