French and Gaulish numbers (was: indoeuropean/hand)

Robert Whiting whiting at
Fri Aug 20 03:30:25 UTC 1999

On Fri, 13 Aug 1999, Steven A. Gustafson wrote:

> Of course, six score and sixteen years ago, Abraham Lincoln suggested
> that this kind of count was not wholly dead in English, at least as a
> rhetorical flourish.

It still isn't dead.  I do a lot of English language checking for
non-native speakers and note that Finnish idiom uses 'tens' as a
semi-indefinite quantifier and when writing English they will say
things like "there are tens of examples".  I have to explain that
English idiom uses 'dozens' or 'scores' for these semi-indefinite
quantifiers:  "there are dozens of examples", "there are scores of
examples".  Both of these are idiomatic.  "Tens of examples" isn't.

Bob Whiting
whiting at

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