Burning of Parliament
The Palace of Westminster, the medieval royal palace used as the home of the British parliament, was destroyed by fire on 16 October 1834. The blaze was caused by the burning of small wooden tally sticks, used as part of the accounting procedures of the Exchequer until 1826; the sticks were disposed of carelessly in the two furnaces under the House of Lords, which caused a chimney fire in the two flues that ran under the floor of the Lords' chamber and up through the walls. The resulting fire spread throughout the complex and developed into the biggest conflagration in London between the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz of the Second World War; the fire lasted for most of the night and destroyed a large part of the palace, including the converted St Stephen's Chapel—the meeting place of the House of Commons—the Lords Chamber, the Painted Chamber and the official residences of the Speaker and the Clerk of the House of Commons. The actions of Superintendent James Braidwood of the London Fire Engine Establishment ensured that Westminster Hall and a few other parts of the old Houses of Parliament survived the blaze.
In 1836 a competition for designs for a new palace was won by Charles Barry. Barry's plans, developed in collaboration with Augustus Pugin, incorporated the surviving buildings into the new complex; the competition established Gothic Revival as the predominant national architectural style and the palace has since been categorised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, of outstanding universal value. The Palace of Westminster dates from the early eleventh century when Canute the Great built his royal residence on the north side of the River Thames. Successive kings added to the complex: Edward the Confessor built Westminster Abbey. By 1245 the King's throne was present in the palace, which signified that the building was at the centre of English royal administration. In 1295 Westminster was the venue for the Model Parliament, the first English representative assembly, summoned by Edward I. By 1332 the barons and burgesses and citizens began to meet separately, by 1377 the two bodies were detached. In 1512 a fire destroyed part of the royal palace complex and Henry VIII moved the royal residence to the nearby Palace of Whitehall, although Westminster still retained its status as a royal palace.
In 1547 Henry's son, Edward VI, provided St Stephen's Chapel for the Commons to use as their debating chamber. The House of Lords met in the medieval hall of the Queen's Chamber, before moving to the Lesser Hall in 1801. Over the three centuries from 1547 the palace was enlarged and altered, becoming a warren of wooden passages and stairways. St Stephen's Chapel remained unchanged until 1692 when Sir Christopher Wren, at the time the Master of the King's Works, was instructed to make structural alterations, he lowered the roof, removed the stained glass windows, put in a new floor and covered the original gothic architecture with wood panelling. He added galleries from which the public could watch proceedings; the result was described by one visitor to the chamber as "dark and badly ventilated, so small... when an important debate occurred... the members were to be pitied". When the future Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone remembered his arrival as a new MP in 1832, he recounted "What I may term corporeal conveniences were... marvellously small.
I do not think that in any part of the building it afforded the means of so much as washing the hands." The facilities were so poor that, in debates in 1831 and 1834, Joseph Hume, a Radical MP, called for new accommodation for the House, while his fellow MP William Cobbett asked "Why are we squeezed into so small a space that it is impossible that there should be calm and regular discussion from circumstance alone... Why are 658 of us crammed into a space that allows each of us no more than a foot and a half square?"By 1834 the palace complex had been further developed, firstly by John Vardy in the middle of the eighteenth century, in the early nineteenth century by James Wyatt and Sir John Soane. Vardy added the Stone Building, in a Palladian style to the West side of Westminster Hall. Soane, taking on responsibility for the palace complex on Wyatt's death in 1813, undertook rebuilding of Westminster Hall and constructed the Law Courts in a Neoclassical style. Soane provided a new royal entrance and gallery, as well as committee rooms and libraries.
The potential dangers of the building were apparent to some, as no fire stops or party walls were present in the building to slow the progress of a fire. In the late eighteenth century a committee of MPs predicted that there would be a disaster if the palace caught fire; this was followed by a 1789 report from fourteen architects warning against the possibility of fire in the palace. Soane again warned of the dangers in 1828, when he wrote that "the want of security from fire, the narrow and unhealthy passages, the insufficiency of the accommodations in this building are important objections which c
Letter case is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upper case and smaller lower case in the written representation of certain languages. The writing systems that distinguish between the upper and lower case have two parallel sets of letters, with each letter in one set having an equivalent in the other set; the two case variants are alternative representations of the same letter: they have the same name and pronunciation and are treated identically when sorting in alphabetical order. Letter case is applied in a mixed-case fashion, with both upper- and lower-case letters appearing in a given piece of text; the choice of case is prescribed by the grammar of a language or by the conventions of a particular discipline. In orthography, the upper case is reserved for special purposes, such as the first letter of a sentence or of a proper noun, which makes the lower case the more common variant in regular text. In some contexts, it is conventional to use one case only. For example, engineering design drawings are labelled in upper-case letters, which are easier to distinguish than the lower case when space restrictions require that the lettering be small.
In mathematics, on the other hand, letter case may indicate the relationship between objects, with upper-case letters representing "superior" objects. The terms upper case and lower case can be written as two consecutive words, connected with a hyphen, or as a single word; these terms originated from the common layouts of the shallow drawers called type cases used to hold the movable type for letterpress printing. Traditionally, the capital letters were stored in a separate shallow tray or "case", located above the case that held the small letters. Majuscule, for palaeographers, is technically any script in which the letters have few or short ascenders and descenders, or none at all. By virtue of their visual impact, this made the term majuscule an apt descriptor for what much came to be more referred to as uppercase letters. Minuscule refers to lower-case letters; the word is spelled miniscule, by association with the unrelated word miniature and the prefix mini-. This has traditionally been regarded as a spelling mistake, but is now so common that some dictionaries tend to accept it as a nonstandard or variant spelling.
Miniscule is still less however, to be used in reference to lower-case letters. The glyphs of lower-case letters can resemble smaller forms of the upper-case glyphs restricted to the base band or can look hardly related. Here is a comparison of the upper and lower case variants of each letter included in the English alphabet: Typographically, the basic difference between the majuscules and minuscules is not that the majuscules are big and minuscules small, but that the majuscules have the same height. There is more variation in the height of the minuscules, as some of them have parts higher or lower than the typical size. B, d, f, h, k, l, t are the letters with ascenders, g, j, p, q, y are the ones with descenders. In addition, with old-style numerals still used by some traditional or classical fonts, 6 and 8 make up the ascender set, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9 the descender set. Writing systems using two separate cases are bicameral scripts. Languages that use the Latin, Greek, Armenian, Warang Citi and Osage scripts use letter cases in their written form as an aid to clarity.
Other bicameral scripts, which are not used for any modern languages, are Old Hungarian and Deseret. The Georgian alphabet has several variants, there were attempts to use them as different cases, but the modern written Georgian language does not distinguish case. Many other writing systems make no distinction between majuscules and minuscules – a system called unicameral script or unicase; this includes most other non-alphabetic scripts. In scripts with a case distinction, lower case is used for the majority of text. Acronyms are written in all-caps, depending on various factors. Capitalisation is the writing of a word with its first letter in uppercase and the remaining letters in lowercase. Capitalisation rules vary by language and are quite complex, but in most modern languages that have capitalisation, the first word of every sentence is capitalised, as are all proper nouns. Capitalisation in English, in terms of the general orthographic rules independent of context, is universally standardised for formal writing.
Capital letters are used as the first letter of a proper noun, or a proper adjective. The names of the days of the week and the names of the months are capitalised, as are the first-person pronoun "I" and the interjection "O". There are a few pairs of words of d
Unit of measurement
A unit of measurement is a definite magnitude of a quantity and adopted by convention or by law, used as a standard for measurement of the same kind of quantity. Any other quantity of that kind can be expressed as a multiple of the unit of measurement. For example, a length is a physical quantity; the metre is a unit of length. When we say 10 metres, we mean 10 times the definite predetermined length called "metre". Measurement is a process of determining how large or small a physical quantity is as compared to a basic reference quantity of the same kind; the definition and practical use of units of measurement have played a crucial role in human endeavour from early ages up to the present. A multitude of systems of units used to be common. Now there is a global standard, the International System of Units, the modern form of the metric system. In trade and measures is a subject of governmental regulation, to ensure fairness and transparency; the International Bureau of Weights and Measures is tasked with ensuring worldwide uniformity of measurements and their traceability to the International System of Units.
Metrology internationally accepted units of measurement. In physics and metrology, units are standards for measurement of physical quantities that need clear definitions to be useful. Reproducibility of experimental results is central to the scientific method. A standard system of units facilitates this. Scientific systems of units are a refinement of the concept of weights and measures developed for commercial purposes. Science and engineering use larger and smaller units of measurement than those used in everyday life; the judicious selection of the units of measurement can aid researchers in problem solving. In the social sciences, there are no standard units of measurement and the theory and practice of measurement is studied in psychometrics and the theory of conjoint measurement. A unit of measurement is a standardised quantity of a physical property, used as a factor to express occurring quantities of that property. Units of measurement were among the earliest tools invented by humans. Primitive societies needed rudimentary measures for many tasks: constructing dwellings of an appropriate size and shape, fashioning clothing, or bartering food or raw materials.
The earliest known uniform systems of measurement seem to have all been created sometime in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC among the ancient peoples of Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, also Elam in Persia as well. Weights and measures are mentioned in the Bible, it is a commandment to have fair measures. In the Magna Carta of 1215 with the seal of King John, put before him by the Barons of England, King John agreed in Clause 35 "There shall be one measure of wine throughout our whole realm, one measure of ale and one measure of corn—namely, the London quart; as of the 21st Century, multiple unit systems are used all over the world such as the United States Customary System, the British Customary System, the International System. However, the United States is the only industrialized country that has not yet converted to the Metric System; the systematic effort to develop a universally acceptable system of units dates back to 1790 when the French National Assembly charged the French Academy of Sciences to come up such a unit system.
This system was the precursor to the metric system, developed in France but did not take on universal acceptance until 1875 when The Metric Convention Treaty was signed by 17 nations. After this treaty was signed, a General Conference of Weights and Measures was established; the CGPM produced the current SI system, adopted in 1954 at the 10th conference of weights and measures. The United States is a dual-system society which uses both the SI system and the US Customary system; the use of a single unit of measurement for some quantity has obvious drawbacks. For example, it is impractical to use the same unit for the distance between two cities and the length of a needle, thus they would develop independently. One way to make large numbers or small fractions easier to read, is to use unit prefixes. At some point in time though, the need to relate the two units might arise, the need to choose one unit as defining the other or viceversa. For example an inch could be defined in terms of a barleycorn.
A system of measurement is a collection of units of measurement and rules relating them to each other. As science progressed, a need arose to relate the measurement systems of different quantities, like length and weight and volume; the effort of attempting to relate different traditional systems between each other exposed many inconsistencies, brought about the development of new units and systems. Systems of measurement in modern use include the metric system, the imperial system, United States customary units. Many of the systems of measurement, in use were to some extent based on the dimensions of the human body; as a result, units of measure could vary not only from location to location, but from person to person. Metric systems of units have evolved since the adoption of the original metric system in France in 1791; the current international standard metric system is the International System of Units. An important feature of modern systems is standardization; each unit has a universally recognized size.
Both the imperial units and US customary
The kilogram or kilogramme is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units. Until 20 May 2019, it remains defined by a platinum alloy cylinder, the International Prototype Kilogram, manufactured in 1889, stored in Saint-Cloud, a suburb of Paris. After 20 May, it will be defined in terms of fundamental physical constants; the kilogram was defined as the mass of a litre of water. That was an inconvenient quantity to replicate, so in 1799 a platinum artefact was fashioned to define the kilogram; that artefact, the IPK, have been the standard of the unit of mass for the metric system since. In spite of best efforts to maintain it, the IPK has diverged from its replicas by 50 micrograms since their manufacture late in the 19th century; this led to efforts to develop measurement technology precise enough to allow replacing the kilogram artifact with a definition based directly on physical phenomena, now scheduled to take place in 2019. The new definition is based on invariant constants of nature, in particular the Planck constant, which will change to being defined rather than measured, thereby fixing the value of the kilogram in terms of the second and the metre, eliminating the need for the IPK.
The new definition was approved by the General Conference on Weights and Measures on 16 November 2018. The Planck constant relates a light particle's energy, hence mass, to its frequency; the new definition only became possible when instruments were devised to measure the Planck constant with sufficient accuracy based on the IPK definition of the kilogram. The gram, 1/1000 of a kilogram, was provisionally defined in 1795 as the mass of one cubic centimetre of water at the melting point of ice; the final kilogram, manufactured as a prototype in 1799 and from which the International Prototype Kilogram was derived in 1875, had a mass equal to the mass of 1 dm3 of water under atmospheric pressure and at the temperature of its maximum density, 4 °C. The kilogram is the only named SI unit with an SI prefix as part of its name; until the 2019 redefinition of SI base units, it was the last SI unit, still directly defined by an artefact rather than a fundamental physical property that could be independently reproduced in different laboratories.
Three other base units and 17 derived units in the SI system are defined in relation to the kilogram, thus its stability is important. The definitions of only eight other named SI units do not depend on the kilogram: those of temperature and frequency, angle; the IPK is used or handled. Copies of the IPK kept by national metrology laboratories around the world were compared with the IPK in 1889, 1948, 1989 to provide traceability of measurements of mass anywhere in the world back to the IPK; the International Prototype Kilogram was commissioned by the General Conference on Weights and Measures under the authority of the Metre Convention, in the custody of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures who hold it on behalf of the CGPM. After the International Prototype Kilogram had been found to vary in mass over time relative to its reproductions, the International Committee for Weights and Measures recommended in 2005 that the kilogram be redefined in terms of a fundamental constant of nature.
At its 2011 meeting, the CGPM agreed in principle that the kilogram should be redefined in terms of the Planck constant, h. The decision was deferred until 2014. CIPM has proposed revised definitions of the SI base units, for consideration at the 26th CGPM; the formal vote, which took place on 16 November 2018, approved the change, with the new definitions coming into force on 20 May 2019. The accepted redefinition defines the Planck constant as 6.62607015×10−34 kg⋅m2⋅s−1, thereby defining the kilogram in terms of the second and the metre. Since the second and metre are defined in terms of physical constants, the kilogram is defined in terms of physical constants only; the avoirdupois pound, used in both the imperial and US customary systems, is now defined in terms of the kilogram. Other traditional units of weight and mass around the world are now defined in terms of the kilogram, making the kilogram the primary standard for all units of mass on Earth; the word kilogramme or kilogram is derived from the French kilogramme, which itself was a learned coinage, prefixing the Greek stem of χίλιοι khilioi "a thousand" to gramma, a Late Latin term for "a small weight", itself from Greek γράμμα.
The word kilogramme was written into French law in 1795, in the Decree of 18 Germinal, which revised the older system of units introduced by the French National Convention in 1793, where the gravet had been defined as weight of a cubic centimetre of water, equal to 1/1000 of a grave. In the decree of 1795, the term gramme thus replaced gravet, kilogramme replaced grave; the French spelling was adopted in Great Britain when the word was used for the first time in English in 1795, with the spelling kilogram being adopted in the United States. In the United Kingdom both spellings are used, with "kilogram" having become by far the more common. UK law regulating the units to be used when trading by weight or measure does not prevent the use of either spelling. In the 19th century the French word kilo, a shortening of kilogramme, was imported into the English language where it has been used to mean both kilogram and kilometre. While kilo is acceptable in many generalist texts
Wheat is a grass cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain, a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus Triticum; the archaeological record suggests that wheat was first cultivated in the regions of the Fertile Crescent around 9600 BCE. Botanically, the wheat kernel is a type of fruit called a caryopsis. Wheat is grown on more land area than any other food crop. World trade in wheat is greater than for all other crops combined. In 2016, world production of wheat was 749 million tonnes, making it the second most-produced cereal after maize. Since 1960, world production of wheat and other grain crops has tripled and is expected to grow further through the middle of the 21st century. Global demand for wheat is increasing due to the unique viscoelastic and adhesive properties of gluten proteins, which facilitate the production of processed foods, whose consumption is increasing as a result of the worldwide industrialization process and the westernization of the diet.
Wheat is an important source of carbohydrates. Globally, it is the leading source of vegetal protein in human food, having a protein content of about 13%, high compared to other major cereals but low in protein quality for supplying essential amino acids; when eaten as the whole grain, wheat is a source of dietary fiber. In a small part of the general population, gluten – the major part of wheat protein – can trigger coeliac disease, noncoeliac gluten sensitivity, gluten ataxia, dermatitis herpetiformis. Cultivation and repeated harvesting and sowing of the grains of wild grasses led to the creation of domestic strains, as mutant forms of wheat were preferentially chosen by farmers. In domesticated wheat, grains are larger, the seeds remain attached to the ear by a toughened rachis during harvesting. In wild strains, a more fragile rachis allows the ear to shatter and disperse the spikelets. Selection for these traits by farmers might not have been deliberately intended, but have occurred because these traits made gathering the seeds easier.
As the traits that improve wheat as a food source involve the loss of the plant's natural seed dispersal mechanisms domesticated strains of wheat cannot survive in the wild. Cultivation of wheat began to spread beyond the Fertile Crescent after about 8000 BCE. Jared Diamond traces the spread of cultivated emmer wheat starting in the Fertile Crescent sometime before 8800 BCE. Archaeological analysis of wild emmer indicates that it was first cultivated in the southern Levant, with finds dating back as far as 9600 BCE. Genetic analysis of wild einkorn wheat suggests that it was first grown in the Karacadag Mountains in southeastern Turkey. Dated archeological remains of einkorn wheat in settlement sites near this region, including those at Abu Hureyra in Syria, suggest the domestication of einkorn near the Karacadag Mountain Range. With the anomalous exception of two grains from Iraq ed-Dubb, the earliest carbon-14 date for einkorn wheat remains at Abu Hureyra is 7800 to 7500 years BCE. Remains of harvested emmer from several sites near the Karacadag Range have been dated to between 8600 and 8400 BCE, that is, in the Neolithic period.
With the exception of Iraq ed-Dubb, the earliest carbon-14 dated remains of domesticated emmer wheat were found in the earliest levels of Tell Aswad, in the Damascus basin, near Mount Hermon in Syria. These remains were dated by Willem van Zeist and his assistant Johanna Bakker-Heeres to 8800 BCE, they concluded that the settlers of Tell Aswad did not develop this form of emmer themselves, but brought the domesticated grains with them from an as yet unidentified location elsewhere. The cultivation of emmer reached Greece and Indian subcontinent by 6500 BCE, Egypt shortly after 6000 BCE, Germany and Spain by 5000 BCE. "The early Egyptians were developers of bread and the use of the oven and developed baking into one of the first large-scale food production industries." By 3000 BCE, wheat had reached Scandinavia. A millennium it reached China; the oldest evidence for hexaploid wheat has been confirmed through DNA analysis of wheat seeds, dating to around 6400-6200 BCE, recovered from Çatalhöyük.
The first identifiable bread wheat with sufficient gluten for yeasted breads has been identified using DNA analysis in samples from a granary dating to 1350 BCE at Assiros in Macedonia. From Asia, wheat continued to spread across Europe. In the British Isles, wheat straw was used for roofing in the Bronze Age, was in common use until the late 19th century. Technological advances in soil preparation and seed placement at planting time, use of crop rotation and fertilizers to improve plant growth, advances in harvesting methods have all combined to promote wheat as a viable crop; when the use of seed drills replaced broadcasting sowing of seed in the 18th century, another great increase in productivity occurred. Yields of pure wheat per unit area increased as methods of crop rotation were applied to long cultivated land, the use of fertilizers became widespread. Improved agricultural husbandry has more included threshing machines and reaping machines, tractor-drawn cultivators and planters, better varieties.
Great expansion of wheat production occurred as new arable land was farmed in the Americas and Australia in the 19th and 20th centuries. Leaves emerge from the shoot apical meristem in a telescoping fashion until the transition to reprod
The pound or pound-mass is a unit of mass used in the imperial, United States customary and other systems of measurement. Various definitions have been used; the international standard symbol for the avoirdupois pound is lb. The unit is descended from the Roman libra; the English word pound is cognate with, among others, German Pfund, Dutch pond, Swedish pund. All derive from a borrowing into Proto-Germanic of the Latin expression lībra pondō, in which the word pondō is the ablative case of the Latin noun pondus. Usage of the unqualified term pound reflects the historical conflation of weight; this accounts for the modern distinguishing terms pound-force. The United States and countries of the Commonwealth of Nations agreed upon common definitions for the pound and the yard. Since 1 July 1959, the international avoirdupois pound has been defined as 0.45359237 kg. In the United Kingdom, the use of the international pound was implemented in the Weights and Measures Act 1963; the yard or the metre shall be the unit of measurement of length and the pound or the kilogram shall be the unit of measurement of mass by reference to which any measurement involving a measurement of length or mass shall be made in the United Kingdom.
An avoirdupois pound is equal to 16 avoirdupois ounces and to 7,000 grains. The conversion factor between the kilogram and the international pound was therefore chosen to be divisible by 7, an grain is thus equal to 64.79891 milligrams. In the UK, the process of metrication and European units of measurement directives were expected to eliminate the use of the pound and ounce, but in 2007 the European Commission abandoned the requirement for metric-only labelling on packaged goods there, allowed for dual metric–imperial marking to continue indefinitely; when used as a measurement of body weight the UK practice remains to use the stone of 14 pounds as the primary measure e.g. "11 stone 4 pounds", rather than "158 pounds", or "72 kilograms" as used elsewhere. The US has not adopted the metric system despite many efforts to do so, the pound remains used as one of the key United States customary units. In different parts of the world, at different points in time, for different applications, the pound has referred to broadly similar but not identical standards of mass or force.
The libra is an ancient Roman unit of mass, equivalent to 328.9 grams. It was divided into ounces; the libra is the origin of the abbreviation for pound, "lb". A number of different definitions of the pound have been used in Britain. Amongst these were the avoirdupois pound and the obsolete Tower, merchant's and London pounds. Troy pounds and ounces remain in use only for the weight of certain precious metals in the trade; the pound sterling was a Tower pound of silver. In 1528, the standard was changed to the Troy pound; the avoirdupois pound known as the wool pound, first came into general use c. 1300. It was equal to 6992 troy grains; the pound avoirdupois was divided into 16 ounces. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the avoirdupois pound was redefined as 7,000 troy grains. Since the grain has been an integral part of the avoirdupois system. By 1758, two Elizabethan Exchequer standard weights for the avoirdupois pound existed, when measured in troy grains they were found to be of 7,002 grains and 6,999 grains.
In the United Kingdom and measures have been defined by a long series of Acts of Parliament, the intention of, to regulate the sale of commodities. Materials traded in the marketplace are quantified according to accepted units and standards in order to avoid fraud; the standards themselves are defined so as to facilitate the resolution of disputes brought to the courts. Quantifying devices used by traders are subject to official inspection, penalties apply if they are fraudulent; the Weights and Measures Act of 1878 marked a major overhaul of the British system of weights and measures, the definition of the pound given there remained in force until the 1960s. The pound was defined thus "The... platinum weight... deposited in the Standards department of the Board of Trade... shall continue to be the imperial standard of... weight... and the said platinum weight shall continue to be the Imperial Standard for determining the Imperial Standard Pound for the United Kingdom". Paragraph 13 states that the weight in vacuo of this standard shall be called the Imperial Standard Pound, that all other weights mentioned in the act and permissible for commerce shall be ascertained from it alone.
The First Schedule of the Act gave more details of the standard pound: it is a platinum cylinder nearly 1.35 inches high, 1.15 inches diameter, the edges are rounded off. It has a groove about 0.34 inches from the top, to allow the cylinder to be lifted
A penny is a coin or a unit of currency in various countries. Borrowed from the Carolingian denarius, it is the smallest denomination within a currency system. Presently, it is the formal name of the British penny and the informal name of one American cent as well as the informal Irish designation of 1 cent euro coin, it is the informal name of the cent unit of account in Canada, although one cent coins are no longer minted there. The name is used in reference to various historical currencies derived from the Carolingian system, such as the French denier and the German pfennig, it may be informally used to refer to any similar smallest-denomination coin, such as the euro cent or Chinese fen. The Carolingian penny was a.940-fine silver coin weighing 1/240 pound. It was adopted by Offa of Mercia and other English kings and remained the principal currency in Europe over the next few centuries until repeated debasements necessitated the development of more valuable coins; the British penny remained a silver coin until the expense of the Napoleonic Wars prompted the use of base metals in 1797.
Despite the decimalization of currencies in the United States and throughout the British Commonwealth, the name remains in informal use. No penny is formally subdivided, although farthings and half cents have been minted and the mill remains in use as a unit of account in some contexts. Penny is first attested in a 1394 Scots text, a variant of Old English peni, a development of numerous variations including pennig and pending; the etymology of the term "penny" is uncertain, although cognates are common across all Germanic languages and suggest a base *pan-, *pann-, or *pand- with the individualizing suffix -ing. Common suggestions include that it was *panding as a Low Franconian form of Old High German pfant "pawn", it has been proposed that it may represent an early borrowing of Punic pn, as the face of Carthaginian goddess Tanit was represented on nearly all Carthaginian currency. Following decimalization, the British and Irish coins were marked "new penny" until 1982 and 1985, respectively.
The regular plural pennies fell out of use in England from the 16th century, except in reference to coins considered individually. It remains common in Scottish English and is standard for all senses in American English, however, the informal "penny" is only used of the coins in any case, values being expressed in "cents"; the informal name for the American cent seems to have spread from New York State. In British English, prior to decimalization, values from two to eleven pence and of twenty pence are written and spoken as a single word, as twopence or tuppence, threepence or thruppence, &c. Where a single coin represented a number of pence, it was treated as a single noun, as a sixpence or two eightpences. Thus, "a threepence" would be single coin of that value whereas "three pence" would be its value and "three pennies" would be three penny coins. In British English, divisions of a penny were added to such combinations without a conjunction, as sixpence-farthing, such constructions were treated as single nouns.
Adjectival use of such coins used the ending -penny, as sixpenny. The British abbreviation d. derived from the Latin denarius. It followed the amount after a space, it has been replaced since decimalization by p written without a space or period. From this abbreviation, it is common to speak of pennies and values in pence as "p". In North America, it is common to abbreviate cents with the currency symbol ¢. Elsewhere, it is written with a simple c; the medieval silver penny was modeled on similar coins in antiquity, such as the Greek drachma, the Carthaginian shekel, the Roman denarius. Forms of these seem to have reached as far as Sweden; the use of Roman currency in Britain seems to have fallen off after the Roman withdrawal and subsequent Saxon invasions. Charlemagne's father Pepin the Short instituted a major currency reform around AD 755, aiming to reorganise Francia's previous silver standard with a standardized.940-fine denier weighing 1⁄240 pound. Around 790, Charlemagne introduced a new.950 or.960-fine penny with a smaller diameter.
Surviving specimens have an average weight of 1.70 grams, although some estimate the original ideal mass at 1.76 grams. Despite the purity and quality of these pennies, they were rejected by traders throughout the Carolingian period in favor of the gold coins used elsewhere, a situation that led to repeated legislation against such refusal to accept the king's currency; some of the Anglo-Saxons kingdoms copied the solidus, the late Roman gold coin. Around AD 641–670, there seems to have been a movement to use coins with a lower gold content; this decreased their value and may have increased the number that could be minted, but these paler coins do not seem to have solved the problem of the value and scarcity of the currency