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68

If your argument was that thousands means 2000+, then you could show your boyfriend the following dictionaries, which define thousands in your favour: merriam-webster freedictionary collins Do not show him the following dictionaries, which define thousands in his favour: oxford dictionary.com cambridge I'd say opinion is well and truly divided.


54

I have also noticed when reading French and Spanish texts, that it is quite normal to write numbers below ten in full as well, e.g. "los tres hombres que..." instead of "los 3 hombres que..." My guess is that writing numbers in full in a European language is easier than using Roman numerals, which were the mainstay until the Arabic-Hindu number system came ...


45

Both zeros and zeroes are acceptable, see e.g. Merriam-Webster, Wiktionary or TheFreeDictionary. The usage stats from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and the British National Corpus (BNC) look as follows: COCA BNC zeros 312 132 zeroes.[n] 106 5 So in practice zeros is preferred in the US and ...


45

Actually, eleven and twelve also seem to be derived from 10+1 and 10+2. Let me quote from the classic book Number: The Language of Science by Tobias Dantzig (1930, republished with nice foreword by Barry Mazur): Indeed, there is no mistaking the influence of our ten fingers on the “selection” of the base of our number system. In all Indo-European ...


42

The reason English has three different words for those is because English has three different words for 1, 2, and 3. It’s like why we have three different words for sixth, eighth, and twelfth: there’s a suffix here used with regular numbers. The difference is that instead of ‑th for ordinals, it’s ‑ce for adverbials, and you just aren't recognizing that ...


41

Assuming you mean 10-99 inclusive, the phrase you want is "two-digit number".


41

It's an ordinal indicator: In written languages, an ordinal indicator is a letter, or group of letters, following a numeral denoting that it is an ordinal number, rather than a cardinal number. Historically these letters were "elevated terminals", that is to say the last few letters of the full word denoting the ordinal form of the number displayed as a ...


38

0.25 miles. The rule I follow is that you use the singular only when talking of exactly one mile. You'd also say half a mile, quarter of a mile, etc., but in these cases it's as though you're still talking of "a mile" first, and then taking half or quarter of it. Let me say something further, with the caveat that it may be my own idiosyncratic usage: use ...


38

I seem to remember the old askoxford.com site said either was acceptable: CDs and CD's. But now the replacement Oxford Dictionaries Online firmly suggests to avoid the apostrophe except in a few special cases: Apostrophes and plural forms The general rule is that you should not use an apostrophe to form the plurals of nouns, abbreviations, or ...


37

You probably don't want to do it at all. Noninteger numbers are best written in their decimal form (1.5, 5.0). If they can be expressed as simple fractions, you can do that instead: “one and a half” for 1.5. If you absolutely want to write it out, then you'll have to do it the way they are spelt: “one point five”, “five point zero”. You can use oh instead ...


34

You could make the argument that English does not have singular and plural markers per se, but rather singular and "non-singular". (I'm not necessarily advocating this view, just throwing it out there.) The evidence would be that the singular form is used to refer to one of something, while the plural form is used to refer to all other amounts. This ...


32

They are called tally marks. Tally marks, or hash marks, are a unary numeral system. They are a form of numeral used for counting. They allow updating written intermediate results without erasing or discarding anything written down. However, because of the length of large numbers, tallies are not commonly used for static text.


30

When I learned this “rule” (in first grade, I believe), it was explained that and separates the whole part from the fractional part: 2⅔=two and two thirds. The word and would only represent the decimal point in decimal numbers when they are read out in the formal “fractional” reading of decimals, as 2.3=two and three tenths, or 1.75=one and seventy-five ...


30

In computing circles, we often refer to numbers like 10K, 24M, 120G as being human-readable or humanized numbers. This is often in the context of byte counts, which can get notoriously unwieldy with modern storage sizes (e.g. saying I have 323416563175 bytes free on my computer), though I have seen it applied to other contexts as well. For example, the man ...


26

It depends on whether two-thirds (or any similar proportion) is regarded as a measure of amount or of number. In (1), the emphasis is likely to be on the amount of pizza eaten, and not on the number of individual thirds, so (b) would be appropriate. In contrast, in (2) the emphasis is on the number of visitors who were men, so plural concord, as in (a), is ...


26

Well, you have two options: Option 1: re-arrange your sentence or invent some spurious phrase to put after the decimal so that it looks less obvious; Option 2: don't worry about it and just have a cup of tea.


24

They both appear to be acceptable ways of pluralizing zero. All of the dictionaries I consulted list both, usually with zeros listed before zeroes. This Google Ngram shows that zeros is much more widely used than zeroes. This also held true for searches using corpus American English and corpus British English.


24

How a car manufacturer names its models is more of a marketing preference than anything, but in general you'll find that the Porche model is the norm. Ask any schoolchild to read aloud the number "911" and you'll get "nine hundred and eleven", not "nine one one". The telephone number 9-1-1 was, as you speculated, spelled out specifically to prevent people ...


23

"One hundred and thirty-five" is perfectly correct, although the "and" tends to be removed in American English. It makes sense mathematically, since "and" is synonymous with "plus" — two apples and three apples makes five apples. One hundred, and thirty-five, makes 135. The "and" is particularly useful when articulating a series of numbers. "One hundred ...


23

It's called the additive inverse. In a less technical context, you could just call them negatives of each other. Similarly, 5 and 1/5 are multiplicative inverses.


22

I don't believe there is a specific term which applies only to numbers, but we can say such numbers are abbreviated. For example, the University of North Carolina says of such numeric suffixes: K: an informal abbreviation for one thousand used in expressions where the unit is understood, such as "10K run" (10 kilometers) or "700K disk" (700 kilobytes or ...


22

So why does the English language have three different words for "one time", "two times" and "three times"? In other words, why do one time, two times and three times have single words (once, twice, thrice) but four times, five times etc. don't have? Simple answer is; one time, two times and three times were frequently used—as lower numbers like one , ...


21

The usual way is just to find the Latin root and add the suffix: quintuple, sextuple, septuple, nonuple, etc. For numbers beyond eight or nine, the -uple constructions sounds rather strained, if not downright silly. (Duodecuple? Really?) I'd recommend -fold as an alternative ("a ninety-fold increase"), or substitute another counter noun altogether: an ...


20

Number is used with plural nouns, things that can be counted. I saw a number of pigeons on the shed this morning. Amount is normally used for nouns that can't be measured. The amount of animosity generated by his comments was out of all proportion to his words. But it can also be used for things that can be measured (as @psmears points out ...


19

The pronunciation/spelling-out of "1:1" is "one to one" or "one-to-one." I just wanted to add that you wouldn't say "ratio one-to-one." You would either say "a ratio of one-to-one" or "a one-to-one ratio."


19

This is indeed a classic. The question has been asked many times around the web, and there appear to be two schools: one that agrees with you, and one that thinks both constructions are OK and takes both to mean 15 sweets. I think those people are nuts, but hey they might be the majority. I say, why use a construction that is either illogical or ambiguous ...


19

There are two main ways to express decimal numbers in words. Reading the decimal. In this method you read the part of the number left of the decimal point as a normal integer, then the word “point”, followed by the numbers to the right of the decimal point. They are read either as individual digits, or sometimes in pairs as two-digit numbers. Examples: ...


18

Although people do use it mean 1900–1909, it isn't a misuse to use it to mean 1900–1999. Another way to refer to the first decade would be "just after the turn of the century", or "at the turn of the century". I would say 1920s to mean 1920–1929 though. If you do a corpus query (COCA) you'll find that 1900s is almost always preceded by early. (121 times ...


18

Etymonline has this: Originally pronounced as it still is in only, and in dial. good 'un, young 'un, etc.; the now-standard pronunciation "wun" began c.14c. in southwest and west England (Tyndale, a Gloucester man, spells it won in his Bible translation), and it began to be general 18c. Wiktionary adds: one and once are pronounced differently from ...


18

The numerals with endings are merely abbreviations for the words written out as text. When in doubt, write the word out. Thirty-first becomes 31st, eleventh 11th, forty-second 42nd, fiftieth 50th, and so on.



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