The Night Thread (8/1) of Knowing More Than A Plugger

I randomly decided to go to the Comic Strip Club the other day. *insert boos and hissing here*

I scrolled all the way to the beginning of the thread, and there was one of our usual “favorites” in Pluggers. I offer no apologies for posting the following.

Classic ignorance/dad joke/Pluggers stuff right here, everyone. But with that said, I did not know why No. 2 pencils were marked as such. So, unlike the average Plugger, I dared ventured into the vast internet to ask why indeed are No. 2 pencils called that. It was actually sort of interesting! The below information was taken from, of all places, Naturally.

A pencil’s location on the HB graphite grading scale depends on the hardness of its graphite core. The hardness of the graphite core is often marked on the pencil — look for a number (such as “2” “2-1/2” or “3”) — and the higher the number, the harder the writing core and the lighter the mark left on the paper. As the pencil core becomes softer (through the use of lower proportions of clay) it leaves a darker mark as it deposits more graphite material on the paper. Softer pencils will dull faster than harder leads and require more frequent sharpening.You might see other markings on pencils. Most pencil manufacturers outside of the U.S. use the letter “H” to indicate a hard pencil. Likewise, a pencil maker might use the letter “B” to designate the blackness of the pencil’s mark, indicating a softer lead. The letter “F” is also used to indicate that the pencil sharpens to a fine point.

Historically, pencil makers also use combinations of letters — a pencil marked “HB” is hard and black; a pencil marked “HH” is very hard, and a pencil marked “HHBBB” is very hard and really, really black! Although today most pencils using the HB system are designated by a number such as 2B, 4B or 2H to indicate the degree of hardness. For example, a 4B would be softer than a 2B and a 3H harder than an H. Generally, an HB grade about the middle of the scale is considered to be equivalent to a #2 pencil using the U.S. numbering system.

Essentially, if a Plugger was so high and mighty that they wanted to use a No. 1 pencil because NUMBA ONE or whichever, they would realize the pencil’s lead (or graphite) would go away far faster than normal pencils due to how soft they are. No. 2 pencils meet the best happy medium for softness and legibility, which is why they are/were used for Scantron/other standardized tests.

Number 1 pencils are generally used specifically for drawing, as the ability to make something lighter or darker is very important with artwork. And on the other end of the scale, number 3 and 4 pencils are used in far more specialized fields such as architecture due to their ability to make precise, light marks on paper. And not just any paper, since 3 and 4 pencils have such hard surfaces that they can rip through standard paper!

So now you know. And you are, again, officially smarter than a Plugger.

As always, take care of yourself and have a great night thread, everyone.