das Mass, pl. die Masse = measure
die Masse = mass
This is the word where it really matters in written language. "Massstab" looks not only a bit funny (triple letter), it looks like something else: "mass" (kg), instead of "measure". But that thing would be called "Massenstab". So it works.
And yes the "aber ich geniesse Alkohol immer nur in Massen" is a pun, but only works in writing. Spoken there is a big difference, almost as big as the semantic difference. When a tailor takes them, it sounds like "Maahsse", quite the opposite of "Massse", with very short "a" and very sharp "ss".
I just remembered my family on holidays back in California. We had lived there for some years. My sister - 10 years old - came back totally excited from a public toilet saying (in german):
"Wow they tell you how many times you can shit with one roll of paper: 2000 times!"
We argued that can't be - she insisted it is written there. It was written, somehow:
(That is what I call a linguistic collapse)
if I remember ... the ß was removed from Swiss-German alphabet some
Yes: I went to school there and learned to write deutsch end of the 70s. The Esszett (or what you call it) hardly gets mentioned in school, even later. You don't learn how to write it. Computer keyboards do not have it, they have just the three umlaute and the french aigues and c with cedille.
Swiss-German is rarely written - never in public or officially. And when, then with the regional flavor and some humor. In Switzerland, the German alphabet itself has been simplified. For, and because of, the romands (and also the ticinesi), and maybe because the "schwiizer-dütsch" speaking have always had other problems, being at the southern end of a linguistic continuum. Like they decided: OK so we'll use that foreign hochdeutsch for writing, but please without that "B" which is just two "S"...
ß is a real shibboleth for Germans and Swiss-Germans.
No real "necessity", but enough reasons to keep it around a bit.
I cross-checked my german "Ilias" (Reclam, 1979, printed 2012). On the back cover it has the words "Groß-Epos" on line 3 and "Maßstäbe" on line 10 (of twelve). Two examples why it can be useful or very useful.
But in the translation things are not as clear. For one, the translator explains that in German it is more about emphasis and not length as in the Greek verses.
The third verse ends on "hinabstieß" (=down-pushed) . This should be "ab"=long and "stiess"=short. But "-ieß" is not short at all: long "i", distinct "s". The verse works because you can naturally pronounce "hinAPPstis".
Much better is line 13:
"...mit unermeßlichem Bußgeld"
mit UNN-erMESSlichem BUUSgeld
"MESS" has a short "E", but almost three "S". "BUUSgeld" has a long "U".
You can write "Bussgeld". It still has a long "U" and no room for two "S". But you can not pronounce or write "Busgeld": that would be the "money for the bus".
This is actually another "tri" situation:
der Busen =bosom "BUUSen"
die Bussen =atonements "BUUSSen"
in den Bussen =in the busses "BUSSen"
And down south it is "BUUSE", "BUESSE" and "BÜSS".