Friday, July 01, 2016

[ebdkngyk] Base hundred-thousand

Organizing vocabulary to express large number as powers of 10^3 (short scale), powers of 10^6 (British long scale), powers of 10^4 (Japan), or powers of 10^2 (India) is silly.  The right way to do it is powers of 10^5 or 10^10, because the rest of the number system is based on our number of fingers.

The Indian number system conveniently has a word for 10^5, lakh, from which could derive bilakh 10^10, trilakh 10^15, (a switch from Greek to Latin happens here) quadrilakh 10^20, quintilakh (10^25), sexilakh (10^30), septilakh (10^35), octilakh (10^40).  Or, Hindi prefixes.

Incidentally, novem is the Latin word for cardinal nine; nonus is the Latin word for ordinal ninth.  It is surprising that the words differ so much, compared to eight and ten.

Does any language have a good root word for ten billion (10^10)?

Previously, on expressing large numbers.

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