Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Eleventy What?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the pronouncing-hexidecimal dept.

Programming 157

TheFr00n asks: "I recently managed to teach my ten year old son the hexadecimal number system, but he shot me back a question that has me stumped. How does one pronounce hex, after the first iteration? In decimal, we have nice words like 'fifty' and 'sixteen'. Is there an official way of pronouncing a hexadecimal number like CF9? 'See hundred and effty-nine'? (which is totally wrong anyway because a hundred is 64 in hexidecimal) Any thoughts?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Maybe (2, Insightful)

David_Bloom (578245) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641596)

Won't just "Cee Eff Nine" work?

Re:Maybe (1)

Speedy8 (594486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641602)

ya but that doesn't have a nice flow to it.

Re:Maybe (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641652)

I think "zero-echs-cee-eff-niner" has a good flow... I'd like to see Eminem work that into his next batch of rhymes.

Re:Maybe (1)

MarvinMouse (323641) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641982)

If English doesn't float your boat, how about German

tsay-eff-noin?

Or french

say-eu-neuf? (where eu is like Eu in Europe.)

Or a variety of other languages? I am pretty sure we could find one you like. ^_^

Re:Maybe (2, Informative)

KDan (90353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643114)

That's the official pronunciation for hex though.

For anything other than decimal you're not meant to use "ten", "hundred", "twenty", etc. Eg:

Binary: 1011 - One-Oh-One-One
Octal: 7326 - Seven-Three-Two-Six
Decimal: 4729 - Four thousand seven hundred and twenty nine
Hexadecimal: 28ad - Two-Eight-A-D

Simple, huh?

Daniel

Re:Maybe (2, Insightful)

unitron (5733) | more than 11 years ago | (#5645348)

"Binary: 1011 - One-Oh-One-One"

Please be precise enough to use "zero" when pronouncing "0".

"Decimal: 4729 - Four thousand seven hundred and twenty nine"

There is no "and" in "4729".

Re:Maybe (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 11 years ago | (#5646355)

Says who? For all I care, put an "and" wherever you want.

Re:Maybe (1)

suraklin (28841) | more than 11 years ago | (#5647108)

there is in german

Re:Maybe (1)

David_Bloom (578245) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641615)

Going along with this, for numbers in the "Hexithousands" (i made that up), use "scientific hexitation" (e.g. cee eff nine times eff to the sixty-fourth power)

Re:Maybe (1)

David_Bloom (578245) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641629)

* correction: actually, that would be to the hexihundreds...whatever

Re:Maybe (1)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642096)

Not sixty-fourth power, to the power of six four.

Re:Maybe (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 11 years ago | (#5645417)

But is that to the power of six four decimal or six four hex?

Re:Maybe (1)

ibennetch (521581) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642438)

Won't just "Cee Eff Nine" work?
That depends...do you say "one zero zero" or "one hundred" when speaking of the decimal number 100?

What's wrong with... (0, Redundant)

rasteri (634956) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641608)

Just saying the phonetic equivalents of the letters, and the numbers as usual?, as in "see-eff-nine"

No worries here (2, Funny)

itwerx (165526) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641625)

DEADBEEF always works for me but there are some who would consider it BADC0DE... :)

Re:No worries here (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642143)

I prefer 2BAD (or 2BADDEAD for you 32-bit people).

Re:No worries here (2, Funny)

bsmoor01 (150458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642323)

How can you forget FECEFACE?!?!

Node on E2? (1)

*xpenguin* (306001) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641651)

There was a node on E2 about this, but I couldn't find it after searching for a few minutes. Anyone remember the title?

Re:Node on E2? (1)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644814)

Maybe this [everything2.com] ?

It's the closest I could find...

I'll be so damn happy (1)

sydlexic (563791) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641653)

when this day is over.

/me waits, watches the clock and clicks reload

Re:I'll be so damn happy (1)

quakeslut (107512) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641714)

yeah me too dude. you're not alone.

Re:I'll be so damn happy (2, Funny)

addaon (41825) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642087)

Actually, he is. So very, very alone.

Perhaps, (3, Insightful)

Sevn (12012) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641663)

If there was an actual need to speak these numbers,
we'd have some slick as chit way to pronounce them.
Necessity is the MUTHA of invention. Most people go
around talking in base ten. Most people have no
need at all for anything but base ten. Go figure
it's what we have words for.

Re:Perhaps, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5643267)

... Most people go around talking in base ten. ...
Do that round here and the men in white coats come to take you away.

Color (4, Funny)

David_Bloom (578245) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641669)

Well, if it represented a color (#c0f090), I'd call it light green.

0x29a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5641741)

slashdot is evil

Heh (3, Funny)

itwerx (165526) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641742)

"CF"
"CF9"
"CF9 with Jack and Jill"
"Now F is tired"
"CF sleep..."

"69" comments are automatically modded redundant and posters will be assumed to have the mental age of an eggplant.

Re:Heh (2, Funny)

aeakett (561176) | more than 11 years ago | (#5647505)

That is way funny to us ColdFusion programmers!

In all non-decimal systems.. (4, Informative)

denubis (105145) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641752)

This is, unfortunatly, a point that has been drilled into me by my Discrete Math profs.

All non decimal systems pronounce the digits individally.

E.g. 10 in base 2 is not "ten" but "one zero"
And 734 in octal is "seven, three, four. Not seven thirty four, or variations on that theme.

Hope this helps.

Re:In all non-decimal systems.. (1)

clem.dickey (102292) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642141)

Yeah. And I had a teachers who insisted that "pretty" be pronounced to rhyme with "petty" (not "pity"), "err" rhymes with "slur" (not "air"), "nucleolus" is stressed like "alveolus" and "gigahertz" starts with a soft g. All correct I suppose, but rarely heard nowadays.

I say "thirty-two hex" and even "thirty-two hundred hex" and "charlie thousand hex" on occasion. And my world hasn't collapseD43mjodu4trfk#*(%^&#)$)*(

Re:In all non-decimal systems.. (1)

jafuser (112236) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642726)

I know someone who, even after being corrected, still can't break the habit of using the "singular" form, "one gigahert" for 1Ghz.

Re:In all non-decimal systems.. (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 11 years ago | (#5645565)

Has anyone ever pointed out to that person that the term used for cycles per second (as opposed to cycles per some other length of time) is the proper name Hertz, so that 1 cycle per second is 1 Hertz, and if you need a different term for singular and plural it would actually be Hertz and Hertzes? (If you're going to be wrong you might as well be accurate about it :-)

Re:In all non-decimal systems.. (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 11 years ago | (#5645500)

GigaHertz, like giga-everything else, really does start with a "j" sound because it comes from the same root word as "gigantic". Back when microwave communications technicians were working those frequencies and computer people relied on ferrite beads strung on wires for memory there wasn't the present misunderstanding about this.

Right they are (1)

GCP (122438) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643070)

Twenty is a number. 20 decimal represents that number. 20 hex does not. It represents a different number.

But the 2 and the 0 in 20H are still a two and a zero, so saying "two-zero hex" (where "hex" is optional if understood) is quite correct, while "twenty" is not.

Re:In all non-decimal systems.. (1)

dotpl (601535) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643372)

10 in base 2 is not "one zero", it's "zero one"

that's what my assembly teacher keeps repeating anyway, "you always read binary from right to left"

Re:In all non-decimal systems.. (1)

robslimo (587196) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644586)

Gak!

Your assembly teacher is being pedantic on a non-issue. OTOH, it is akin to the big endian/little endian holy wars of past which were never won... the combatants simply tired of the fight.

If it is written out as 11001010001, then natives to non-asian/eastern languages will naturally tend to read it from left to right, starting with "one, one..." As long as the right people know which bit is most significant, it's OK.

Your instructor is distracting you with a rule which is linguistically invalid and therefore technically false. Tell them I said so. I have 14 years experience programming in asm, how about your teacher?

Re:In all non-decimal systems.. (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 11 years ago | (#5646020)

You don't read it aloud from right to left. You interpret the number and perform most arithmetic from right to left, just like in decimal. Never, in my 15 years of assembly programming experience have I ever encountered someone (including the astoundingly little-endian designers I work with) that reads binary aloud from right-to-left.

--Joe

Re:In all non-decimal systems.. (1)

hixmobile (577378) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643971)

Also, where the digits are easily confused, better to use phonetics. So the answer to your query is "Charlie Foxtrot niner".

Re:In all non-decimal systems.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644273)

If you really want to melt his mind teach him aritmetic to a negative base ...2^-2,2^-1,2^0
4 is 100 etc

Re:In all non-decimal systems.. (1)

Captoo (103399) | more than 11 years ago | (#5648227)

That's how I learned it, too. Until now that is.

I have a digitial design teacher who wants us to read non-decimal numbers from right to left and decimal numbers from left to right. How's that for throwing a wrench in the works?

(something important seems to be missing) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5641797)

I recently managed to teach my ten year old son the hexadecimal number system

Oh, he'll never get picked on.

Why don't you kick around a fucking soccer ball or something.

you're a troll (1)

TheFr00n (643304) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643448)

FYI he prefers cricket.

You sound as if someone you used to make do your homework is now your boss. Quit whining.

Soccer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644543)

Why don't you kick around a fucking soccer ball or something.

Then he'll get a severe ass kicking every single day! Soccer is a girls' sport.

Err, it's just the same as any other number system (2, Insightful)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 11 years ago | (#5641999)

Err, are not the names we give numbers independant of any notational system? i.e

The number we have given the name two and is written as "2" in decimal, in binary is written 10, but it's still called two, just the notation changed. In hexadecimal, the number we call sixteen is written 10, but it's still called sixteen.

Of course if you want say a number in a specific notation you'll need to not only spell it out but also state the system so as to avoid ambiguity ("the number `one-zero' in binary notation") as using the number's name implies the use of the decimal notation.

If you ask somebody to write down some numbers, and you read them out as "one, two, three, four", the subject should be perfectly able to use the binary notational system to write them down as "01, 10, 11, 100", they've recorded the numbers you spake correctly.

Re:Err, it's just the same as any other number sys (1)

TheFr00n (643304) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643241)

I do get what you're saying, but consider that the spoken form assumes base ten - hence its terminology and interations of ten.

This all comes of not having enough digits to begin with. If we could just have evolved with eight fingers on each hand ...

Implied base 10 in oral speech (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643980)

There have been many, many comments along these lines here at slashdot (why would I expect more?), and it is just wrong.

Twenty-three obviously represents a two in the second order digit and a three in the first order digit. In addition, our language has an implied base 10 marker, though not an inherent one. We did not name 2^6 number of sticks as "si-cs-ti-for", like we did a "pair" of sticks, we constructed that number out of a shared understanding of a base 10 numerical system.

If you ask someone to write down "one, two, three, and four" and they do so as "1,10,11,100," that would be a conversion between bases. The proper way to read that back would either be "one binary, one zero binary, one one binary, one zero zero binary" or "binary one, ten, eleven, one hundred," depending upon whether the person you are speaking to ties colloquial number abbreviations to base 10 or not.

If someone asked you to read the hexadecimal "23" (or in computer terms 0x23), the proper way is to say "twenty-three." If you had just said "thirty-five," the base-10 equivalent, you would not have communicated the number effectively: you would need to say "thirty-five base ten," at which point your friend would probably say he needed the hexidecimal, thank you.

Any numbers you see or speak have an explicit or an implied base, whether you can see it or not.

Re:Implied base 10 in oral speech (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 11 years ago | (#5645262)

There's slightly more to it than that though, because the arabic numerals are named by base 10.

The name of the numeral '2' is 'two'. The value of the numeral '2' is 2 in base ten, and any bases with a radix larger than 2.

So, if I write, "what's 3 in binary?" you know that I mean I want 11 as the answer because you assume the 3 in the question is in a base higher than 2, so the numeral also has some implied value, and use beyond that of a symbol.

Gee, this is challenging to describe in English... :)

Re:Implied base 10 in oral speech (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 11 years ago | (#5646073)

Gee, this is challenging to describe in English... :)

Hence this joke, which is only funny when read: There are 10 types of people in the world--those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Back to the topic... I personally use the same nomenclature for decimal and hex, suffixing my statement with the base when it's ambiguous. I'll say things like "twenty-three hex", "cee thousand hex". I rarely speak binary numbers, though. When I do, they're typically short enough that I'll just read the digits.

--Joe

effty-nine (1)

Radical Rad (138892) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642011)

I like it. Now I can write a satirical political novel about civil liberties lost through digital surveilance and call it '19A4'.

Re:effty-nine (1)

lexarius (560925) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642144)

2B||!2B==True
For any value of 2B. FYI.

Re:effty-nine (1)

Radical Rad (138892) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642428)

Great, I'll tell Hamlet [mit.edu] . :-)

Re:effty-nine (1)

Hellkitten (574820) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643493)

At least you should try to get it rigth: the name should be: 0x7C0

0x19A4 is about four and a half thousand years into the future

Re:effty-nine (1)

mink (266117) | more than 11 years ago | (#5646040)

So it would be a work of science fiction instead of a history book?

As a programmer 20 some years ago... (3, Interesting)

DaoudaW (533025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642151)

Finally something I know something about. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, able, baker, Charlie, dog, easy, fox, one-zero. One-one, one-two, one-three, one-four, one-five, one-six, one-seven, one-eight, one-nine, one-able, one-baker, one-Charlie, one-dog, one-easy, one-fox, two-zero. Two-one, two-two, two-three..." Three digit numbers likewise: "One-zero-nine, one-zero-able, one-zero-baker,..., nine-fox-fox, able-zero-zero."

Re:As a programmer 20 some years ago... (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642203)

Maybe correct 20 years ago, but you're a bit off on your phonetic alphabet no..

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot

(the rest .. Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu).

Re:As a programmer 20 some years ago... (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642310)

Even today, there's more than one phonetic alphabet in use.

Re:As a programmer 20 some years ago... (3, Interesting)

DaoudaW (533025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642325)

I've done that one when operating an aviation radio, but for hexadecimal I've only ever heard "able, baker, charlie, dog, easy, fox".

What's nice about the 1st 6 from aviation notation (2)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642611)

is that each one is 2 syllables. Hence, it's easy to partition them off in a noisy environment without wondering if you're hearing 1 or 2 digits.

Re:As a programmer 20 some years ago... (1)

Tower (37395) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644085)

Ah, but the computer industry doesn't rely on the aviation conventions... there is a lot of inertia in the naming (especially at places such as IBM)...

Abel, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox... the only way to digitize.

Re:As a programmer 20 some years ago... (1)

CharlieG (34950) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644395)

The "able Baker" phonetic alphabet was the OLD US and British Phonetic alpahabet (circa 1942). Post WWII it was changed, as some non native english speakers had serious problems with hearing/saying some of the words "Queen" vs "Quebec" is one of them

Currently, in the US, there are 2 main forms of the Phonetic alphabet being used "Police" and International/Military. The Police version has some regional variations, but as almost all theri comms are intra department it does not matter (btw the 10 codes vary somewhat too)

Police Military
A Adam Alpha
B Boy Bravo
C Charles Charlie
D David Delta
E Edward Echo
F Frank Foxtrot
G George Golf
H Henry Hotel
I Ida India
J John Juliet
K King Kilo
L Lincoln Lima
M Mary Mike
N Nora November
O Ocean Oscar
P Paul Papa
Q Queen Quebec
R Robert Romeo
S Sam Sierra
T Tom Tango
U Union Uniform
V Victor Victor
W William Whiskey
X Xray Xray
Y Young Yankee
Z Zebra Zulu

Re:As a programmer 20 some years ago... (1)

paploo (238300) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642328)

Your usin' the old Army alphabet from WWII. Try the international radio alphabet used by NATO and civil aviation (among other things):
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eigth, niner, alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, echo, foxtrot. :)

-Jeff

Re:As a programmer 20 some years ago... (1)

paploo (238300) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642337)

(Oops, mark me down as -1 Redundant! Someone already wrote about that alphabet! :) (Do I get any brownie points for adding a few extra details about it?... I didn't think so.))

-Jeff

Re: Thanx! (1)

WilDoane (608022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643344)

This seems so obvious now that you say it, but I've never pronounced them using the phonetic codes. And, yes, I do get into a lot of confusing situations because of misunderstandings! And non-tech types always look at me funny when I say "SEE-THOUSAND" for C000.

Re: Thanx! (1)

Tower (37395) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644102)

And the always helpful "Charlie-gazillion" (usually C0000000h), although "Charlie-eight-gazillion" (C8000000h) seems acceptable, as long as everyone knows you are dealing with a single word (2-byte word fans need not apply).

Re:How about the places we call NEE! (1)

ii-v-i-head (635487) | more than 11 years ago | (#5646612)

i have a simple idea. since you want to make a representation of the "number" through speech, then use pitch to represent the "place" of the number: something like C-3! F-2! 1-1! in the manner of Knights which say NEE! see: monty python

Maybe the media will show some interest (2, Funny)

mbstone (457308) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642221)

Andy Rooney, for example, expounds on topics just as mundane and trivial as this one, every Sunday on 3C Minutes.

CF9 (1)

crmartin (98227) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642463)

"Charlie Foxtrot nine" of course.

Re:CF9 (1)

ConeFish (216294) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643761)

More correctly: Charlie Foxtrot Niner

Re:CF9 (1)

dlcantrell (573793) | more than 11 years ago | (#5647804)

That's affirmative, err.. WTF over.

I've thought about this (2, Funny)

Rysc (136391) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642491)

and you're right, there is no current answer.

What needs to be done is to invent words that mean each of these symbols. When you say A in hex it is not the alphabet A, it's a totally different concept and needs a different word to express it.

The best way would be to invent and standardize a set of words for speaking numbers/about numbers in base 16. Because, really, 10 would be pronounced "sixteen" which makes no sense. Base16(16) should be pronounced "16" and mean base10(22).

It's a culture/language thing, you see. In order to have it make sane sense you need to think of numbers in base 16, not 10.

I have, of course, come up with my own words for each of these A-F numbers, with simple rules for how to pronounce combinations like 1CF anf D7B and so on. I'd post them, but I've mislaid the paper I wrote them on. And I think that illustrates my point: In order to remember/use these things properly, we'd have to think in another base. And that's just too impractical to be likely to happen.

Re:I've thought about this (1)

nickos (91443) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643099)

(I don't know why that got modded funny, but nevermind.)

"When you say A in hex it is not the alphabet A", this is a perfectly good point, but you don't go far enough. To do this properly, we really need new symbols for the hex numbers A to F too.

But then, we probably have too many characters for all sorts of things as it is, and hex is not in common enough usage for much effort to be invested in this.

Re:I've thought about this (1)

kfx (603703) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644825)

I've thought about this too, and that's the same conclusion that I came to (invent new symbols/names for hex A-F).

The only problem it would take some doing to memorize these new symbols, and it would make it more difficult for new programmers, etc. to learn how to use hex...

Re:I've thought about this (1)

Tukla (5899) | more than 11 years ago | (#5645558)

I read a book called The Coming of the Quantum Cats years ago. The author decided that one party in the book used straight binary mathematics, and he came up with words to replace base-10 words. Not that this would help with hex, but it was mildly amusing reading (since one character -- an accountant -- had to learn the new language).

dek el zen tris cat kink (3, Interesting)

PurpleBob (63566) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642664)

Well, I don't know how to solve the problem of "hundred". But the digits can have names (and not just the letter names, which have the problem that they're hard to tell apart and A sounds like 8).

On Everything2, there's the node Names for digits higher than 9 [everything2.com] . The names for the digits - I have no idea who created them - are "dek" for A, "el" for B, "zen" for C, "tris" for D, "cat" for E, and "kink" for F.

Re:dek el zen tris cat kink (1)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644213)

Just don't go to Canada and pronouce 'FA'. You'll get slapped.

Donald Knuth Has The Answer (5, Interesting)

Sunlighter (177996) | more than 11 years ago | (#5642892)

In section 4.1 of The Art of Computer Programming, Donald Knuth describes:

...a prominent Swedish-American civil engineer named John W. Nystrom [who] decided to... [devise] a complete system of numeration, weights, and measures based on radix-16 arithmetic. He wrote, "I am not afraid, or do not hesitate, to advocate a binary system of arithmetic and metrology. I know I have nature on my side; if I do not succeed to impress upon you its utility and great importance to mankind, it will reflect that much less credit on our generation, upon our scientific men and philosophers." Nystrom devised special means for pronouncing hexadecimal numbers; for example, [0xC0160] was to be read "vybong, bysanton." His entire system was called the Tonal System, and it is described in J. Franklin Inst. 46 (1863), 263-275, 337,348, 402-407.

Maybe you should get that issue of that journal and give it a try.

Re:Donald Knuth Has The Answer (3, Interesting)

nickos (91443) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643113)

quoted from http://www.monmouth.com/~colonel/tonal.html [monmouth.com]

From Recreations in Mathematics, by H. E. Licks (Van Nostrand, 1917):
John W. Nystrom of Philadelphia devised about fifty years ago the tonal system&quot of numeration in which 16 is the base instead of 10 as in the decimal system. The numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., were called An, De, Ti, Go, etc., and new characters were devised for 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. This system embraced also a new division of the year into 16 months, these having the names Anuary, Debrian, Timander, Gostus, Suvenary, Bylian, Ratamber, Mesidius, Nictorary, Kolumbian, Husander, Victorius, Lamboary, Polian, Fylander, Tonborious, the first two letters of each month being the names of the sixteen numerals.
This is slightly inaccurate. The figure 9 was used for 10, on the principle of making the digits for 8 or greater look like those of their 16's complements written upside down; and a new figure was devised for 9. The name of 12 was Vy, not Vi; and I believe that the meth, nith, vyth, and tonth months were named Mesudius, Nictoary, Vyctorius, and Tonborius.

The year began at the winter solstice, that being the Anth of Anuary. Every month had tonra days except for Debrian, Gostus, and Lamboary, which had only tonby, but Debrian had an extra day in leap years.

The powers of ton were: ton, san, mill, bong. These could be used as prefixes to indicate multiplication or as suffixes to indicate division. For instance, the day was divided into ton (sixteen) tims, a tim into ton timtons, and a timton into ton timsans.

I don't know the answer, but don't use "and"! (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643181)

159 is formally "one hundred fifty nine," not "one hundred and fifty nine."

"And" is for decimal places, as in 159.7 = one hundred fifty nine and seven tenths.

Re:I don't know the answer, but don't use "and"! (1)

ZigMonty (524212) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643948)

159 is formally "one hundred fifty nine," not "one hundred and fifty nine."

"And" is for decimal places, as in 159.7 = one hundred fifty nine and seven tenths.

Says who? Where I come from, we put the "and" in. Do you have a World Government decree supporting your claim?

Re:I don't know the answer, but don't use "and"! (1)

gillisgirl (662022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5645473)

Where I come from, people say they work at "Fords" and shop at "K-marts". Doesn't make it right, and just makes them sound stupid. I was taught that "and" represents the decimal while studying for my math degree. It's not the "World Goverment," but I'll trust a bunch doctors of mathematics in this case.

Re:I don't know the answer, but don't use "and"! (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 11 years ago | (#5648018)

The most annoying error in my opinion, is people who claim to shop at Nordstroms rather than at Nordstrom.

Re:I don't know the answer, but don't use "and"! (2, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644318)

In the UK adding the "and" is correct, as is pronouncing the numbers after a decimal point individually.

159.34 is "one hundred and fifty nine point three four".

You'll only hear Americans and children who are just learning about decimals say "point thirty four" in the UK.

I have the solution! (3, Insightful)

Michael.Forman (169981) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643205)


I was really inspired by this question. It's a wonderful mix of mathematics and linguistics. Because a quick post to Slashdot couldn't cover it in enough detail, I wrote up some thoughts I had on the subject, which you can find here [michael-forman.com] . Also included is information on how Americans and Europeans differ in their transliteration of base-ten numbers.

Here's an excerpt:

How does one transliterate numbers of arbitrary bases? For example the number "562" is transliterated as "five hundred and sixty two" but how would one transliterate the hex number "0xDEADBEEF"? The text below attempts to answer that question using two methods. The first is a rigorous and technically accurate method but is difficult to use. The second is technically less rigorous but is simple to use ...

Michael.

Re:I have the solution! (1)

octalgirl (580949) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643471)

Man, do I feel stupid after looking at that!

Re:I have the solution! (1)

toast0 (63707) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643891)

"For example the number '562' is transliterated as 'five hundred and sixty two' ..."

Actually the number "500.62" is transliterated as "five hundred and sixty two"... the number "562" is transliterated as "five hundred sixty two" Don't they teach this is elementry school anymore?

Re:I have the solution! (1)

toast0 (63707) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643916)

wow, don't i look like an idiot...

make that last stinging statement "Don't they teach this in elementary school anymore?"

Re:I have the solution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644526)

Well actually 500.62 is properly pronounced "five hundred and sixty two hundredths." Don't they teach THAT in elementary school anymore?

Re:I have the solution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5647953)

Maybe, but I dropped out of elementary school early to play for the NBA.

Re:I have the solution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5648070)


interesting proposal. I found the background on american and european the most useful. when are you going to add the information for japanese? maybe in time for a slashback? :^)

Hey, pity the poor Romans (1)

crosbie (446285) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643609)

MCMLXXXVIII

How do you say that in a hurry eh?

And don't get me started on the US/UK difference in missing out 'and' e.g. 101 Dalmations:

One Hundred AND One Dalmations
vs
One Hundred, One Dalmations.

And how about Two gross, three dozen and four?

"Thirteen Twenty", could be a year or a time.

Four score and Ten
vs
Quatre Vingt Dix

Yes (3, Funny)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#5643622)

Is there an official way of pronouncing a hexadecimal number like CF9?

"Three thousand five hundred seventy seven."

Re:Yes (1)

oPless (63249) | more than 11 years ago | (#5648568)

or Cee Eff Nine
or Charlie Foxtrot Nine

BTW for you Americans out there, the rest of the world uses the NATO/Seaspeak Alphabet.
  • Alpha (also spelled Alfa)
  • Bravo,
  • Charlie,
  • Delta,
  • Echo,
  • Foxtrot,
  • Golf,
  • Hotel,
  • India,
  • Juliet,
  • Kilo,
  • Lima,
  • Mike,
  • November,
  • Oscar,
  • Papa,
  • Quebec,
  • Romeo,
  • Sierra,
  • Tango,
  • Uniform,
  • Victor,
  • Whiskey,
  • X-ray,
  • Yankee,
  • Zulu,

It took me a while to wonder WTF yank films insist on saying "Baker" instead of "Bravo"
I suppose it's because you can't spell COLOUR,
FLAVOUR or any number of other words correctly.

STOP BASTARDISING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE DAMNIT!
:-)

Obligatory Saturday Night Live Reference (1)

MacGod (320762) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644188)

Keanu Reeves on Celebrity Jeopardy:

Trebek: "And You wagered eleventy billion dollars. That's not even a real number"

Reeves "...yet."

Trebek "Simply stunning."

Of course, I guess that's better than French Stewart's $Texas wager.

Here's a scheme (1)

crosbie (446285) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644283)

For hex, we just need new terms for the powers, e.g.

0 zero 10 hex 20 biex 10 hex
1 one 11 hexune 21 biex one 20 biex
2 two 12 hexadual 22 biex two 30 triex
3 three 13 hexter 23 biex three 40 quadex
4 four 14 hexaquad 24 biex four 50 quinex
5 five 15 hexequine 25 biex five 60 sessex
6 six 16 hexess 26 biex six 70 heptex
7 seven 17 hexept 27 biex seven 80 octex
8 eight 18 hexoct 28 biex eight 90 nonex
9 nine 19 hexanone 29 biex nine a0 alphex
a alp 1a alphexen 2a biex alp b0 bethex
b bet 1b bethexen 2b biex bet c0 caphex
c cap 1c caphexen 2c biex cap d0 dellex
d dell 1d dellexen 2d biex dell e0 eechex
e eek 1e eechexen 2e biex eek f0 fokex
f foke 1f foxen 2f biex foke

100 one hexted
1000 hex hexted
1,0000 one hexend
10,0000 hex hexend
100,000 one hexted hexend
1000,0000 hex hexted hexend
1,0000,0000 one hexillion

2^64 one biexillion
2^96 one triexillion
2^128 one quadexillion

Pronunciation guide
hexune as in "hex yoon"
hexanone rhymes with zone
alphexen as in alfexen
caphexen as in cafexen
foxen rhymes with hoax
biex as in "buy X"
triex as in "try X"
quinex as in "Quin X"
nonex as in "Zone X"
fokex as in "Broke X"

Examples

101 one hexted and one
111 one hexted and hexune
1CE = one hexted and caphex eek
CF9 = cap hexted and fokex nine
DEADBEEF = Dellex eek hexted and alphex dell hexend, bethex eek hexted and eechex foke

Compare with a decimal approximation of 83286339, i.e.
"Eighty three hundred and twenty eight 'tenthou', sixty three hundred and thirty nine"
as opposed to
"Eighty three million, two hundred and eighty six thousand, three hundred and thirty nine"

In hex. 83326339 would be
"Octex three hexted and triex two hexend, sessex three hexted and triex nine"

Re:Here's a scheme (1)

menasius (202515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5645071)

"DEADBEEF = Dellex eek hexted and alphex dell hexend, bethex eek hexted and eechex foke"

In the news today, 12 computer scientists die from choking to death. Apparently, their colleagues stood by and watched thinking they must surely be trying to pronounce a hexidecimal number.

-bort

Hmm (1)

jtheory (626492) | more than 11 years ago | (#5645438)

That's certainly interesting, and if I were writing a SF novel about a future in which the world had converted to hex, I might use it. Except by that time we'd probably have a more efficient means of communicating numbers to each other than speech....

I wouldn't teach a kid that this was how to pronounce hex, anyway (see orig question); after all, conversation is about shared meaning, and if he's the only one in the room who knows what he's saying, he's not communicating. That's even worse than raising your kid speaking Klingon (where at least there are a *few* people out there who'll be able to figure out what he's saying).

If you *really* need to be able to pronounce hex (instead of just typing or writing it!) just say "hex", pronounce each numeral, and use alpha bravo charlie delta echo foxtrot ("niner" instead of nine, if you want).

Very simple, uses standards everyone understands (or can figure out in 5 seconds), is clear to the ear and easily transcribed (unlike saying "four hundred seventeen, in hex" and forcing the person to convert). Plus this works with ANY base!

--
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. -Albert Einstein

Can of cun.. (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5645398)

Does efty-1-ninety remind anyone else of the shop keep out of League of Gentlemen?

This is local site for local people

Rus

sheesh (1)

eglamkowski (631706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5645501)

What's wrong with just prouncing it "cee-eff-nine"?

I need spam!!! (1)

me_is_farked (663363) | more than 11 years ago | (#5645898)

my professor is giving $50 to the person who can collect the most spam in 3 weeks so please forward me your inbox, sign me up for midget pr0n, post my email anywhere! My email is me_is_farked@yahoo.com the more the merrier!!!

One of my favorite songs: (1)

chrysrobyn (106763) | more than 11 years ago | (#5646292)

One hundred buckets of bits on the bus,

one hundred buckets of bits.

Take one down,

Short it to ground

FF buckets of bits on the bus.

...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?