"and" in numerical expressions

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue May 12 18:53:53 UTC 2009

At 11:31 AM -0700 5/12/09, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>i've been working on a posting for Language Log on "and" in numerical
>expressions, making the point that there are contexts in which One
>Right Way is inapplicable here (that is, contexts where "and" and zero
>are both acceptable, and in fact truth-functionally equivalent).  this
>is intended as posting two in the "making distinctions" series, which
>began with:
>   http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1416
>as in our previous foray into this topic, the postings here have been
>all over the map, with all sorts of numerical expressions discussed,
>in a number of different contexts, and with people reporting very
>different experiences with the variation between things like "one
>hundred two" and "one hundred two" when the expressions are used as
>determiners.  usage guides seem to be silent on the question, and both
>variants are easily found in the speech of the educated and in "good
>writing" (when the numbers are written out in words).
>entertainingly, there are circumstances in which "and" in such
>expressions is not only acceptable, but required.  the title of the
>"Arabian Nights" story collection is sometimes given as "1001 Nights",
>but as far as i know this is always read as "A Thousand and One
>Nights", never as "A Thousand One Nights", and when the digits are
>written out as words, you get an "and", as in:
>Stories from the Thousand and One Nights
>Translated by Edward William Lane
>Revised by Stanley Lane-Poole
>   http://www.bartleby.com/16/
What's always caught my attention is the rendering as either

_The Book of A/The Thousand Nights and One Night_

or even

_The Thousand Nights and a Night_

I don't know if this is courtesy of Richard Burton (the 19th c. one)
or if it somehow represents the original Arabic more faithfully.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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