number format and semantic hairsplitting in China

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon May 11 00:35:53 UTC 2009

I googled on "how to pronounce numbers" and found:  Not a USA site I think.  It
says 101 is to be said "one hundred and one"
It also says 0 is called "nought" (although "zero" in USA English)
It also says "1st, 2nd" is pronounced "the first" and "the second"  (why the "the"?)
Not a very good English site I think.
>From Yahoo Answers: Most say "2008" is pronounced "two thousand eight".  One said "(Brits, Canucks and Aussies would say "Two thousand and eight.) Americans would probably say "Two thousand eight."

For $2008 in the checkbook I write "two thousand eight and N0/00".  No need for "and eight".

I was taught that and was not said in a long number.  Certainly not saying for 1,234 "one thousand and two hundred and thirty four".  No "and"s please.  Make it a rule.

Suppose you ask me my two favorite numbers and I said.  100 and 99 and 200 and 7.  Would you wonder?

For more efficient number pronunciation :)

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+

> Date: Sun, 10 May 2009 02:24:59 -0400
> From: hwgray at GMAIL.COM
> Subject: Re: number format and semantic hairsplitting in China
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Wilson Gray
> Subject: Re: number format and semantic hairsplitting in China
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> FWIW, I was never taught any rule whatsoever regarding the use of
> _and_ in numerals in grade school - 1942-1950 - or in any other school
> or at whatever level.
> That anyone should have bothered to propose a rule regarding such a
> triviality is laughable.
> OTOH, we were taught to use "_least_ common denominator," even though
> only our teachers were white, and not the dumbed-down "_lowest_ common
> denominator."
> -Wilson
> –––
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -----
> -Mark Twain
> On Fri, May 8, 2009 at 9:05 PM, M Covarrubias wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender: Â Â Â American Dialect Society
>> Poster: Â Â Â M Covarrubias
>> Subject: Â Â Â Re: number format and semantic hairsplitting in China
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> On May 8, 2009, at 11:27 AM, Tom Zurinskas wrote:
>>> I remember being taught in grammar school not to say the "and".
>>> It's a rule. Â Why not follow the rule. Â Perhaps there is good reason
>>> for the rule. Â For instance if someone asks how many boys are in
>>> that class, and the answer spoken is "one hundred and fifteen
>>> boys". Â It might be confusing such that one might think it was said
>>> that there are 100 in the class and 15 are boys. Â It would be
>>> especially confusing if one expected to hear "one hundred fifteen"
>>> which is the standard and instead hears the "and" thrown in there.
>> "it's a rule" doesn't go very far as an argument until we establish
>> whose rule it is, what the rule accomplishes, and then if it's a rule
>> worth caring about.
>> in the 3rd grade, mrs wolford taught us to use "and" only when there
>> was a decimal. 'one hundred fifteen and seventeen hundredths' but i
>> never understood why that should be the only use. Â she probably made
>> some argument about a garden-path like confusion. even tho there
>> really wouldn't be any confusion there.
>> 'one hundred and fifteen and seventeen hundredths.' works just as well.
>> the ambiguity you suggest doesn't strike me as a very likely issue.
>> especially if the question is "how many boy are in the class" which
>> invites a number that represents just the boys in the class. if the
>> question was 'how many are in the class total, and how many of them
>> are boys?' then 'one hundred and fifteen' would probably refer to the
>> 100 total in the class and the 15 boys. but it still wouldn't be
>> ambiguous in that case because as an answer to the two-part question
>> it couldn't mean "115 boys".
>> michael
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society -
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