"and" in numerical expressions

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri May 15 20:16:51 UTC 2009

>I count seconds as "one one thousand, two one thousand," etc

What's interesting about this series is that it becomes "one thousand four, one thousand five, etc" after a while.

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

> Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 11:34:32 -0500
> From: bhneed at GMAIL.COM
> Subject: Re: "and" in numerical expressions
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Barbara Need
> Subject: Re: "and" in numerical expressions
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On 14 May 2009, at 8:48 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> At 8:32 AM -0400 5/14/09, David Bowie wrote:
>>> From: "Joel S. Berson"
>>>> At 5/13/2009 03:04 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>>>> Joel S. Berson(?) wrote:
>>>>>> I do this without "and"s:
>>>>>> One hippopotamus
>>>>>> Two hippopotamus
>>>>>> Three hippopotamus
>>>>>> Etc.
>>>>> 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
>>>> rhinoceri.
>>> I grew up with Mississippi as the time-filler of choice. It was most
>>> usually used in games of tag football[1] after church, when everyone
>>> would agree on a particular time lag (usually 3-Mississippi or
>>> 5-Mississippi) from the snap before the quarterback could be
>>> rushed. The
>>> person (usually just one--there was no offensive line, these were
>>> games
>>> with usually between four and seven on a team) doing the rushing
>>> tried
>>> to count off as quickly as possible, but wasn't allowed to skip
>>> syllables (i.e., no 1-Miss'ippi, 2-Miss'ippi).
>>> The quarterback also wasn't allowed to scramble unless rushed, which
>>> actually added a bit of strategy to the defense's plans.
>>> [1] You know, if i'd thought about it a while before typing i'd've
>>> called it "touch football", but this is what came out naturally. Go
>>> figure.
>> Yup, same on all counts (NYC, 1950s) except that we didn't play
>> touch/tag football after going to church, but after not going to
>> temple.
> And I count seconds as "one one thousand, two one thousand," etc.
> Hmm, I wonder if my seconds are short!
> Barbara
> Barbara Need
> Chicago
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