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pound sterling Options
D00M
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 9:41:09 AM

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Hello respected teachers,

Which one is correct, pound sterling or pounds sterling?

For example:
one dollar, two dollars
one pound, two pounds
one pound sterling, two pounds sterling

I am looking forward to your answers.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 10:00:51 AM
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'Sterling' is a Middle English word relating to British money. So "Two pounds sterling" means "Two British pounds".

Although in modern English we put the adjective in front of the noun usually, in this case (I guess because it's a very old word) we still put it after the noun.

However, it's still just an adjective - so it doesn't affect the noun at all e.g. "Two red balls." "A hundred screaming children." "A couple of large dogs."
D00M
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 10:04:11 AM

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Thanks for your crystal clear explanation.

I am looking forward to your answers.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 10:22:08 AM

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That explanation works - treat it a a post-positional adjective.


But, for random information...
apparently it was originally a pound (weight) of sterlings (pennies).
So the word order is actually normal, just simplified.
240 pennies to the pound, by weight. A pound (of) sterling.

Hence the old money system - lsd / £sd
librae, solidi, denarii
The pound (lb) of sterlings is the libra bit.

Apparently. Whistle
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 10:24:18 AM

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Romany wrote:
However, it's still just an adjective - so it doesn't affect the noun at all e.g. "Two red balls." "A hundred screaming children." "A couple of large dogs."

A British dictionary gives it as a noun:

Quote:
sterling (ˈstɜːlɪŋ)
n
1. (Currencies)
a. British money: pound sterling.

Another British dictionary says it's uncountable:

http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/sterling

Quote:
ster‧ling /ˈstɜːlɪŋ $ ˈstɜːr-/ noun [uncountable]
1 (also Sterling) the standard unit of money in the United Kingdom, based on the pound

So I guess both 'two pounds sterling' and 'two pound sterling' are ungrammatical. Throw 'two pound sterlings' in the heap. d'oh!


'Twas a joke if anybody didn't get it.

აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 10:30:20 AM

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It can't stand alone as a currency. So if it is a noun, it uncountable.

Eg
He paid me in Sterling.
But, for amounts, it is adjectival.
Two pounds Sterling.


But, on a practical note, have you tried to enunciate 'two pounds sterling?
You end up saying two poundsterling'.
Otherwise we would be here forever waiting for you to say '_ndsst_'.Whistle
TMe
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 1:02:32 PM

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Pound= British Sterling.(British Currency)

I am a layman.
NKM
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 5:11:59 PM

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I guess that's why we so often hear just "two pounds" without the trailing adjective.

(Not that we're very likely to hear it all that often here in the U.S.)

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, August 14, 2017 6:34:00 AM

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Yes - it can be an uncountable noun (He paid me in Sterling) or an adjective (He paid me in pounds Sterling - £).

As an adjective, it works like "U.S." in "He paid me in Dollars U.S." - $US.

There are others - the Egyptian pound - £E - the Lebanese pound - £LB - and so on.

"Pounds Sterling" is pronounceable - It's "Poundzsterling" - It sort of works like the Italian "long consonants".
"Capella" (hat, cap) is pronounced differently from "cappella" (chapel).

You need a very good ear to spot the difference, though!


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 5:32:14 AM
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Mulling it over, I realised I *never* use "pounds sterling". I'll just say the amount "They owed the bank Forty Thousand pounds.". If, however, I'm speaking to a mixed crowd (people from different places) I'll sometimes add "Sterling" after a slight pause, if I think there's going to be any chance of a mix-up.
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 6:49:26 AM

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Digression - just curious.

Is the British pound still backed by real silver or gold?

Was it ever made of sterling silver or did/does the sterling just mean exemplary or top quality?

Why do they call it a pound? Did it ever weigh that?

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/new-one-pound-coin-uk-release-details-security

Edited - "Bimetallic
The new pound coin is made of two metals. The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy)."

(The only time we refer to sterling is if it is stamped as 925 in jewelry or silverware. Nobody wants silverware coffee pots etc. these days so it is being melted down. And pounds are the body weight people are always trying to lose. Edited - forgot the Whistle )


Equality is when you see a person - not a label.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 7:27:09 AM

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At one point a pound was worth sixteen ounces of silver bullion.

In about 750 AD (750 CE), a silver penny weighed one fifteenth of an ounce (about 1.6 grams) - pretty small.
A silver schilling was twelve pence - about 22 grams - which made the pound of twenty schillings pretty much a pound-weight (454 grams).

With inflation, by Queen Elizabeth's time (1564) a three-pence coin weighed about 1.5 grams when new.



So a pound (money) would only weigh five or six ounces in silver.

Silver is very soft. It was because of the rapid 'wearing away' of coins that German 'Easterling Silver Alloy' (Sterling silver) was used later - it's tougher.

***************
Britain followed the USA and most of Europe by changing over to imaginary money in 1931.

***********
I believe that there is a LOT more gold on the planet than silver. (Random thought)


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 7:51:50 AM

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Thanks, Drago. Apparently there is more silver but it is not as accessible. It is interesting how way back when humans decided gold was more valuable than silver or any other metal. Nowadays we we want gold but need silver - so it says in this investment article.

https://www.wealthdaily.com/articles/silver-is-now-rarer-than-gold/3150

"Silver is Actually Rarer than Gold
Silver is 17.5 times more abundant in the Earth's crust than gold. But the amount of above-ground gold available far exceeds that of silver."


Equality is when you see a person - not a label.
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 8:06:25 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Yes - it can be an uncountable noun (He paid me in Sterling) or an adjective (He paid me in pounds Sterling - £).

The Oxford Dictionary gives this example as a noun:

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/sterling

Quote:
noun
mass noun

British money.
'prices in sterling are shown'

as modifier 'issues of sterling bonds'

'Britain has been skittish in the extreme about abandoning pound sterling for the euro.'


აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 8:47:38 AM

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Hope123 wrote:
Nowadays we want gold but need silver - so it says in this investment article.

Yes - that's the same sort of article I read.

Not that I have a lot of money to spend, but one investment advisor said basically that gold has some sort of traditional value but silver has many more uses in industry and electronics etc, so it is more in demand and will continue to be more in demand.

Also the total available silver is much less, so its value will increase more quickly.
There are also fewer laws about buying and owning lumps of silver than there are about gold.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 6:09:54 AM
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I know, I know - I always rabbit on about history. But I thought you might be interested to know, Hope, that people in the UK are always finding old coins and sometimes whole stashes of them. But recently a bloke found a vast cache of lumps of silver.It was worth a fortune. They were all just the small, uneven blobs that were supposed to go to the Royal Mint in order to cast silver coins. Sometimes traders used this rather than stamped currency; right up to the Middle Ages.

As a writer these finds always have me concocting scenarios as to WHY they were hidden in the first place? What happened that prevented whoever hid them from ever coming back? What nefarious purpose had the unmarked silver had been earmarked for in the beginning?

Although I became a mudlarker some time ago (scrabbling round in the mud of the Thames in London looking for ancient artefacts) and have made some brilliant finds, the likelihood of finding a cache on the banks of what was, for centuries, the busiest river in the world, just don't exist.
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 6:39:22 AM

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Romany wrote:
Although I became a mudlarker some time ago (scrabbling round in the mud of the Thames in London looking for ancient artefacts) and have made some brilliant finds, the likelihood of finding a cache on the banks of what was, for centuries, the busiest river in the world, just don't exist.

Pray, what did you find?

აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
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