Popular Science

Two-by-fours are not actually 2-by-4—here’s why

We measure wood in a weird way.
Lumber wood mistakes

Who's buried in Grant's tomb?

Deposit Photos

There’s an entire subgenre of American humor derived from carefully placing the punchline into the question itself. For example, the answer to the legendary not-joke “Who’s buried at Grant’s Tomb?” is, quite obviously, “Grant.”

You’d be forgiven, then, for answering the question “What size is a 2-by-4?” with “2 inches by 4 inches.” But it turns, which are all systematically smaller than their names would suggest. Here’s why.

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