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How much 20-pound bond paper weighs

For average, reasonable people who lead full lives, the figure means nothing.

Dear Matthew: I have some plain whitepaper, and it says right on the box that it's “20-pound bond.” The package of paper does not weigh 20 pounds, so what does that label mean? — Milene, San Diego

For average, reasonable people who lead full lives, the figure means nothing. For people who don’t know when to leave well enough alone, it means that 500 24-by-36-inch sheets of this type of paper weigh 20 pounds under controlled conditions in which the temperature is 70 degrees and the humidity is 50 percent.

Paper is classified according to a baroque system in which a ream is the standard count. For most papers, a ream equals 500 sheets. But for some it’s only 480. (End part one. Breathe deeply. Relax.)

(Begin part two.) After paper is manufactured and before it’s cut into the familiar 8 1/2-by-11-inch pages, it’s trimmed into “standard” oversized sheets. For most business papers, that’s 24-by-36 inches. But a “standard” oversize sheet could also be 17 inches by 22 inches, depending on the type of paper. So the poundage shown on the box is the weight of a ream of oversized sheets.

Assuming you still care, it should be clear that two 20-pound papers might not be comparable, depending on the size of the oversized sheet and the number of those sheets in a ream. Which means, in practical terms, that you still have to open the box, handle the paper, and make sure it’s the kind you want. Apparently the system’s logical to somebody

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Dear Matthew: I have some plain whitepaper, and it says right on the box that it's “20-pound bond.” The package of paper does not weigh 20 pounds, so what does that label mean? — Milene, San Diego

For average, reasonable people who lead full lives, the figure means nothing. For people who don’t know when to leave well enough alone, it means that 500 24-by-36-inch sheets of this type of paper weigh 20 pounds under controlled conditions in which the temperature is 70 degrees and the humidity is 50 percent.

Paper is classified according to a baroque system in which a ream is the standard count. For most papers, a ream equals 500 sheets. But for some it’s only 480. (End part one. Breathe deeply. Relax.)

(Begin part two.) After paper is manufactured and before it’s cut into the familiar 8 1/2-by-11-inch pages, it’s trimmed into “standard” oversized sheets. For most business papers, that’s 24-by-36 inches. But a “standard” oversize sheet could also be 17 inches by 22 inches, depending on the type of paper. So the poundage shown on the box is the weight of a ream of oversized sheets.

Assuming you still care, it should be clear that two 20-pound papers might not be comparable, depending on the size of the oversized sheet and the number of those sheets in a ream. Which means, in practical terms, that you still have to open the box, handle the paper, and make sure it’s the kind you want. Apparently the system’s logical to somebody

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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