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Why is “page” abbreviated “p” while “pages” is “pp”? Of somewhat less interest to me, I also wonder whether “p” or “p.” is the correct notation?
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And the plural for the barrels of a carburetor is bbl.
I have always used p. for one page and pp. for two or more pages.
I remember learning this in high school, when I was taking Latin. The textbook had a picture of a coin that bore the face of some monarch. The coin identified this person as the reigning emperor of "BRITTANNIA," if I remember the spelling correctly. According to the book, the double T to pluralize the word "Britannia" --- which in this case referred to the British Isles --- in the same way that "pp" means pages. Don't know why my brain held onto this all these years, but it did.
In Latin, and continuing to the derivative forms in European languages as well as English, single-letter abbreviations had the plural being a doubling of the letter for note-taking. Most of these deal with writing and publishing.
The rest of the wp article discusses the use of the final period as well (cf "History" section).
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