"and" in numerical expressions

Tue May 12 19:12:21 UTC 2009

        The Arabian Nights Entertainments are sometimes given the title
The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, and variations thereon.
Perhaps there is a connection to the original Arabic.

        I do call the book "One Hundred One Dalmatians," which
apparently is an indication of how strongly I am inclined to drop the
"and."  But even I say "Thousand and One Nights."

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Arnold Zwicky
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 2:31 PM
Subject: "and" in numerical expressions

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

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

in a somewhat less elevated context, there's the book "The 101
Dalmatians" by Dodie Smith.  as far as i know, the title is always read
with "hundred and one", never with "hundred one".  the sequel,
"Starlight Barking", begins:

   Not long ago there lived in Suffolk a hundred and one Dalmatians
whose adventures had once thrilled all the ... [note the "and"]

the first book then got made into a animated Walt Disney version (1961),
under the title "One Hundred and One Dalmatians" [note the "and"].  the
imdb at
tells us that the movie is also known as "101 Dalmatians" (alternative
spelling).  then there was a 1996 live-action remake entitled "101
Dalmatians" (so spelled).  again, so far as i know, "101" in these
titles is always read with the "and".

there are probably more examples like these.


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