If I take a singular noun like 'person' and turn it into its plural 'people', I think I'm doing pluralisation (or, if you insist, pluralization).

What am I doing if I take a cardinal number like '13' and turn it into an ordinal, like 'thirteenth'? I liked ordination, but that already means some kind of religious thing.

Should I refer to it as ordinalisation? I couldn't find ordinali(s|z)ation in a dictionary, and all the Google hits are from software packages.

  • I think that 'conversion' is the noun most used.
    – user66974
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 6:35

1 Answer 1


Ordinalisation should be fine - it's something of a neologism, but there are past uses, and it's pretty clear as to the definition of the word.

I know that some decry the process of verbification, but as you've pointed out with your example 'pluralization', it's not exactly a new phenomenon (and I'd argue that one of English's greatest strengths is its massive and ever-increasing lexicon.

For what it's worth, my Google search of 'ordinalization' came up with a number of hits, mostly in books focused on statistics. Amusingly, one hit included the term in scare-quotes, as though the author recognized the lack of official definition, but were going to use it anyway.

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