"and" in numerical expressions (UNCLASSIFIED)

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri May 15 01:20:47 UTC 2009

Regarding timing lighting, here are quotes from


Watch the sky for a flash of lightning.

Count the number of seconds until you hear thunder. If you don’t have a watch, do your best to count the seconds accurately. Say "One one thousand, two one thousand etc." in your mind for each second.

Divide the number of seconds by 5 to calculate the distance in miles (or divide by 3 for kilometers). In other words if you counted 18 seconds from when you saw the lightning, the strike was 3.6 miles (6 kilometers) from your location. The delay between when you see lightning and when you hear thunder occurs because sound travels much, much more slowly than light.

For example, if lightning strikes a point 1 mile away, you will see the strike approximately .00000536 seconds after the strike while you will hear it approximately 4.72 seconds after the actual strike.  Therefore, 5 seconds per mile is a fairly robust approximation.

My thought - if "and" is inserted would it throw off the timing for the 30 second rule.  (This seams to say 4 syllables equals a second in a normal speech rate.)

Take appropriate shelter when you can count 30 seconds or less between lightning and thunder.
Remain sheltered for 30 minutes after the last thunder.

When inside -
Before the storm hits, disconnect electrical appliances including radios and television sets. Do not touch them during the storm.
Don't go outside unless absolutely necessary.
Keep away from doors, windows, fireplaces , and anything that will conduct electricity, such as radiators, stoves, sinks, and metal pipes. Keep as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
Don't handle electrical equipment or telephones. Use battery operated appliances only.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
see truespel.com

> Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 13:01:31 -0500
> From: Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
> Subject: Re: "and" in numerical expressions (UNCLASSIFIED)
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: "Mullins, Bill AMRDEC"
> Subject: Re: "and" in numerical expressions (UNCLASSIFIED)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE
> One instance in which the "and" is useful, but not required, is in
> verbally counting off seconds, as you would when timing the distance to
> a lightning strike (time between the flash and the thunder):
> One thousand and one
> One thousand and two
> One thousand and three . . .
> Etc.
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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