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Paper money on happiness episode

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801989.  Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:33 pm Reply with quote

Alan was unfairly deducted points when he said that the 5 pound note is made of paper. It is made of linen and cotton paper. Paper does not have to be made of wood. It can be made of any cellulose material. In fact it was only in the industrial revolution that paper started to be made of wood. It is much lower quality because it is so acidic. It also contains a lot less cellulose that flax or cotten as a plant but we use it because it is very plentiful.

809208.  Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:40 pm Reply with quote

But not paper in its current usage. In current usage, paper means the wood-based material, and I don't think Alan meant made of anything other than paper. So the deductions were in keeping with his general gist.

809221.  Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:03 pm Reply with quote

I don't think anything about QI finds «ěn keeping with the general gist» to be good enough, and I can't imagine that anyone goes around calling handmade paper, or the paper you buy at art stores anything other than paper. It is paper. It isn't anything else. Paper money is made of paper. That paper is made from linen and cotton. Arches paper is made from cotton. I often make paper from flax or hemp. The definition of paper states that it need to be made of cellulose based material. In fact, they go on to show an example of elephant dung paper, and it that is paper then paper money is certainly paper. QI is about splitting hairs. The scrutiny should go both ways. If he had answered that paper money is derived from trees then I can see docking but paper is just not precise enough to be wrong.

902759.  Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:34 am Reply with quote

The question "What is paper money made from?" is plain silly! the answer is in the question.
But on a more academic note - the term 'paper' was initially derived from the greek 'papyrus' whcih had noting to do with the modern concept of 'paper'. The first 'paper' was made from rags, later industrialisation led to paper being made from wood pulp. But at the same time rag papers were still made. Modern paper can be made from a wide range of things - rags, bamboo, esparto or bagasse, as well as wood pulp. So modern paper money is definitely made from paper, if it wasn't it would be called something else!

Sadurian Mike
902819.  Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:57 am Reply with quote

ianb wrote:
The question "What is paper money made from?" is plain silly! the answer is in the question.

No more than asking someone to name the silver or copper coins in modern British currency. We know that they are not real silver or pure copper, yet the terms 'silver' and 'copper' persist because of the colour.


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