John Candelaria, Renaming the Extended Numbers, 1976  

Following is the article Renaming the Extended Numbers from page 39 of Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics, (1976) vol. 9, #1.

The article concerns an ad-hoc extension of "Chuquet" number-names, including whimsical names for numbers as high as 103(2700000000)+3; it is an amendment of his earlier article, Extending the Number Names.


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In the August 1975 Word Ways, I proposed a nomenclature for very large numbers, all of the form in which 1 is followed by a string of 0s. In this article, I modify the nomenclature slightly for two reasons: to adhere more closely to classical Latin prefixes, and to introduce a systematic use of the prefix milli-.

For further details and history, the reader is referred to my earlier article. Here it is necessary only to define the period of a number as follows: (number of zeroes) = 3(period) + 3. (Thus, the number one million has a period of one, one billion has a period of two, and so on.) Because the periods of large numbers can themselves grow very large, it is convenient to tabulate numbers not by the period but by the log period. (Thus, the period of one decillion is ten, and its log period is one.)

The modified nomenclature is given below, with log periods of selected large numbers at the left:

3 mi/llillion
(6 bi/, 9 tri/, 12 quadri/, 15 quinti/, 18 sexti/, 21 septi/, 24 octi/, 27 noni/)
30 deci/llillion
(60 viginti/, 90 triginti/, 120 quadraginti/, 150 quinquaginti/, 180 sexaginti/, 210 septuaginti/, 240 octoginti/, 270 nonaginti/)
300 c/entillillion
(600 duc/, 900 trec/, 1200 quadring/, 1500 quing/, 1800 sexc/, 2100 septing/, 2400 octing/, 2700 nong/)
3000 milli-millillion
30000 decilli-millillion
300000 centilli-millillion
3000000 milli-millimillillion
30000000 decill-millimillillion
300000000 centilli-millimillillion

Note that each time the log period is increased by a factor of one thousand, an additional milli- is prefixed to that part of the number name to the right of the hyphen; thus, these numbers can be indefinitely extended in size (although they become increasingly unwieldy).


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