The purpose is to convey the concept of ordinality derived from the center of an array.

As a reference, I'm using "negative ordinality" to describe uses such as countdowns ("T minus ten, T minus nine," etc.) and "Left of Launch" strategies which are focused on steps prior to an event.)

What I am intending to convey are series which take forms such as [-1,+1], [-1,0,+1], [-2,-1,+1,+2], [-2,-1,0,+1,+2], etc.

"Center ordinality" doesn't have the nice ring of "negative ordinality", nor does it have the descriptive clarity, which would likely lead to ambiguity.

Do we have a word in English that means "from the center"?

  • Would you be able to provide the situation in which you need to use these phrases? The concept of ordinality seems to conflict with the way you are using it here (unless I'm misunderstanding something).
    – as4s4hetic
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 1:14
  • 1
    Outside the box, I'd consider using "symmetry" or "symmetrical" if they'rw balanced around zero. Or, come to think of it, "balanced".
    – Spencer
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 23:25
  • @spencer I like that suggestion. I would upvote as a formal answer.
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 23:31
  • Unfortunately, ordinality is specifically unidirectional, not bidirectional, so you need to abandon that term. Try neighborhood
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 2:34
  • @PhilSweet Thanks for commenting. People keep telling me that, but in my model, ordinality extends outward from the center with positive or negative vectors. We see negative ordinality in the space program (countdowns) and "left of launch" missile defense strategies, as well as in certain dating systems that use negative dates for those before a certain threshold, such as 1 CE. So it's definitely a thing, even if the applications are limited.
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 18:26

2 Answers 2


Centric or central both sound quite nice in my opinion.

Alternatively, you could consider the words centrifugal, which means "Moving or tending to move away from a centre." and centripetal (the opposite of centrifugal) which means "Moving or tending to move towards a centre."

  • Great suggestions! I like centrifugal especially because the reason I use negative ordinals (which I suspect many reject the very concept of;) is because the cells in my arrays have vectors based on the coordinates, which are also the ordinals. Centrifugal implies direction. :)
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 18:30

I was thinking

  • Bi-polar ordinality

might be a possibility.

I'm attracted to this because it implies two opposite vectors specifically, and has an element of whimsy consistent with some modern scientific naming traditions ("quarks" and "surreal numbers" come to mind.)

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