# What do the numbers mean on a pack of ciabatta buns?

I saw this photo of buns on a Costco Canada fan blog and want to know what does “36'S” mean in "ITALIAN CIABATTA BUNS 36’S 1.400 kg"? Is it a kind of measurement?

• Not related, but by god I’d be happy if I could get 36 ciabatta buns for \$6 here. I bought a bag of ciabatta buns yesterday – factory-made ones, mind, not freshly baked like these – for about \$6, and that contained four buns. Dec 11, 2023 at 2:35
• Never mind the `S`. What about the ominous backtick, ```, just before it where an apostrope, `'` , might be incorrectly expected? I'd say it's a clueless label designer supplying buns in thirty-sixes. Dec 11, 2023 at 20:57

## 2 Answers

It’s a large pack of Italian-style ciabatta buns with

• 36 buns in a pack: the French text clarifies “unités”, which is units in English.
• and a total weight of 1.4 kg, so that each bun weighs a little under 40g, which is on the smaller side.
• What's the apostrophe-S for? I think I normally see the word "count" in that context (i.e. "36 count") here in Montreal. Dec 11, 2023 at 17:44
• @wjandrea no idea. I simply went with the French labeling, because it must describe the same thing.
– Stephie
Dec 11, 2023 at 19:35
• @wjandrea Probably the person who created the label hadn't read the advice from the accepted answer to Is “ ’s ” ever correct for pluralization?. Dec 12, 2023 at 18:10
• Thank you all for your explanations! Dec 16, 2023 at 18:34

Think about multiplication. Suppose we were counting in multiples of three, then we would say "one three, two threes, three threes, four threes", and so on.

For our bread rolls, counting in multiples of third-six, we would say "one third-six, two thirty-sixes, three thirty-sixes, four thirty-sixes", and so on. To make this easier to read, "thirty-sixes" is represented by "36's".

Note that some people will say this is not grammatically correct. If you wrote out the numbers, "36's" would turn into "third-six's" - that is, "something belonging to third-six" - which clearly is not the meaning. According to this thinking, it is more grammatically correct to say "36s" without the apostrophe, or perhaps "36es". But this thinking has missed the main point that written language is intended to convey meaning. Not only is "36's" clearer to read, but it also avoids confusion with "365" when the letter "s" is not clearly smaller than the numbers.