"and" in numerical expressions (UNCLASSIFIED)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed May 13 19:24:10 UTC 2009

At 5/13/2009 03:04 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>I do this without "and"s:
>>One hippopotamus
>>Two hippopotamus
>>Three hippopotamus
>Hmmm.  We always did it with "One Mississippi, Two Mississippi,...",
>which like "one thousand and one" has 5 syllables.  But "one
>hippopotamus" has 6.  Did you just say it more quickly?  Sure it
>wasn't "One rhinoceros, two rhinoceros,..."?

(Seven rhinoceros has 6 syllables, though. Let alone the teens.)

I think the hippopotamus notion (wasn't he a Greek philosopher? Or am
I mixing this up with Euclid?) was that one said it as fast as one
can, and people generally could say it at the same speed, whereas
with other mantras people could speak them at various speeds.  How
true this is I have no idea.  Also, I don't have any association with


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

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