58

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 ...


52

I can't speak to the history of the usage, but basically, yes, "birthday" means the anniversary of your birth, not the original day of the event. People rarely refer to the day someone was born as his "birthday". Rather, we call that "the day he was born". If you want to know the date someone was born, including the year, you don't ask, "When was your ...


31

Your son's first birthday will be 23 September 2015. 23 September 2014 was his zeroth birthday. Like C arrays, laws of thermodynamics, and the days of March, birthdays are zero-indexed.


24

English doesn't have a standard way of framing a question whose answer is an ordinal number. (Although, which and what can be used but they don't cover all the cases. Some familiar examples are: What grade are you in?, On which floor is your apartment?. You can try framing the question in several ways but it doesn't guarantee that the answer will include an ...


19

I have never seen someone write "IIIrd" or "Vth". In addition to being (subjectively) ugly, it is basically unheard of. We write "the XXIII Olympiad" and pronounce it as "the 23rd Olympiad". We write "Napoleon III" and pronounce it as "Napoleon the third". So in my opinion you should write "the XIX century". (If you can't write "the 19th century")


18

Some native speakers find it difficult to pronounce sixth ( /sɪksθ/ ). It is not uncommon to hear people say 'sikth' ( /sɪkθ/ ). I believe that some are unaware of this mispronunciation. I personally pronounce 'xth' as /ɛksθ/. Unfortunately, saying /ɛkθ/ simply sounds wrong so I don't suggest that as an alternative. If you are reading the expression ...


16

In India many people pronounce it as /ɛksəθ/. Having a syllable between s and θ helps people say it.


14

Assuming it's known I'm talking about code, I would simply say: On line seventeen. If not, let's say I'm discussing a piece of software, I would qualify the sentence: On line seventeen of the code. I would only use this if I were comparing one piece of code with another and visually indicating a particular piece of code. I might phrase it as in your ...


13

Navigating the complexities of modern families with English semantics and syntax can generate a bevy of interesting question and answer combinations. An excellent foundation for the queries posted would be the interrogative: What is your place in the birth order of your family? Various complexities of the family dynamic would still need to be sorted out ...


13

I stumbled upon that some time ago while coding, after all naming convention is very important to proper software architecture :) My conclusion was, birthday = anniversary, birthdate = date of birth. You can understand this if you are familiar with the concept of abstraction - what is a day if not a date without a year (Independence Day, Labour Day, etc)? ...


12

There is no reason to think that birthday is shortened from anything. There are several phrases with day which mean "anniversary" or "commemoration" - name day, saint's day, Independence Day. Birth day (as a phrase) fits in to this pattern. The first meaning given for birthday in the OED is "the day on which anyone is born" (with transferred and figurative ...


12

Style guide guidance The strongest proponent of firstly I've encountered is H.W. Fowler, Modern English Usage (1926): First(ly), secondly, lastly. The preference for first over firstly in formal enumerations is one of the harmless pedantries in which those who like oddities because they are odd are free to indulge, provided that they abstain from censuring ...


11

I would simply avoid the use of ordinals that are not whole numbers. They make no sense, and they can easily be avoided. If there is a line of people, I cannot say that I pick every 1.5th person. Every suggests you actually identify an individual occurrence of something, which can never be the 1.1st occurrence. Change the phrase to something like 10 ...


10

This is an ordinal indicator. In written languages, an ordinal indicator is a character, or group of characters, following a numeral denoting that it is an ordinal number, rather than a cardinal number. In English orthography, this corresponds to the suffixes -st, -nd, -rd, -th in written ordinals (represented either on the line 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or as ...


9

Preface Given how important the ordinal birth number would be for birthrights, especially where the concept of primogeniture was involved, I thought that would be a good place to start research. Unfortunately my cursory glance at The Bill of Rights of 1688 and The Act of Succession 1700 did not reveal much and I'm not sure what other traditions factored ...


8

You could use sequentially, as in Sequentially, which prime is 5? However, the term is not completely unambiguous: "Sequentially, which president was Abraham Lincoln?" could legitimately be answered with "Well, he was the one after James Buchanan and before Andrew Johnson"; similarly, as a prime, five is "preceded by 3 and succeeded by 7".


7

I've done some research: What cardinal number child are you ?                sounds off-putting This question is perfectly fine, but sounds unpleasant in a conversation. What number child are you ?                      acceptable Although informal, you can expect an answer with this question. Chronologically speaking, which child are you ? ...


7

Consider this situation where you could write your request as Give me the 5th largest sheep or Give me the 5 largest sheep They obviously mean completely different things. One will result in you having a sheep, the other in you having five sheep. Hence you should stick to the kth convention.


5

"Birthday" is really a shortened form of "anniversary of the day of birth", so the day you are born is not an anniversary of that event. We do use the phrase "birth day" to mean the day of your actual birth. To add to the confusion, occasionally "birthday" does mean both your birthday and the year of your birth -- on official forms for example -- but you ...


5

Use italics for mathematical variables. Nth or rth. You can also sometimes see superscripts, Nth or rth.


3

The anniversary of your son's birth date is your son's birthday. The date of birth of your son, or birth date, is on 23 September 2014.


3

In the case of 9th, the superscript shown is indeed called the 'ordinal indicator' as Matt Gutting has noted in his answer. The addition of -th/ -eth relates to numbers 4 to 20 (and similarly,) and is a suffix to the cardinal number. However, as in the second and third examples, the rd & st simply come from the right-end of the word for the ordinal ...


3

"Where [does] [subject] [come|fall] in [order] ?" This is an attempt at a generic answer to the question of framing questions for which an ordinal answer is required. [subject] is the specific subject of the question. It could be 'you', or a name, or something else that identifies who or what you want the ordinal number of. Use the form of 'do', '...


3

You don't use "secondly likely", instead you use "second most likely". You may also use "most likely, less likely, and even less likely" for that, but I can't imagine a situation where you want to say this in front of the very girls you're categorizing, they might end up changing that sentence to "most likely got slapped by" EDIT: The above paragraph was ...


3

"What was your ranking in your class?" for additional clarification, you can also phrase it like this: "What was your ranking in your class? (Ex. 1st, 2nd, 45th, etc.)"


3

An example of "birthday" being used to refer to the day of birth is when people say something like: "I was wearing my birthday suit.", meaning they were naked. That term doesn't seem nearly as clever now as it did before I read this thread.


3

Ordinal terms are never used in the negative. You might get the meaning across if you said "first minus, second minus etc" but this is abnormal. "Oneth" is not an accepted ordinal term however logical it might seem to be. It is always "first".


3

Should I say "negative oneth index" or "negative first index"? You should say neither. Which one is grammatically correct? Neither is correct usage. They're probably grammatically correct in the way that "very unique milk" is gramatically correct even though it is so wrong in so many ways. Is there a way to avoid this problem altogether. Yes, say ...


3

EtymOnline explains what happened in their entry for "second": Replaced native other in this sense because of the ambiguousness of the earlier word. Of course, we still have "other" (but it is no longer synonymous with "second"). Similarly, another, less ambiguous word (quarter) was introduced, as opposed to the original "a fourth" (which is easily ...


3

In English orthography, there are four ordinal indicators: st, nd, rd for 1, 2, and 3, and th for all the rest, including variables or unreal numbers. Writing the indicator as a superscript, with or without underlining, derives from the practice of Latin scribes. This is an orthographic convention only loosely connected to the spoken language: whether you ...


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